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United Kingdom Technology Science

Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon 169

An anonymous reader writes: A light bulb made from graphene — said by its UK developers to be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super-strong carbon — is to go on sale later this year. The dimmable LED bulb with a graphene-coated filament was designed at Manchester University, where the material was discovered in 2004. It is said to cut energy use by 10% and last longer owing to its conductivity. It is expected to be priced lower than current LED bulbs, which cost about £15 (~$22) each.
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Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon

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  • LED ... filament? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 28, 2015 @11:06PM (#49363379)

    Huh?

  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @11:15PM (#49363395)

    http://optics.org/news/6/2/6 [optics.org]
    http://www.nature.com/nmat/jou... [nature.com]

    The writer of the original article should be shot, hung, shot, and then boiled.

    It is riddled with so many inaccuracies that it's meaningless.
    '10%' - yes - 10% is mentioned ' Our first devices already exhibit an extrinsic quantum efficiency of nearly 10% and the emission can be tuned over a wide range of frequencies by appropriately choosing and combining 2D semiconductors'
    But going from that to LED efficiency is ridiculous.

    It is comedically ridiculous to claim that it's going to result in products this year.

    It's worth noting that the best existing 'warm white' LEDs bulbs can already produce about twice as much light per watt as compact florescent.
    (if they are made with around double the normal number of LEDs and a more efficient power supply).

    • It is riddled with so many inaccuracies that it's meaningless.

      You mean like LED bulbs costing $22 each? I bought a pack of 10 last month for $20, or $2 each.

      • Yeah, which ones are you talking about? Not 60W equivalents?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The writer of the original article should be shot, hung, shot, and then boiled. ...
      It is comedically ridiculous to claim that it's going to result in products this year.

      That at least seems to not have come from the article writer. The University of Manchester's twitter feed [twitter.com] is repeating it, and retweeting people who make the claim, so I assume it originated with them.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        before or after the article was published?

        publicists just take the best stuff from articles and retweet the fuck out of it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The writer of the original article should be shot, hung, shot, and then boiled.

      I know this is the internet and all, but at least try to temper your reaction a wee bit. if everything is an extreme then there is no nuance.

      • You know, most people here are somehow related to computers.

        They only understand 0 and 1 ... sad.

      • in ye olden days we just flogged each other on irc with dead trouts. well, an occasssional /me stabs $friend

        but it was all in good fun

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      That's pretty harsh! What are you going on?

      I got the impression that the article was written after interviewing someone from the company in person. Like you, I don't have anything concrete to go on, but that seems the likeliest explanation for the "go to market" date.And I'm sure the rep from the company had earlier been involved in fundraising and as part of that would have had to tell investors his expectations of energy efficiency.

      BBC news articles about scientific papers, by contrast, invariably have th

    • The writer of the original article should be shot, hung, shot, and then boiled.

      Hanged.

      The writer may very well have twelve inches, but that's not important here. What's important is the past tense of "to hang" (in the sense of putting a man on the end of a rope) is "hanged"....

      • Actually if you would look into a dictionary, or if you where a native english speaker you knew: it is 'hang, hung, hanged'.
        So your parent was right.

        • From grammarist.com:

          "Hung is the past tense and past participle of hang in most of that verb’s senses .... The exception comes where hang means to put to death by hanging. The past tense and past participle of hang in this sense, and only in this sense, is hanged." [emphasis mine]

          • Wow, an exception lie that makes no sense at all.
            Is that a trick grammar rule so kids in school make more mistakes?
            Who is supposed to know stuff like this except a grammar professor? That is even worth than german writing/spelling rules :)

            • I'm speculating, but looking into it a bit, I see that:

              To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from 1351 a statutory penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reigns of King Henry III (1216–1272) and his successor, Edward I (1272–1307). [source: Wikipedia]

              so perhaps "hanged" is an anachronism that never got regularized due to being ensconced in early English law.

    • Thank you for finding this; I'd been trying to find any explanation of what they were actually offering.
      As for the 'on sale later this year' it sounds highly speculative. The only detail I can found out
      about the company they mention is that the company registration documents still show it as
      based in the University buildings, so it seems unlikely they've got anywhere near commercial
      production yet.

  • by jordanjay29 ( 1298951 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @11:17PM (#49363407)

    It is expected to be priced lower than current LED bulbs, which cost about £15 (~$22) each.

    And yet I just saw a pack of 4 at Menards for $7.95 today.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What does a pirate say after you kick him in the balls?

      Ow! Me nards!"

  • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Saturday March 28, 2015 @11:28PM (#49363437) Homepage
    Is that 10% better than LED? And longer lasting than LED?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Is that 10% better than LED?
      And longer lasting than LED?

      Please refer to
      http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2004/01/terminology-led-efficiency.html

      Current crop of commercial LED bulbs have IQE (Internal quantum efficiency) of roughly 3% - which translate to the device giving out one photon on the average of having 30 electrons flowing through, although there was a report back in 1999 (see http://www.ece.lehigh.edu/~tansu/journals/Journal_90.pdf ) of a whopping 31% IQE

      The device brought up by TFA is noted to have a roughly EQE (External Quantum Efficiency) of mor

      • Err - no.
        Look at the URL, there is a clue why you're spectacularly wrong.

