A product using graphene – a light bulb coated in the much-hyped material – will be commercially available for the first time in the near future.
The graphene light bulb — which reportedly will reduce electricity use by around 10%, and will last longer than a conventional LED bulb — is currently expected to go on sale later this year for around £15 a pop.
The improved performance of the dimmable bulb is reportedly due to the increased conductivity (electricity + heat) accompanying the use of graphene. The design was the work of a company dubbed Graphene Lighting — which has as one of its directors the deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester, Professor Colin Bailey.
Professor Bailey noted in an interview with the BBC: “The graphene light bulb will use less energy. We expect it to last longer. The manufacturing costs are lower and it uses more and more sustainable components.”
Considering that graphene was first “discovered” by researchers at the University of Manchester — researchers (and Nobel Prize winners) Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, back in 2004 — the launch by a company associated with those at the university makes sense.
As it stands, over 35 different companies (from all over the world) currently have development partnerships with the university concerning technologies/products utilizing graphene — from use in solar PV cells, to electric vehicles, to energy storage. While there’s a great deal of hype surrounding the use of graphene, economical use of the technology is still something of an open question — as it is somewhat expensive for the time being and challenging tomanufacture. Though, improvements in that regard are reportedly fast approaching.
Image credit: University of Manchester