Continuing on from the idea that great design ‘betters lives’, I would like to introduce you to the Gravity Light.
I came across this a couple of years ago and considered it then, as I do now, a brilliant piece of design.
What is it?
So basically the gravity light is a light that is run using only gravity, amazing right? The mechanism is based on that traditionally found in standing clocks where a slowly falling weight drives the mechanism converting potential energy into kinetic. Really its surprising that no none thought to do it sooner.
All the user has to do is fill a bag with around 12kg of rubble and lift it up. This simple act then provides enough energy to run an LED for 20 minutes.
Why is it needed?
There are communities all over the world who simply can’t access electricity. Often because they live in rural villages or slums or because they simply cannot afford it. For a large number of these people the only way for them to light their homes is to use kerosene lamps (often just an old tin filled with kerosene with a rag for a wick). These lamps are extremely dangerous, harm health and are also expensive.
But without any source of light families suffer, especially children who loose their chance to study. Clearly an alternative is needed- enter the Gravity Light!
Why is it Great Design?
There are a number of reasons that I believe this to be an example of great design.
Firstly it tackles what is a very real problem. The people that designed this product were really passionate about the people they were designing it for and did extensive testing, home trails and user research and feedback in order to create the best, most efficient and user friendly product they could.
The simplicity of the idea is another thing that I think makes it great. It’s such a simple idea but also brilliant. Here is a light that runs on the most constant force on the planet. Unlike other alternatives such as a solar light or battery powered light the Gravity Light will never ‘run out’ of charge. It can be used over and over again without the user feeling like they need to limit or prioritise its use.
If you want to find out some more about the Gravity Light or the work being done by The Gravity Light Foundation check out their website: http://gravitylight.org/