Last month, we had enumerated eight potential commercial applications of the one-atom thick carbon allotrope – graphene. Well, this time around, University of Manchester researchers have collaborated with Graphene Lighting PLC to showcase an actual application of graphene – the world’s very first graphene light bulb. Envisioned to have greater efficiency than regular LED bulbs, the contraption might even be cheaper and environmentally friendly than its lighting ‘peers’. And, the best part about this breakthrough pertains to the big chance that such a graphene light bulb might make its commercial debut within a matter of months.
It should however be noted that the graphene light bulb is a variant of the LED bulb, since it entails a conventional LED component that is coated with a layer of graphene. This in turn dissipates the head generated from the actual LED, thus making the bulb last longer while consuming less energy (around 10 percent less). When translated to monetary terms, the graphene bulb could cost as less as $20. As Professor Colin Bailey, deputy vice chancellor at the University of Manchester, said –
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. This is just the start. Our partners are looking at a range of exciting applications, all of which started right here in Manchester.
Now interestingly, in terms of practicality, graphene has never been manufactured in a mass commercial scale. However, this predicament can be traversed by the light bulbs in question – given the contraptions require very low quantities of the allotrope, which can make the commercial process feasible. But other specific details of the projects are still kept under wraps. So, until the end of this year (probably), we might have to keep our fingers crossed for a retail version of the graphene light bulb.