GravityLight: the low-cost lamp powered by sand and gravity

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posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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I've not seen this on ATS, so I thought I'd post it.


Two London designers have developed a gravity-powered lamp that could sell for as little as £3, bringing light to remote regions in developing countries

The problem of bringing light to remote parts of the developing world has been tackled in the past with everything from solar-powered lamps to wind-up devices and rechargeable batteries – all of which require relatively expensive kit or physical effort by the user.

But two London-based designers have now developed a light source that operates on the stuff that surrounds you – earth, rocks or sand – with the helping hand of gravity.

Developed by Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves over the last four years, the GravityLight is simply charged by a bag that is filled with around 9kg of material and hung from a cord below the light. As the bag descends, a series of gears inside the device translates this weight into energy, providing 30 minutes of light. The light strength can be adjusted, from strong task lighting to a longer-lasting low-level glow, and two terminals on the front allow it to be used as a generator so it can recharge other devices including radios and batteries.


GravityLight: the low-cost lamp powered by sand and gravity

I'm not connected with the team that have built this prototype and I've no commercial interest. I just thought it was a nice piece of design & engineering.

The applications for this look really good and could provide answers that regular 'eco lamps' never really could and also eliminate a lot of the problems that come from low-cost lighting solutions like kerosene.

To make this a more ATS-friendly story, I can imagine it having lots of uses in a SHTF scenario, and charging your iPhone, and not just helping the 3rd world &c.




posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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Interesting. Nice find.
Star and flag for you!



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:19 AM
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A small generator powered by a bag of rocks?!

You can't get much simpler nor much more elegant than that! I can't believe nobody's thought of this before. One of those "I-should-have-invented-this" things.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


Great idea, but....as usual, someone thinks it needs to be modern looking, high tech and made of plastic.

I was initially impressed when I read the story but disillusioned when I clicked the link.

We live in a world of surplus and waste, and people think we need more?

Great idea, lousy concept to bring to the market.

Profit, recognition, and ultimately it won't catch on because those who understand and need these ideas will make their own from scrap. Yay!



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by nerbot
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


Great idea, but....as usual, someone thinks it needs to be modern looking, high tech and made of plastic.

I was initially impressed when I read the story but disillusioned when I clicked the link.

We live in a world of surplus and waste, and people think we need more?

Great idea, lousy concept to bring to the market.

Profit, recognition, and ultimately it won't catch on because those who understand and need these ideas will make their own from scrap. Yay!


If they do make their own from scrap, then good on them. A paradigm shift in this kind of device will inevitably produce a whole wake of copycat products whether amateur or professional.

However, I'm not sure that the execution of the idea is particularly bad, and I don't think it's overly-designed. It being plastic is a fairly realistic design solution as it's likely to be cheaper, light-weight and wipeable/hygienic and to an an extent more waterproof than other materials.

It's basic functions are the light, a control switch and the two terminals for charging other devices. It doesn't lend itself to that many design solutions. What's to be gained from creating a box shape? Other than potentially wasting materials?



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 04:06 AM
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Technically it's not powered by gravity. Technically, it's the energy it takes to lift the light the rocks/sand, whatever weight is used to support it's function. And in that, it's the energy from rice/food, whatever the locals are eating to lift that, which is powering the light.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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Any way you cut it the technology is hardly new, nor is the idea very origonal.....
The amount of power generated, THOUGH MINISCULE, is still an improvement over kerosene lamps
(which i used for primary light sources for about seven or so years a while back....)
A because it is not flamable
B because its cheaper
C because its healthier
And the energy used is "free" in the sense it costs only a few calories....
The drawbacks are still to be overcome

Low burn time....
Poor wattage performance (maybe one could run two of these in series for better light?)
Indeterminate working life span...
And still too expensive to producwe...
Id suggest the third world could produce these for cheaper and supply them to themselves...thus providing employment as well.......



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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I dont understand where you see wasteful excessive design in this thing? It looks just big enough to house all the internal components. The fact it is made of plastic is simply a cost issue. Surely it could be made of aircraft alluminum or stainless steel, but then it wouldnt be as cheap.



posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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How is this different from big old grand-father clocks. With the weights and gears.

In fact if they added a pendulum it would work better and for longer.

This was really just a logical conclusion to better lights ( LEDs) , better batteries etc... But good on them for thinking laterally.
edit on 11/19/09 by thedeadtruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by nerbot
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


Great idea, but....as usual, someone thinks it needs to be modern looking, high tech and made of plastic.

I was initially impressed when I read the story but disillusioned when I clicked the link.

We live in a world of surplus and waste, and people think we need more?

Great idea, lousy concept to bring to the market.

Profit, recognition, and ultimately it won't catch on because those who understand and need these ideas will make their own from scrap. Yay!



Really?? Seems far more logical to just spend £3 on the device rather than have to source all the parts, fix it all together etc.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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This sounds an awful lot like the hand crank flashlights that were a popular item at stores like Brookstone or Sharper Image a couple of years ago, or more recently Linen and Things. I bought one made by DuraPro. The problem with those was the battery inside would deteriorate over time so the only way to get light was through continuous cranking. Hope these inventors have overcome this problem. I suspect that the inventors might want to focus on LED technology to extend life.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 07:07 PM
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Awful lot of complaining in this thread, is this is so simple and and easy (and even wasteful?? what?) what stopped any of you from giving this gift of almost free, eternal light to africa? It's still in testing, very exciting to see where they take it from here. With more donations and trials im sure in a year or two this thing will be smaller, easier to use, and last several hours.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 07:38 PM
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I like the idea. But i would like one just to scale up the device. i am thinking of a device big enough to power a home using a 2+ ton concrete block.

Go out once a day and use a chain fall to lift the 2+ ton block and have lights all night
Or even run a small 12 volt refrigerator like used on RVs
www.adventurerv.net... aVcMgodOksAHA





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