Our Co-Inventors, Jim and Martin, have been working on GravityLight since 2009. Following several years of product development, testing, and user feedback, we are piloting GravityLight in Kenya. Read on to find out how GravityLight has developed and grown over time.
The aim was to create a sustainable alternative to kerosene lamps.
Designers Martin Riddiford and Jim Reeves took on the challenge. After realising that batteries and photovoltaic (PV) panels were two thirds of the cost, they decided to look beyond solar and battery-powered devices.
This led to the invention of GravityLight – the first of its kind.
In November 2012, Martin and Jim had a working prototype. The next step was to prove the concept in real-world environments.
Crowdfunding was needed to support the tooling, manufacture and distribution of GravityLights to off-grid families in Africa and Asia. Their feedback would then be used to develop an improved model, for large scale production.
Within 30 days, the crowdfunding campaign had raised more than seven times the original funding target! Over 6219 generous supporters had raised $399,590.
This incredible support allowed us to field test GravityLight across 26 different countries.
The results were extremely encouraging… over 90% of people said they would use a GravityLight instead of a kerosene lamp.
They also shared invaluable feedback on what needed improving before we could launch GravityLight.
After extensive improvements and accelerated life testing we have developed an improved model, GravityLight GL02.
The improvements made include ensuring:
We ran another crowdfunding campaign in 2015 to enable us to pilot our improved product in Kenya.
Thanks to this amazing support we will be able to understand the best route to market and sustainable commercial strategy for GravityLight in Kenya. This will prepare GravityLight for scaling within Kenya and to neighbouring countries.
The pilot will achieve this through trialling local sales and distribution of 3000 GravityLights in Kenya and conducting detailed market research and impact assessments. The pilot is supporting the local economy by providing employment for local operations and sales people.
At the conclusion of the Kenya pilot, we aim to scale up GravityLight internationally to reach the more than 1 billion people living without electricity.