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GravityLight: An illuminating product from Deciwatt

For most, the chance encounter of an unsuspecting man and an apple will constantly define the mysterious phenomenon of gravity. However, one startup is abundantly aware of the enlightening effect gravity can have.



GravityLight: An illuminating product from Deciwatt

Deciwatt, a product development team out of the UK, created a light powered just by the force of gravity. Founded by inventors Matin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, Deciwatt’s mission strives to, “explore how to do more with less; in turn empowering people through sustainable and affordable low power solutions.”

GravityLight promises a light that’s free from the usual constraints of batteries and solar powered technology. The goal of the product itself is to provide affordable, sustainable and reliable light, which enables people to break free from the economic, health and environmental hazards of kerosene lamps. The light is made of an electricity-generating device and a bag that can be filled with materials such as rock or sand. As gravity pulls the bag downwards, the gears inside the generator turn and transform the movement into energy for the light. The movement from the bag creates enough energy for about 30 minutes and can be used over and over again.

The idea first emerged after the charity SolarAid challenged them to design a new LED lantern for Africa as an alternative to the kerosene lamp. Kerosene lamps are a substantial cost to those in the developing world, especially places where electricity isn’t accessible. They also give off harmful pollutants to both the environment and the exposed individuals.

The product team decided to use gravity to avoid the expense of solar panels and batteries needed to produce solar energy. Even though the price of the light is about $10 upfront, it pays for itself after 3 months as the cost of using kerosene for the same time cost more than 10 dollars.

In 2012, Deciwatt launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for GravityLight. At the end of the campaign, Deciwatt exceeded their previous goal of $55,000 and raised $399,650.

In September of 2013, GravityLight applied to
Sustainable Brands London Innovation Open. Sustainable Brands Innovation Open “plans to catalyze the progress and impact of the next generation of better brands by promoting the startups who, given the right support and exposure, can contribute to a flourishing future economically, socially and environmentally.” In November, Deciwatt won the Overall Sustainable Brands Innovation Open award and the Sustainable Brands People’s Choice award in London.

Since then, GravityLight was selected as Time Magazine’s “The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013”, CNN’s “The CNN 10: Inventions, 2013 revolutionary innovations”, FastCompany’s “World top 10 most innovative companies in energy” and Popular Science’s Popular Science’s “Winner of 2013 Invention Award”.


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