Design Engineering

UofT grads light world’s most energy efficient lightbulb

Mike McLeod   

General Innovation University of Toronto

NanoLight LED lightbulb burns brighter than incandescent at a fraction of power consumption, founders claim.

13-feb-NanoLight-LED-light-bulb-360Three University of Toronto engineering and science graduates have become the darlings of the crowdfunding web site,, with an LED lightbulb the trio are billing as the most efficient in the world. To date, the company has more than 3,000 backers on and raised more than 150,000, surpassing its original $20,000 funding goal.

According to the replacement bulb’s inventors (Gimmy Chu, Christian Yan and Tom Rodinger), the NanoLight produces more visible spectrum light than a 100W incandescent bulb (1600+ lumens) but consumes only 12 watts of electricity. In addition, testing show the NanoLight lasts up to 30,000 hours of usage, the equivalent of 30 incandescent bulbs or four Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), the startup says.

The NanoLight is composed of multiple LEDs surface mounted to a segmented PCB that folds up, origami-style, into geometric approximation of a standard light bulb. While there are other LED replacement bulbs on the market, the company says, the NanoLight outputs half the heat energy of comparable CFLs making them suitable for enclosed lighting fixtures.

To get off the ground, however, the startup will have to overcome a number of challenges, not least of which is the price. Presently, a donation of $30 dollars or more will secure 10W (75W equivalent) model while $45 and up will reserve the 12W (100W equivalent) model. For the big spenders, the company also has an ultra-bright 12W (1800 lumens) model for a commitment of $100 or more.


To bring those prices down, NanoLight’s founders say they will have to source quality components from China and automate what is now a complex and manual manufacturing process.

NanoLight is accepting pre-orders on Kickstarter until March 8 and its team is currently working on other light bulb models, including one that is dimmable.


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