SatLights connect to the main GravityLight unit, transforming it from a single ambient light to offer multiple points of light, spreading light around a room or home. These can be hung high for room lighting or lower for a more focused task light. But how and why have they developed?
The pulley has preformed as our engineers anticipated, completely controlling the bead cord throughout the entirety of the bag ‘lift’ and ‘drop’ – leaving no potential for the cord to get itself into a tangle.
The benefits of GravityLight are clear - it is independent of batteries, doesn’t rely on the weather, it doesn’t need to be pre-charged outside at risk of theft, and it saves people money previously spent on kerosene lamps. However, designing a distribution strategy that clearly communicates this is a big job, especially with a technology that is new and unknown.
Caroline has been busy gathering feedback from the off-grid families that have been set up with GravityLight, gaining valuable insights on their experiences with using it. Last weekend we revisited Halima Mumba and her family to see how they were getting on with their GravityLight.
A little over a week ago, Caroline returned to Kenya to connect with several organisations who are trialling samples of GravityLight with sales agents and off-grid families. This weekly blog will provide you with the latest updates on the trip.
GravityLight has been put through rigorous testing over the past few months, both in our workshop and out in the field. As the tests progressed, they turned up an issue with the bead cord. Read more about the solutions we have found to combat these problems and the improvements we have consequently made to GravityLight.
See footage of our Kenya focus groups which have helped us gain insights on how to tailor our packaging, communications and understanding of under electrified households in Kenya.
In December, Caroline took the first SLA prototype along with these packaging and instruction guides out to Kenya to gather feedback from 40 men and women living with little, if any electricity around Nairobi county.
Following meticulous testing of the CNC machined GL02 prototypes, we since commissioned injection moulds for each component and received the first batch to start accelerated life testing of these across Christmas and into 2016.
With the arrival of new prototypes of the GL02 design, we are testing and assessing their durability and performance over time. Having developed a bespoke Accelerated Life Testing rig, we’re able to condense one year of use - four hours times by 365 days – into two months of non-stop running.
LED testing and selection has formed a large part of our recent development work. When trying to select GravityLight’s LED, there were a number of physical properties that were important to consider.
Families who tested GL01 shared invaluable feedback on what needed improving before we could launch GravityLight. These insights have driven the development of GL02 over the past 18 months.
Working with organisations and individuals across 26 different countries; a breadth that would give us insights into a range of communities and climates, we were able to trial over 1300 GravityLight units with off-grid households to prove the concept and understand its potential.
Not only did the crowd-funding dramatically change the scale of our intended production run, it also gave us the opportunity to further refine the product before sending to crowdfunders and testing around the world.
In November 2012, with a working prototype in hand, the next step was raising funds to product 1000 units to test the GravityLight concept with households reliant on kerosene for light. Martin and Jim looked to the crowd for support...
In 2009, therefore, an award-winning design consultancy was approached by SolarAid, a UK charity with a mission to eradicate kerosene lamps. The team at SolarAid wanted to develop an extremely low-cost solar light, in order to reach off-grid families living on less than $3 a day.
Designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves took on the challenge