Most of us are used to turning on lights with 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 by developing an affordable and safe light that can be powered with just a bag of rocks. 

The open flames and fumes of kerosene lamps can be dangerous, especially for the children using them for homework or to study. Buying kerosene canisters is also a costly expense for many families.

GravityLight set about creating light that is safer, cleaner and has no recurring costs. Its solution is a simple device using only the weight of a bag of rocks and the power of gravity to power its light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

In October 2016, Shell and GravityLight embarked on a 50-night tour through Kenya to bring its lights to off-grid communities around the country. The tour educated locals about the device, as well as gave 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. Yet it is one that could have a big impact.

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In Shell, we believe the answers to tomorrow’s energy challenges lie in the power of people’s ingenuity, and that together we can #makethefuture today.