Published in News

Cut price LEDs could save the planet

by on30 January 2009


New production methods


Boffins have come up with a way of making cheaper Gallium Nitride (GaN) LEDs which could see household lighting bills reduced by up to 75% within five years. GaN LEDs emit brilliant light but uses very little electricity however they have been too expensive for wide spread use in homes and offices.

Thanks to funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Cambridge University based Centre for Gallium Nitride has developed a new way of making GaN which could produce LEDs for a tenth of the price.

Until now GaN has had to be grown in labs on expensive sapphire wafers.  Now the boffins have come up with a method of growing it on silicon wafers which means that cheap mass produced LEDs could be in the shops in five years. If everyone in the UK used them, Blighty's electricity use would drop by 15% and the country would not need to replace eight power stations.

GaN's burn for 100,000 hours and need replacing after 60 years, don't have mercury so disposal is less damaging to the environment. They also turning on instantly and are dimmable.


Last modified on 30 January 2009
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