Well, based on the calculator at http://convert-to.com/159/energy-units.html 100 ft-lb = 135.58 J, and by my calculations a 3V LED powered by a 100% efficient generator that draws 20 mA will stay lit for 37.7 minutes. I would estimate for the 3-LED system shown with a 50% efficient power conversion system would give about 6 minutes of light per 5 foot 100 pound lift. That is some big bag to hold 100 lb. The Gravity Light web page talks about a 20-pound weight, and says 18 to 30 minutes of light output per lift. I agree something seems a little off...
There was an article on this at The Register a few weeks ago: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/12/deciwatt_gravity_light/
One advantage of this device is that, other than the LEDs (I think), it is relatively low tech and could be mostly manufactured or at least assembled locally (an economic advantage, not just a hand-out but partly a hand-up) and quite possibly maintained/repaired locally.
I still think that the child-powered (merry-go-round) water well pumps are a little more clever in terms of exploiting an abundant energy source and providing fun.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.