Finally a lamp that would let a village child read Harry Potter late into the night …

Imagine not being able to study past sunset because that is your only source of illumination. Or if your village does have electricity it comes and goes sporadically — so inconsistently that it is borderline useless. Now imagine that all you needed to fix this problem was the simple force of gravity …

From Slashdot:

“A lamp powered by gravity has won the second prize at the Greener Gadgets Conference in NYC. From the article, “The light output will be 600-800 lumens — roughly equal to a 40-watt incandescent bulb over a period of four hours. To “turn on” the lamp, the user moves weights from the bottom to the top of the lamp. An hour glass-like mechanism is turned over and the weights are placed in the mass sled near the top of the lamp. The sled begins its gentle glide back down and, within a few seconds, the LEDs come on and light the lamp … Moulton estimates that Gravia’s mechanisms will last more than 200 years, if used eight hours a day, 365 days a year.”

This type of innovation could fundamentally change the way rural India operates, assuming it is affordable. Hopefully more updates will come about regarding the pricing strategy of the gravity lamp.


2 Responses

  1. The lack of proper lighting (proper electrical supply, I would say) in rural India, and for economically disadvantaged classes is a shameful paradox when we are talking about how India is making significant impact on the global market.
    In this context, it is hope that the new solar cell ventures being started in India will provide a cheaper and environment friendly solution to the power problem in India.

    Among others, these news links give an idea of the new upcoming scenario.

  2. I agree that attacking the energy problem via solar is a great start, but the issue here is 1) scalability, 2) storage and 3) transmission. Each one of these has its own challenges and issues, and are also susceptible to politicking and waste.

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