The long wait for a viable product made of the ultra-strong, super-thin carbon nanosheet- graphene, is finally over. Scientists from University of Manchester, UK, the birthplace of the wonder material, designed a light bulb, which has a filament-shaped LED, covered in graphene. The product was developed by a company called Graphene Lighting, with a deputy director the vice-chancellor at the University, Prof. Colin Bailey.
According to the developers, the use of graphene reduces the energy consumption of the bulb by 10%, and thanks to the incredible conductivity of the material, the LED bulb can last much longer than its conventional competitors.
The product is expected to hit the UK market later on this year, and it will sell at a price of £15 (~EUR20, US$22) per unit. It has a traditional light bulb design, but it is made of numerous very sustainable components, at a much lower manufacturing costs compared to other LED light bulbs.
More than a decade since the discovery of the wonder material by two Russian scientists at University of Manchester, numerous scientific and engineering teams have tried to put it in a viable commercial product. The ultimate goal has always been to develop super strong cars or vehicles, but many have tried integrating it in solar cells, fuel cells, even in creating an alternative plastics.
To date, none of these products has made it to the shelves, making the graphene-LED light bulb a truly revolutionary technology. But the inventors have no intentions of stopping here. The opening of a new Graphene Institute earlier this month as part of University of Manchester, and the governmental boost of £38m (EUR 52m, US$56.4m), suggest that other technologies are on their way.
Image (c) University of Manchester