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Graphene lightbulbs hitting shops this year

Graphene bulbs, promising a 10 per cent saving on energy bills, are due to hit the shelves this year. 

The bulbs were developed by a company called Graphene Lighting and will reportedly be cheaper than the LED bulbs, which can go for as little as £3.70, you can buy today.  

Graphene Lighting was co-founded by Professor Colin Bailey, deputy vice chancellor at the University of Manchester, where the bulbs were put through their paces. 

The team found that a filament-shaped LED coated in graphene, an incredibly durable, ultra-lightweight material, lasted significantly longer than regular LED light bulbs. Due to the material’s superconductive properties, the graphene bulbs used less energy is required to light up a room. 

Professor Bailey, told 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.”

The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute was opened by George Osborne last week and the government has invested £38 million in the place, in the hope of making it the UK a leading light in the field of graphene-related research. 35 companies have already agreed to partner the University on projects involving the product. 

Eventually, graphene bulbs could be paired with emerging technologies like LiFi. The Edinburgh-based start up PureLiFi is currently developing hardware that will allow for data to be transmitted over visible light. 

With a LiFi-enabled LED bulb, users will be able to plug a Li-Flame dongle into their laptops and take some of the strain off of congested home WiFi networks. 

PureLiFi has suggested that the first LiFi bulbs could go on sale by 2016/7, but there’s no clear date for when this technology will arrive in people’s homes. 

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