Feb 19 2008Man Creates Lamp Powered By Gravity


2007 Virginia Tech graduate Clay Moulton recently won second place in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition in New York City for the Gravia gravity lamp. According to my dictionary gravity is defined as "The natural force of attraction between the earth and my penis that makes it drag on the ground when I walk."

The lamp's electricity is generated by the slow fall of a mass that spins a rotor. The resulting energy powers 10 high-output LEDs that fire into the acrylic lens, creating a diffuse light. The operation is silent and the housing is elegant and cord free -- completely independent of electrical infrastructure.

To activate the lamp you simply move the weights from the bottom to the top, where they start their 4 hour trip down the tube. The light output will be close to that of a 40-watt incandescent bulb and Moulton estimates the device could have a lifespan in excess of 200 years (with the LEDs being the first components to go). A patent is currently pending for the lamp, and I hope to see them on shelves soon. And you know what else I hope to see on shelves soon? Girlscout cookies. It's annoying how you have to wait for the scouts to come around selling them. I think I missed them this year. I need those things damnit. The wife is getting very bent out of shape without her thin mints. Shes says she'll kill me if I can't produce a box by the end of the week.

Greener Gadgets Design Competition [core77]
Virginia Tech News Story

Thanks to Kathleen, who appreciates awesome green gadgets, for the tip

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Reader Comments

If someone has to move the weights from bottom to top then it's powered by people not gravity - duh.

I have to have several of these or I will die.

dude go to a college campus. those girlscouts are all over the place selling cookies!

Your comments on cookies almost distracted me from the awesomeness of this lamp. I just wish it put out more light... 100watts, or even 60 would be nice. This is super rad.

Well, Newton, by that logic, a car is powered by your feet, not the engine.

Technically speaking, it's been designed - not created.

well Edison, my car is powered by my feet AND gravity. A little push to get it started rolling down driveway, and then gravity takes over. Sure, it's tough getting it back up the driveway, but it's worth it just to have a "green alternative fuel" car.

did you look at the other entries in the competition. most of them suck.
the "kill-a-watt" egg timer for your pc - for people who don't know about hibernate mode.
the "fold-it" - for people who like oragami and technology. now if only someone else will invent the tech part
the "ALightKitchen" - for people who like the Jetsons. Just don't ask how anything works.

I personally like the "KRANK". Screw gravity, this lamps works like a Model-T

#1: Don't disgrace Newton's name like that, by commenting as you did. #5's right.

In any case, the lamp is awesome, and I want two per room...if calculated based on where I live that's...(thinking)...how many rooms does a large cardboard box have?? If calculated using a more aesthetically pleasing home, then I'd say 14 lamps. I hope they're affordable.

#8: Luddites...I guess the kill-a-watt people didn't know about a program that came out many years ago called WinDown. It does the same thing.

@7 Einstein, your dad left a few things out in the home training. My dad told me to put the car in second gear and let off on the clutch at about 25 mph (downhill) and the car started every time. The car was already running when I returned home so it went uphill fairly easily. My dad said, "if there's a gas shortage, why are they still mowing the medians?".

@11 - my father was killed in 'Nam when I was a baby. But thanks for bringing up the painful memories.

a) you assume my car is a stick. it's an automatic.
b) you assume the problem is that it won't start. the problem is that the it's a piece of shit car that doesn't run. I just push it all day long, or rely on gravity when possible.

and I stop the car a la Fred Flintstone (thank god for the rusted out floor off the car). Man are my feet sore.

This is a first prize winning invention and was only made 2nd place to push it into obscurity.

are y'all stupid or illiterate?

"Gravia is an LED-lit floorlamp energized by people. To light Gravia, the user places a mass approximately 48" above the ground, that, in falling, powers a mechanism, generating electricity. Gravia harnesses the potential energy imparted by the user, rather than relying on any existing electrical infrastructure."

keebler makes cookies that are complete rip offs of (taste exactly like) girl scout cookies:

From Wikipedia: Keebler is a leading licensed supplier of Girl Scout Cookies, which may be why Thin Mints taste similar to Keebler's Grasshopper cookies.

There's also a few other kinds that are similar to GS types. Go to your grocery store and check it out.

hell and yeah.

he powered a light bulb with gravity and got 2nd place?

who won first?!

The Girl Scout cookies just came in. There regular price is $3 a box, but since there is such a demand. I'll sell them for $6 a box, plus shipping...

Great idea - where can I invest? 4 hour lifetime is great, if it was like 20 minutes it would be annoying. But seems like it would actually be useful.

@17 it's NOT powered by gravity

people are powered by breakfast, which god cooks on the sun. this is really just a solar-powered workout machine that lets you see your muscles get bigger.


"I just wish it put out more light... 100watts, or even 60 would be nice."


You know how much power the proposed setup generates?

((22.5 kg) * (1 m) * (9.8 (m / (s^2)))) / (4 hours) = 0.0153125 watts.

You know how much light you can generate from 0.015 watts, assuming a perfect light generator from space (700 lumens/watt - that's eight times as much as even the best LED known to man)?

10.5 lumens.

Less than a birthday candle.

If marketers are listening out there in internet land, I want one (but 60 watts please)

This lamp breaks the laws of physics and would be impossible to create. All of you except 23 are really, really stupid and gullible, to boot.

Reminds me of the system they use near my parent's house. When the grid is on off-peak hours the nearby power plant pumps water into a large reservoir up on the mountain and during peak hours it uses the water to turn turbines to supply more power. This idea reminds me of the grandfather clocks with the weights that need to be reset to keep it going. My family had one growing up and I figured this idea of using it to power something like a lamp would have already been realized. Cool thing though.

If you can figure out a way to pay me $5, I will gladly send you a box of Girl scout cookies wherever. The exclusivity is part of the marketing. No you can't just go buy them at the store tomorrow dammit, you need to commit immediately and behold people do. My daughter moved like 160 boxes this year and we have some extras left, but act fast because you have missed the boat .

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