Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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UK Produces World's First Light Bulbs made from Graphene

Graphene light bulb

(Photo : University of Manchester) Sir Konstantin Novoselov showing UK Chancellor George Osborne the graphene light bulb

Light bulbs made from that wonder substance called graphene might herald an early death for the LED (light emitting diode) lights that are the most popular form of lighting in the world.

The graphene light bulbs will go on sale in the United Kingdom by the end of this year. They're the first commercially viable consumer product using graphene, a super-strong carbon with many extraordinary properties.

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Graphene conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency and is about 100 times stronger than steel by weight. It was discovered only in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, two Russian-born scientists at the University of Manchester, who were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics and knighthoods.

The dimmable graphene bulb contains a filament-shaped LED coated in graphene. It was designed at Manchester University, where the material was discovered by Geim and Novoselov.

Developers of the graphene bulb said the product cuts energy use by 10 percent and lasts longer because of its better conductivity. It's expected to be priced lower than some LED bulbs sold in the UK.

The graphene light bulb was developed by a Canadian-financed company called Graphene Lighting, one of whose directors is Prof Colin Bailey, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester, said 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", said Prof. Bailey.

British researchers are now working to develop other practical and commercial uses for graphene, including lighter but stronger car and aircraft frames and false teeth. The material is already being used in tennis rackets and skis.

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