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When I was in the airlines years ago, I had the chance to visit many different lands…some rich and developed and some, not so. I remember sitting in the coach that would take me to the airport, late at night. One of these countries was India. At night, the roads are pitch-black because there are very few street lamps. I seemed to have taken, and I think I still do, Singapore’s excellent infrastructure for granted. But back to my tale. Sometimes, when the coach used to stop at traffic lights, there could be seen in the distance, some small village house and it was plain to see that they were using kerosene lanterns. The same scene presented itself to me when I was in Indonesia…houses lit with kerosene lanterns or pressure lamps. With these memories in mind yesterday, I searched the Internet for alternative light sources. Then I came across this GravityLight and I thought to myself…what an excellent idea!

This looks like it is the whole package. According to their website:

GravityLight is a revolutionary new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free. Following the initial inspiration of using gravity, and years of perspiration, we have refined the design and it is now ready for production. We need your help to fund the tooling, manufacture and distribution of at least 1000 gravity powered lights. We will gift them to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly. The follow-up research will tell us how well the lights met their needs, and enable us to refine the design for a more efficient MK2 version. Once we have proved the design, we will be looking to link with NGOs and partners to distribute it as widely as possible. When mass-produced the target cost for this light is less than $5.

Looks pretty good doesn’t it? Check out the website. There is a video there that shows the light and how it works. A remarkable idea, something similar to the Baygen Radios from back in the day. I will be interested in getting one and last I checked, they will be completing the design and development by April 2013. You can check them out at the Deciwatt homepage. I see tremendous potential in these lights

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