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Cambridge Boffins invent £2 energy saving lightbulb with a 60-year lifecycle

Release date: 11/02/2009

Cambridge University scientists have developed an energy saving lightbulb that will cost just £2 and will last for 60 years.

The bulb is three times more energy efficient than today's best alternative and can cut lighting bills by 75 per cent. Scientists have developed the bulb using Gallium Nitride (GaN), a man-made substance used in LEDs (light emitting diodes), which is also used in lights for bikes mobile phones and camera flashes.

Until recently, the production costs have been too expensive for its widespread use, with a single bulb costing around £20. However, the researchers have found an inexpensive technique to manufacture the bulbs. Manufacturers have begun work on production prototypes and the first bulbs could well be on the shelves within two years.

The bulbs are 12 times more efficient that conventional tungsten and three times more efficient than compact fluorescent "energy efficient" bulbs. They 100,000 hours burn time, light up instantly and can be dimmed Ė which is something energy efficient bulbs canít do.

There would be the potential to cut the proportion of UK electricity used for lights from 20 per cent to 5 per cent a year if all homes and offices installed them.

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