Researchers say low-cost, longer-life graphene light bulb coming this year

A lightbulb with that costs less to make, has lower energy emissions and lasts longer  than even LEDs is expected to go on sale later this year.

Researchers at the University of Manchester and the U.K's National Graphene Institute (NGI) said the light bulb is made out of graphene, a material that's 200 times stronger than steel and a million times thinner than human hair.

The bulb contains an LED light that's shaped like a incandescent bulb's filament, but that's coated in graphene's carbon nanotube fibers.

Expected to go on sale in late 2015, the new graphene bulb will be dimable just like any incandescent light, and it will be sold at a "competitive" price by Graphene Lighting PLC, a U.K. company that spun off from the university.

Neither the university nor the NGI cited any figures related to the bulb's light output or lifespan, saying only that it would last longer than LEDs and be cheaper to make.

There are currently more than 35 companies partnering with the NGI. In 2017, the University will open the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), which will accelerate the process of bringing products to market.

"This lightbulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little more than a decade after it was first isolated - a very short time in scientific terms," Colin Bailey, deputy president of the University of Manchester, said in a statement.

"This is just the start. Our partners are looking at a range of exciting applications, all of which started right here in Manchester. It is very exciting that the NGI has launched its first product despite barely opening its doors yet," Bailey said.


Lucas Mearian

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