        Current LEDs (blue ones, which white is based on) exceed 50% quantum efficiency.

        http://www.digikey.com/product... [digikey.com] - for example - does 48% electricity to light.

        • Err - no.

          That number on the Digikey page isn't lumens per watt (I've no idea what unit mw/W is supposed to be).

          If you look at the datasheet that LED is a max of 139 lumens with a forward voltage drop of 2.9 at 350 mA, or slightly less than 140 lumens per watt (under ideal conditions).

          By definition there are 683 lumens per watt of radiant power at a wavelength of 555 nm.

          The highest announced efficiency LED to date is "only" 303 lumens per watt - http://cree.com/News-and-Events/Cree-News/Press-Releases/2014/M [cree.com]

          • mW= 1/1000th of a watt.
            mW=W = parts per 1000 efficiency.

            480mW/W = 0.48W of light out for every watt of electricity in.
            This is a deep blue LED.
            It is very bad if you measure it in lumens per watt because the eye is quite insensitive to blue light.

            Whatever the answer - 30%/44% (and you can't do it that way, you've got to integrate over the spectral response of the eye and see if you actually care about colour - green light at 600lm/W is not a functional white light) - is still vastly higher than 10%.

            You cannot

  • Ya, they are totally going to release a cheaper product that outperforms the competition in all areas and has added features. That is totally how Capitalism works.
    This is the first ever light bulb of this type. It will probably suck ass and cost $80 per bulb.
    • Capitalism or not, this isn't Star Trek. We can't build perfect technologies right out of the gate, first try.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What if we reverse the polarity of the graphene coating?

        • What if we reverse the polarity of the graphene coating?

          It reverts to an incandescent bulb with an average lifetime of about 500ms.

        • What if we reverse the polarity of the graphene coating?

          It sucks all the light out of other nearby fixtures.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Careful, the verteron flux might break down the subspace barrier.

          Trust me, you do NOT want to mess with that!

    • Ya, they are totally going to release a cheaper product that outperforms the competition in all areas and has added features. That is totally how Capitalism works.

      Actually, that's exactly how a market economy works. Things get better and cheaper over time because of innovation and stiff competition. Or did you still spend $10,000 on a 40" flat screen TV this year, and hundreds of dollars for a 20MB disk drive? That must be frustrating for you.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You missed the point he was making - very rarely is a new product released that is better in *all* existing areas, and has *new* features, and is *cheaper* than the competition.

        Generally if it's better in all areas it'll cost more, price premium for a premium product. The price is usually only cheaper for products that have the same or less qualities / features.

        • The price is usually only cheaper for products that have the same or less qualities / features.

          That may be the point he was trying to make, but it's incorrect. Just look around. I can pick up a new camera from Nikon that's essentially the same price as the previous model while enjoying better features. The same is true of TV's from Samsung, or countless other devices. In real dollars, the same is true of cars, major appliances, all sorts of things.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            Yes, for the same price, not for cheaper.

            • Yes, for the same price, not for cheaper.

              And in many cases, also cheaper. The examples I cited above show that behavior as well. You need to get out more if you think that, say, a given tablet computer from this year isn't better and cheaper than it was a year or two ago. Or that an off-the-shelf quadcopter and gimbaled camera rig isn't many times as capable for a fraction of the cost it was just a couple years ago. Eeeeeevil market economics at work.

              • That is not "market economics" but improvements in production ...

                • That is not "market economics" but improvements in production ...

                  Why the hell do you think that people who make things bother to improve production? Because if they don't someone else will, and they'll lose their market. You really do lead a sheltered life, don't you. I can tell you've never actually made anything, or been tuned into the bottom line of any business entity that does. You should. You'd learn a lot.

                  • Hae? What nonsense do you write? Like everyone else I have to earn my money with work ...

                    Point is your argument was either wrong or bad expressed. Now trying to insult me makes no sense.

                    • No. Pretending that market pressures don't drive companies updating their products and their pricing is ridiculous. You have to know that. So what are you trying say, by pretending that it's otherwise? My "argument" isn't wrong: companies continue to improve their products and adjust their pricing because markets require that. It's very reasonable to wonder about someone's experience and awareness of economics and business realities when they say otherwise.
              • by sjames ( 1099 )

                I didn't claim markets can't work, just that you won't find new technology with significantly better features coming out cheaper. It does eventually happen.

                All of those tablets out there are significantly more expensive even now than would be suggested by the marginal cost of production. They haven't reached the endpoint by far.The vast majority of them will be long gone before they do reach that endpoint.

