2013 Invention Awards Ballast Bulb A household lamp powered by a bag of rocks More than 780 million people rely on kerosene to light their homes But the fuel is pricey and is toxic when burned not to mention a fire hazard In 2008 London based product designer Martin Riddiford and his colleague Jim Reeves decided to create a cheap safe alternative Riddiford knew a falling weight could produce enough energy to run a grandfather clock so why not a light To find out he attached the crank of a wind up flashlight to a bicycle wheel He hung a weight from the wheel to cause it to spin the wheel cranked the flashlight and the device lit up Over the next four years Riddiford Reeves and a small team spent their downtime between projects in a basement refining the GravityLight To use it a person hangs the device and fills an attached fabric bag with up to 28 pounds of rocks dirt or other material Lifting and releasing the bag steadily pulls a notched belt through GravityLight s plastic hub the belt spins a series of gears to drive a small motor which continuously powers an LED for about 30 minutes The team used crowdfunding to manufacture 1 000 GravityLights which it plans to send to developing countries for field testing plus 6 000 more for backers It s exciting to witness so much positive reaction to what we re doing Riddiford says Besides remote villages the lamp could prove handy in campsites closets and any dark nook far from a socket so Riddiford also hopes to license a retail version for less than 10 GravityLight Graham Murdoch HOW IT WORKS 1 As a weighted bag descends it tugs a belt to turn a series of plastic gears 2 The gears work in unison to spin an electric motor 3 The motor powers a small yet bright LED providing continuous illumination for about 30 minutes the maximum amount of time that the bag can take to descend 4 External connectors can power low voltage devices and the entire system is designed to work for thousands of lift and drop cycles INVENTORS Jim Reeves Martin Riddiford COMPANY Therefore INVENTION GravityLight

2013 Invention Awards: Ballast Bulb

A household lamp powered by a bag of rocks.

More than 780 million people rely on kerosene to light their homes. But the fuel is pricey and is toxic when burned—not to mention a fire hazard. In 2008, London-based product designer Martin Riddiford and his colleague Jim Reeves decided to create a cheap, safe alternative.

Riddiford knew a falling weight could produce enough energy to run a grandfather clock, so why not a light? To find out, he attached the crank of a wind-up flashlight to a bicycle wheel. He hung a weight from the wheel to cause it to spin; the wheel cranked the flashlight, and the device lit up.
Over the next four years, Riddiford, Reeves, and a small team spent their downtime between projects in a basement, refining the GravityLight. To use it, a person hangs the device and fills an attached fabric bag with up to 28 pounds of rocks, dirt, or other material. Lifting and releasing the bag steadily pulls a notched belt through GravityLight’s plastic hub; the belt spins a series of gears to drive a small motor, which continuously powers an LED for about 30 minutes.

The team used crowdfunding to manufacture 1,000 GravityLights, which it plans to send to developing countries for field testing—plus 6,000 more for backers. “It’s exciting to witness so much positive reaction to what we’re doing,” Riddiford says. Besides remote villages, the lamp could prove handy in campsites, closets, and any dark nook far from a socket, so Riddiford also hopes to license a retail version for less than $10.

GravityLight:  Graham Murdoch

HOW IT WORKS
1) As a weighted bag descends, it tugs a belt to turn a series of plastic gears.
2) The gears work in unison to spin an electric motor.
3) The motor powers a small yet bright LED, providing continuous illumination for about 30 minutes—the maximum amount of time that the bag can take to descend.
4) External connectors can power low-voltage devices, and the entire system is designed to work for thousands of lift-and-drop cycles.

INVENTORS : Jim Reeves, Martin Riddiford
COMPANY : Therefore
INVENTION : GravityLight

2013 Invention Awards: Ballast Bulb

A household lamp powered by a bag of rocks.

More than 780 million people rely on kerosene to light their homes. But the fuel is pricey and is toxic when burned—not to mention a fire hazard. In 2008, London-based product designer Martin Riddiford and his colleague Jim Reeves decided to create a cheap, safe alternative.

Riddiford knew a falling weight could produce enough energy to run a grandfather clock, so why not a light? To find out, he attached the crank of a wind-up flashlight to a bicycle wheel. He hung a weight from the wheel to cause it to spin; the wheel cranked the flashlight, and the device lit up.
Over the next four years, Riddiford, Reeves, and a small team spent their downtime between projects in a basement, refining the GravityLight. To use it, a person hangs the device and fills an attached fabric bag with up to 28 pounds of rocks, dirt, or other material. Lifting and releasing the bag steadily pulls a notched belt through GravityLight’s plastic hub; the belt spins a series of gears to drive a small motor, which continuously powers an LED for about 30 minutes.

The team used crowdfunding to manufacture 1,000 GravityLights, which it plans to send to developing countries for field testing—plus 6,000 more for backers. “It’s exciting to witness so much positive reaction to what we’re doing,” Riddiford says. Besides remote villages, the lamp could prove handy in campsites, closets, and any dark nook far from a socket, so Riddiford also hopes to license a retail version for less than $10.

GravityLight: Graham Murdoch

HOW IT WORKS
1) As a weighted bag descends, it tugs a belt to turn a series of plastic gears.
2) The gears work in unison to spin an electric motor.
3) The motor powers a small yet bright LED, providing continuous illumination for about 30 minutes—the maximum amount of time that the bag can take to descend.
4) External connectors can power low-voltage devices, and the entire system is designed to work for thousands of lift-and-drop cycles.

INVENTORS : Jim Reeves, Martin Riddiford
COMPANY : Therefore
INVENTION : GravityLight

2013 Invention Awards: Ballast Bulb A household lamp powered by a bag of rocks. More than 780 million people rely on kerosene to light their homes. But the fuel is pricey and is toxic when burned—not to mention a fire hazard. In 2008, London-based product designer Martin Riddiford and his colleague Jim Reeves decided to create a cheap, safe alternative. Riddiford knew a falling weight could produce enough energy to run a grandfather clock, so why not a light? To find out, he attached the crank of a wind-up flashlight to a bicycle wheel. He hung a weight from the wheel to cause it to spin; the wheel cranked the flashlight, and the device lit up. Over the next four years, Riddiford, Reeves, and a small team spent their downtime between projects in a basement, refining the GravityLight. To use it, a person hangs the device and fills an attached fabric bag with up to 28 pounds of rocks, dirt, or other material. Lifting and releasing the bag steadily pulls a notched belt through GravityLight’s plastic hub; the belt spins a series of gears to drive a small motor, which continuously powers an LED for about 30 minutes. The team used crowdfunding to manufacture 1,000 GravityLights, which it plans to send to developing countries for field testing—plus 6,000 more for backers. “It’s exciting to witness so much positive reaction to what we’re doing,” Riddiford says. Besides remote villages, the lamp could prove handy in campsites, closets, and any dark nook far from a socket, so Riddiford also hopes to license a retail version for less than $10. GravityLight: Graham Murdoch HOW IT WORKS 1) As a weighted bag descends, it tugs a belt to turn a series of plastic gears. 2) The gears work in unison to spin an electric motor. 3) The motor powers a small yet bright LED, providing continuous illumination for about 30 minutes—the maximum amount of time that the bag can take to descend. 4) External connectors can power low-voltage devices, and the entire system is designed to work for thousands of lift-and-drop cycles. INVENTORS : Jim Reeves, Martin Riddiford COMPANY : Therefore INVENTION : GravityLight

Let's Connect

sm2p0