New $3 Light Bulb 12 Times More Efficient, Lasts 60 Years

Cambridge University researchers have developed a $3 LED-based lightbulb that is 12 times more efficient than regular tungsten light bulbs, three times more than low energy ones. It lights up instantly, lasting for 100,000 hours,

The cheap lightbulb could cost the energy bill in any house by as much as three quarters. In fact, if everyone replaced their current light bulbs, the proportion of lighting in electricity consumption would go down from 20 to 5 percent worldwide.

They also avoid using any toxic materials, like lead: The new LEDs use gallium nitride, which until now was too expensive to obtain because it had to be grown on sapphire wafers, which brought the cost of the lightbulbs to $28 each.

The new method, developed by Cambridge University-based Centre for Gallium Nitride, uses silicon wafers, bringing the cost down to $3 each. And if you think this is a thing of the future, think again: Prototypes are already being produced and the light bulbs may reach the market in a mere two years. [Daily Mail]