Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagon and although scientists knew that one atom thick, two-dimensional crystal graphene existed, it wasn’t isolated until 2004 by two researchers at The University of Manchester. The material features physical properties, including being 200 times stronger than steel, the thinnest material on earth, and one of the most conductive materials in the world. This means there are a variety of applications that graphene can be used in such as lightweight aircrafts and flexible touchscreens.
One application that is being explored is lighting. Manchester University scientists have created a graphene bulb they believe is commercially viable and could become a competitor to LED bulbs. Currently, exact details such as the price, lumen output, and date available are sparse. Scientists predict that the graphene bulb could be up to 10% more efficient than traditional LED bulbs and competitively priced. Mass manufacturing of graphene is complicated and still expensive so it may be awhile until we truly see the graphene light bulb on shelves. However, the technological and manufacturing advances are exciting to watch and we’ll be following the company, Graphene Lighting PLC, created by the university to commercialize the bulb, for more updates.