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|A £2 energy-saving light bulb that
lasts for 60 years has been developed by scientists at Cambridge
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
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
However, using funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council, the researchers found a cheaper technique to help
manufacture the bulbs. Manufacturers have already begun work on
production prototypes and the first units could hit shelves within
Professor Colin Humphrey, head of the centre, said: "This could well
be the holy grail in terms of providing our lighting needs for the
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.