Most of us are used to light at the flick of a switch. But in Kenya, 80% of people have no access to electricity and are dependent on dangerous kerosene lamps for light and cooking. Start-up GravityLight set out to tackle this issue by developing an affordable and safe light that can be powered with just a bag of rocks.

For millions of people in Kenya who are dependent on kerosene lamps to light their homes, schools, and businesses at night, the open flames and fumes can be dangerous – especially for the children using them to do homework by. Buying kerosene canisters is also a costly expense for many families.

GravityLight saw these challenges and set about creating a light that is safer, cleaner, comes with no reoccurring costs, and can work without electricity. The solution the start-up arrived at is a simple device using only the weight of a bag of rocks and the power of gravity to power its LED bulbs.

In October 2016, Shell and GravityLight set off on a 50 Night Tour through Kenya to bring the light to off-grid communities around the country. The tour aimed to educate locals about the device, as well as allow Shell and GravityLight the opportunity to learn how people are using the light to help make a difference in their lives.

It might seem like a small solution, but it’s one that could have a big impact.

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