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  • Audrey Desiderato

    I live in Tanzania and my job is to finance solar companies. Lighting is nice, but it's not enough. Solar manufacturers are finding that mobile phone charging is becoming a minimum requirement - you still get light with Kerosene, but you can't charge your phone. Moreover, people living off the grid are aspiring for more than just a little light, they want a modern lifestyle. This includes multiple lights, the ability to power phones, radio, TVs (and eventually refrigeration). I do think the technology is cool, but I question whether it can be commercially viable and really make a difference in people's lives (by making something they truly value).

  • Roy Sydiaha

    Fantastic idea. Can the headline read "... to replace kerosene lamps in Africa", or some such thing? I believe we have grown past such diminutive labels as 'developing'. Goodness knows the peoples of Africa are far more developed in some areas as others in the world who have hard wired electricity in their homes. Would we discuss teaching ancient African rhythm and dance to the 'developing world' of Europe, for example, the peoples of which have barely moved past the waltz and polka rhythmically? Cheers, Roy Sydiaha, Canada, another rhythmically underdeveloped nation.

  • Cameron Robertson

    It looks as if the days of battery storage are over with this new design of gravity-powered lighting. Costing under $5 to manufacture and a long life, it sounds perfect for those with no electricity grid to connect to. This kind of light would be beneficial in all sorts of situations, including camping and in poorer and isolated communities. Well done to you and I hope you success in the future, you’ve obviously worked hard at this project and deserve congratulations. Obviously from the above comments there is a lot of interest already.

  • Paul Wilson

    Nice idea but the implicit comparison with solar power is misleading. 1 kW of power corresponds to generation of 1kj of energy per second, which is enough to lift 10kg by 1 metre - every second! A single kWh of energy, costing 30c or so, would lift a 36t weight by 1 metre; so a single 1 kW panel producing a meager 5 kWh of energy in one day would achieve feat this 5 times over. Which puts this so called "food-power" into perspective, and also explains why gravitational storage of energy has never made much sense.

    I'm sure this device does have its applications; but it does the same the same job as a toy solar light, with a small panel, a small battery and an LED - a device worth a few dollars, and having no moving parts to maintain.

  • Ken Williams

    Here in the first world, it would work really great as a self-turning-off nightlight in my kids' room. Right now they have a battery-powered LED light with a timer, but they keep turning the timer to the "stay on" position and the thing stays on all night, wearing the batteries down & degrading their sleep.

  • Kecia Waddell

    Blinking BRILLIANT, gentlemen... heading to Indiegogo now to contribute!!

  • Bob Munck

    Fine, but it kind of makes me crazy that it's NOT POWERED BY GRAVITY! It's powered by lifting the weight, the same thing that powers grandfather clocks. "Food-powered" would be more accurate than "gravity-powered."

    • Ken Williams

      It's not food-powered. The food was created by people farming & preparing that food, and the food was ultimately formed by plants harnessing solar energy for photosynthesis. The solar energy came from the sun. So this is a nuclear-powered lamp. Fusion, no less!

      • Bob Munck

        "Fusion, no less!"

        Well, sure; most of our energy comes from solar fusion, though not all of it in our sun. Transport mechanisms include fossil fuels, rain, and radioactives. A case can be made that one form -- tidal -- comes not from solar but from the momentum created by the Big Bang.

        But it certainly isn't gravity.

        • Toby Sterling

          A little pedantic, Bob, it's a good news story. All energy derives from the Big Bang. Can't we just settle for proximate causation and move on?

  • Finley

    I want one or two for my disaster preparedness kit. Which may offer a way to help fund these. I'd pay $20 to have a light in my kit that will WORK, and isn't just a place to store dead batteries. I imagine it would be a hit with the camping community. Maybe REI would be interested in carrying them... Just a thought.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    When I was in Ghana, there was a need for this everywhere because towns would only get light on certain days of the week. It would be amazing if this program could work with study abroad programs, like SIT to further develop and distribute this.

  • Paul Coleman

    This is a great idea. I wish you well on this and would love to have one here in Patagonia. Revolutionary!

  • Kris Moe

    Glad to see they raised first level of funding to keep improving it.

  • Sage Jollofsky

    Awesome idea! Would make a good camp light/ travel light too!

  • Ben Goldhirsh

    kind of awesome to see energy innovation funded through fundraising innovation.