Cambridge scientists figure out way to make 60yr lightbulb cheaply

In summary, researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient and 12 times more efficient than conventional bulbs. It uses Gallium Nitride and has a lifetime of 100,000 hours. The production costs have been reduced and manufacturers are working on prototypes. If installed, it could significantly reduce the electricity usage for lighting. However, there are concerns about the actual effectiveness of the bulbs and the breakthrough may be in the substrate material used.
  • #1
fourier jr
very cool. i wonder if there's a catch:
The researchers have designed a bulb that is three times more energy efficient than today's best offer and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent.

The bulbs are made using Gallium Nitride (GaN), a man-made substance used in LEDs (light emitting diodes). It is routinely used in bike lights, mobile phones and camera flashes.

But until now the production costs have been too expensive for widespread use in homes and offices - a single bulb would have cost £20.

However, the researchers have found a cheaper technique to help manufacture the bulbs and manufacturers have begun work on production prototypes. The first units could hit shelves within two years.

Professor Colin Humphrey, head of the centre, said: "This could well be the holy grail in terms of providing our lighting needs for the future."

The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten bulbs and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent "energy efficient" bulbs.

They can burn for 100,000 hours and they illuminate instantly and can be dimmed, unlike energy efficient bulbs.

If they were installed in every home and office the bulbs could cut the proportion of UK electricity used for lights from 20 per cent to 5 per cent a year.
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  • #2
This just in: manufacturers found that 60 year light bulbs don't work as claimed.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled: throw it away after a month and buy another one program.

lol. if I were a manufacturer, why the hell would I praise this?
  • #3
Long lifetime GaN LEDs are not new - they've been around for about a decade (and most of them haven't died yet).

I think the breakthrough is likely in the substrate material. So far, GaN on sapphire has worked well, but the sapphire substrates are not cheap. There are a bunch of groups that have been trying to grow GaN on a cheaper substrate (like Si). My first guess would be that's what the Cambridge group figured out.

Related to Cambridge scientists figure out way to make 60yr lightbulb cheaply

What is the significance of Cambridge scientists figuring out a way to make a 60-year lightbulb cheaply?

The significance is that it could dramatically increase the lifespan of lightbulbs, leading to cost savings and reduced waste.

How did the Cambridge scientists achieve this breakthrough?

The scientists used a new type of material called gallium nitride, which is more durable and efficient than traditional materials used in lightbulbs.

Will this technology be available for consumer use soon?

It is currently being tested in commercial settings, but it may take some time before it is available for consumer use.

What are the potential environmental benefits of this technology?

By extending the lifespan of lightbulbs, this technology could reduce the amount of waste produced by traditional lightbulbs, which often contain harmful chemicals.

Are there any potential downsides to this technology?

One potential downside is that the initial cost of the new lightbulbs may be higher than traditional ones, but the long-term cost savings would likely outweigh this. There may also be concerns about the disposal of the new lightbulbs, as they may contain rare earth elements that can be harmful to the environment if not properly disposed of.

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