          • That is a false comparison. The new model is basically identicle. They put like 1 MB more RAM in stick an incremented number on the model and ship. A better comparison is the very first digital camera ever released. in 1990 it was the Dycam Model 1; Which was black and white, low in resolution, and cost nearly $2,000 in inflated dollars. You don't get new products for cheaper.
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        But it doesn't happen in one step even if the economics would support it. It starts more expensive and hopes to sell on features and performance. The price slowly drops to a new plateau as the early adopters slow down but remains more expensive. As others me too the features (assuming a patent sueball and/or collusion doesn't work), the price slowly drops.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday March 29, 2015 @12:18AM (#49363587) Journal
    The best 3 bulbs out there are Cree and then Philips. Cree has the BEST LED by far, along with the best electronics including the driver. That is why they warranty their bulbs for 10 years. OTOH, Philips does 2,3 and a few for 5. Then you have the cheap chinese junk for 1-3 years, which will not last 12 months and the warranties are worthless.

    However, the Crees 65 w A19 bulb goes for $6.97 at Home Depot. These will last decades, unless you burn then 24x7.

    And this new graphene LED bulbs will compete HOW?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      However, the Crees 65 w A19 bulb goes for $6.97 at Home Depot. These will last decades, unless you burn then 24x7.

      Do you even own any of these? I have had to exchange 6 Cree A19's already for reasons ranging from literally falling apart to flickering constantly. ...not to mention their website doesn't list any 65W A19's.

      BTW, check their warranty. You need the receipt *and* the UPC from the package in order to get an RMA to spend the $5 to mail the dead bulb to them. Ever wonder how many warranty claims they pay out on? My guess is close to zero.

      • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Sunday March 29, 2015 @02:29AM (#49363833) Journal

        I just made another post about this, but I have about about 15-16 cree bulbs in my house. I take a picture of the receipt and the packaging at the time of every purchase.

        I've had trouble with two--both 40W TW series bulbs. These bulbs flickered--they would turn off and if I adjusted--or even tapped on the bulb--the bulb would come back on for a time. The problem got worse until they barely worked anymore. I thought it was the fixture until I tried one of the bad bulbs in a desk lamp and had the same issue.

        Anyway, I emailed Cree tech support with the photo of the receipt and packaging and had 3 new bulbs fedexed to me two days later.

        I'm annoyed by the quality lapse (less than a year), but I don't have any problems with their response.

        • yeah, I email the receipt (without spam) to my account and have them automatically sent to a folder and marked as read. As to the UPC, write it on the base, along with the date, with a sharpie.
      • First off, we switched our 3300 sq ft house to these over a year ago (I have less than 12 bulbs in the house that are not LEDs, but can not justify these economically since they do not burn a great deal). Have not lost a 1. They are holding up GREAT. In addition, we have seen our electric costs PLUMMET (which xcell hates since we have solar city ).

        In addition, I know for a fact that these rarely come back to Home Depot. I have asked at several THD and what I found out was that the ones that fail are in mu
      • I own a dozen of them, and I gave six more to relatives to use outside as porch and garage lights. They're all more than a year old (Christmas 2013) and none of them blown out yet. I even have two in large (6x the volume of the bulb) enclosed fixtures over my head right now

        Maybe you're a troll.

    • And this new graphene LED bulbs will compete HOW?

      I was recently reminded that LEDs are not just good for consumer and business fixture applications.

      At the trainstop by my work, they just replaced all the old lights (constantly broken and dark) with these super bright LED panels. Ceilings in the station are so high that you need a scissor lift to get to the bulbs, it was a big multi-day production to put them in. You can imagine how any improvements in consistency, efficiency, and duty cycle would be very welcome.

      • exactly right. I have not changed a burned out bulb in over a year. As I wrote elsewhere, we have less than 12 bulbs that are NOT LEDs and these are not changed due to economics (not on long enough / week to justify it). I will replace them down the road when they burn out.

        But for a business, the costs of replacing bulbs can be ENORMOUS. In fact, higher than the costs of the bulbs. But by going to DECENT LEDs, you will get at least a decade. Even the cheap ones (pretty much everything that does not have
  • What crazy upside down world pays $22 for a light blub?
    • Re:Too much! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DamonHD ( 794830 ) <d@hd.org> on Sunday March 29, 2015 @05:38AM (#49364133) Homepage

      One that saves more than that in electricity within a year or two, and avoids high replacement maintenance costs on top in commercial settings.

      What crazy world has people continuing to complain about the cost of petrol relative to hay while whining that the motorways seem so unfriendly for their horse and cart?

      Rgds

      Damon

      • Or you could pick up them for 3 bucks at costco and see a savings in a few months.

  • Neither the headline, nor the original article say.

  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Sunday March 29, 2015 @10:34AM (#49364935) Homepage

    "A light bulb made from graphene"

    It is not made from graphene.

    "said by its UK developers to be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super-strong carbon"

    There are a wide variety of consumer products that *clime* to use graphene. http://www.graphene-info.com/graphene-products

    "Manchester University, where the material was discovered in 2004":

    Ok, they got this right.

    "It is said to cut energy use by 10% and last longer owing to its conductivity."

    LED bulbs die when their electrocaps fry. Improving the conductivity of the LED (and I can't imagine how it would do this) would not change this.

    "It is expected to be priced lower than current LED bulbs, which cost about £15 (~$22) each."

    Current LED bulbs are widely available in the UK for £5 to 10. http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/shelves/Light_Bulbs_in_Tesco.html

  • Cut 10% compared to what? to current LED bulbs or the 'old' bulbs.. that's a big difference..

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