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GravityLight - bag - 01.jpg

GravityLight is a gravity-powered lamp designed by the company Deciwatt for use in developing or third-world nations, as a replacement for kerosene lamps. It uses a bag filled with rocks or earth, attached to a cord, which slowly descends similar to the weight drive in a cuckoo clock. This action powers the light for up to thirty minutes.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Funding and development[edit]

The first IndieGoGo campaign of GravityLight was ended on January 15, 2013 with $399,590 funded by 6219 funders.[7]

The second IndieGoGo campaign, GravityLight 2: Made in Africa ended on July 18, 2015.[8] It featured an improved design and the goal of manufacturing them in Kenya.

Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves worked on GravityLight as a side project for four years.[9]


There are no operating costs after the initial purchase of the appliance. A standard GravityLight kit comes with an adjustable lamp and a ballast bag. The light can be turned on by filling the bag with approximately 20 pounds weight[10] (10 kg) and lifting it up to the base of the device; the weight falls over a period of 25 minutes, pulling a cord/strap that spins gears and drives an electric generator, which continuously powers an LED.[11] This creates enough energy to last 25 minutes whenever it is needed.[9]

The second model, GL02, also includes two SatLights and connecting cables. These are separate lights that are wired in series from the main GravityLight unit. Each SatLight can be turned on or off separately. When used with SatLights, the light on the main unit can be turned on or off. Up to 4 SatLights can be connected, giving extra light to different locations in the house. The rate of the bag drop is almost not affected by the number of SatLights attached.

The original GravityLight used a strap for pulling up the weight. The improved GL02 used a plastic-bead chain on a pulley system. The pulley system requires less strength to pull up.

In the media[edit]

GravityLight was called one of The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013 by Time Magazine.[12]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "How does it work?". Gravity Light Foundation. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  2. ^ "GravityLight: gravity lighting without battery". Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  3. ^ Divulgação. "Nova lâmpada é movida a gravidade -". Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Soon, lamps powered by gravity - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  5. ^ "Schwerkraft-Lampe Gravity Light, Android-Konsole Esfere - SPIEGEL ONLINE". 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  6. ^ Warr, Philippa (2012-12-18). "Innovative £3 light powered by sand and gravity". Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  7. ^ "GravityLight: lighting for developing countries". Indiegogo. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "GravityLight 2: Made in Africa". Indiegogo. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Joann Pan (2012-11-28). "This $5 Lamp Is Powered Solely by Gravity". Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  10. ^ "A $5 Lamp Can Change The World - GravityLight". Forbes. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Deciwatt GravityLight". PopSci. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013". Time Magazine. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 

External links[edit]