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A gravity-powered bulb

London, Dec 20, 2012, PTI: 21:40 IST
The relatively simple device progressively needs less energy to run, making possible a whole range of relatively simple gadgets that can be powered by unconventional means.
A British company has developed new ‘incredible’ light bulbs which are powered by gravity, for free distribution to communities in India and Africa who do not have reliable access to electricity.

The ‘GravityLight’ uses a sack of sand to gradually pull a piece of rope through a dynamo mechanism which generates electricity to power an Light Emitting Diode (LED) light.

Manufacturers claim a three-second pull on the rope to raise the sack will keep the LED bulb running for up to 30 minutes, the Daily Mail reported.

The London-based design and innovation initiative deciwatt.org, designed the GravityLight as a sustainable solution for 1.5 billion people who rely on biomass fuels like kerosene for lighting, which can be hazardous to health.

Deciwatt.org, a division within design company Therefore, said the trend for rapid advances in technology has made their product possible.

The relatively simple devices progressively need less energy to run, making possible a whole range of relatively simple gadgets that can be powered by unconventional means.

The GravityLight was co-invented by Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves, both directors at Therefore.

“We’ve done a number of projects, including the Psion products - where the requirements were incredibly efficient in terms of power usage,” the paper quoted Riddiford as telling The Register.

“The digital age has made products much power hungry but now there’s a reversal of that – everyone’s chasing lower power again,” he said.

Deciwatt.org appealed for backing from crowd funding website indiegogo.com, and have already more than tripled their goal.

With the USD 55,000 initially requested they had promised to fund the manufacture of 1,000 gravity-powered lights for free distribution to poor communities in Africa and India who do not have reliable access to electricity.

Kerosene is responsible for thousands of deaths across the developing world every year, deciwatt.org says on the GravityLamp indiegogo page - and it can be expensive, the report said.

“The World Bank estimates that, as a result, 780 million women and children inhale smoke which is equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day,” the page said.

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