The second generation of a deciwatt gravity-powered lamp designed by the British industrial designers behind the Psion computer keyboard was launched today.

Few innovations we cover can claim to save lives, but this just might be one of them. The $5 Gravity Light, designed by London’s Therefore Inc, offers the world’s poorest a clean alternative to burning kerosene or biomass for lighting or radios.

The clever bit is a winch that unwinds incredibly slowly, but steadily enough to provide a low but usable voltage. The lamp was first featured here in 2012.

The second generation adds solar power and a rechargeable battery. The latter may be surprising – co-designer Jim Reeves said short-lived and costly rechargeable batteries were far from ideal. But things change, and the ability to store the energy is useful.

Source: Grab your lamp, you’ve pulled: Brits punt life-saving gravity-powered light