The most energy-efficient light bulb in the world?

A group of University of Toronto graduates claims to have built the most energy-efficient light bulb in the world.

At about 200 per cent more efficiency than the current wave of energy-saving LED technology, the Nanolight doesn’t even look like a regular bulb. But Gimmy Chu, one of the inventors, says that’s partly why it works so well.

It’s made by folding up a super-efficient circuit board dotted with LED bulbs. The 10- or 12-watt bulbs (which cost $30 and $45, respectively) pump out the equivalent of 75 or 100 watts, emit less heat than the competitors and, Chu says, pay for themselves over their lifespan—about 20 years at three hours per day. Nanolight’s inventors have raised more than $240,000 for the project via Kickstarter, the crowd-source funding website—more than 12 times their initial goal. The first 7,500 bulbs, made in China, will be shipped to customers around the world by September.

It’s not a bad time to be revolutionizing the LED business; by some estimates, industry revenue could hit $1 billion by 2014.