Scientists at Cambridge University have developed a new LED light, that one will cost under $10.
This new LED – smaller than a U.S. penny – will last for 60 years, well beyond the lifespan of standard light bulbs or even compact florescents (CFL’s), and will retail for $3.00 each.
With the ever-growing popularity of LED lighting – from streetlamps to Christmas decorations to commercial outdoor lighting – a team led by Colin Humphreys has discovered a way to produce white LED’s from gallium nitride. Available for decades, this semiconductor has until now been expensive to produce as it’s grown on wafers of sapphire. Humphreys’ team has found a way to grow it on silicon wafers, for ten times cheaper.
“We are very close to achieving highly efficient, low-cost white LEDs that 1can take the place of both traditional and currently available low-energy light bulbs,” says Humphreys.
Among this discovery’s many advantages, these energy efficient LED’s will last 100,000 hours, necessitating a change only every 60 years. a breakthrough beyond LED’s previous capabilities for longevity.
They also don’t contain mercury, as opposed to CFL’s, and will be dimmable, an appealing characteristic to consumers.
Researchers anticipate the first affordable LED’s will be available as early as 2011, though a complete roll-out may take several years longer.