Crowdfunding a radically new “gravity light” for Africa



This beautiful project reached its funding goals on Indiegogo: the gravity lamp. Two designers from London based design firm Therefore were asked to design and develop a solar powered lamp for Africa, to replace the ecologically damaging kerosene lamps:

Did you know that there are currently over 1.5 billion people in the World who have no reliable access to mains electricity? These people rely, instead, on biomass fuels (mostly kerosene) for lighting once the sun goes down.

The problem with solar, however, is this:

Solar panels produce electricity only when the sun shines, so the energy needs to be stored in a battery to produce the light when it becomes dark. The amount of energy stored is dependant on the size of the panel, the size of the battery, and how much (if any) sun has shone.

What they set out to do was to radically change the concept of the light – by designing a lamp that is simply powered by hanging a weight from it to load it. (In this sense it’s reminiscent of the the crank operated radios that popped up a few years ago.)

It is a beautifully designed lamp, however. It will be for sale at a price of $ 10, which is earned back, according to the designers, in three months because it eliminates the need to buy kerosene. At the time of writing this, they reached their initial funding goal of $ 55 000 on Indiegogo. If they reach their final goal of about $ 200 000, they can develop an improved version of the lamp, which should double the efficiency, the designers say.

Check out the concept here:

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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