About a billion people live without electricity, and they often turn to kerosene lamps: ultra dangerous, carcinogen-spouting, open flames that could turn homes into tinderboxes. So a new Indiegogo campaign’s out to provide safe, reusable lights that need zero outside energy sources.

It’s called GravityLight, and it’s kind of like those hand crank-powered camp lanterns you see at Bed Bath & Beyond, but instead of 10 minutes of manual cranking, the light is powered by gravity.

It looks kind of like a pulley hanging from the ceiling. You lift a 25-pound weight (rocks, sand, whatever) by pulling down on a beaded cord. After the weight has reached the top and you let go, it slowly descends, powering a drive sprocket and gear train that lights an LED. Once the bag hits the floor, you repeat the process. The light lasts 20 to 30 minutes each cycle.

  • Instant light, any time
  • No sun or batteries needed
  • With GravityLight all you need is a weight.

Feedback from global trials of our first design, GL01, was extremely encouraging!

Vitally, it also gave us insights into what needed improving.

After extensive iterations and accelerated life testing we developed an improved model, GL02, that is:

Today, over 1 in 5 people do not have electricity. Instead, they rely on dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps for light.

GravityLight has been designed primarily as a safe, clean and affordable alternative to kerosene lamps.

Your support will enable us to launch our improved GravityLight – to help eliminate kerosene lamps – as well as to establish an assembly line in Kenya.

In 2014, enabled by the Indiegogo community,  we conducted global trials with over 1300 off-grid families of our first GravityLight design – GL01.

Over 90% of those who tried GravityLight said they would use one instead of a kerosene lamp!

Switching from kerosene to GravityLight starts a positive cycle of benefits – of money saved, increased productive hours and improved health.

In parallel, GravityLight eliminates the carbon dioxide and black carbon that kerosene lamps emit.

We want GravityLight to be an empowering product in every sense of the word.

As well as designing GravityLight to provide a clean, safe and affordable alternative to kerosene lamps, we also want to create local jobs, skills and livelihoods for those who make and sell GravityLights.

Although GravityLight will be available internationally, Kenya is a one of our launch markets for off-grid families. It represents a gateway to East Africa and has an emerging manufacturing industry, which we hope to help develop and grow.

Our approach is to learn from and partner with the best and we’ve found a fantastic, like-minded partner to work with in Kenya: Burn Cookstove Manufacturers.

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