Will OLED Success in Displays Transfer to Lighting?
Thursday, March 02, 2017: 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Many billion dollars are being invested in OLED manufacturing capacity as the technology has become ascendant in the smart phone market and is challenging LCD displays in TVs and computer monitors. Much of the technology is transferable to lighting, especially with the approach used by LG, who have recently consolidated their OLED display and lighting operations. Recent R&D advances have led to substantial improvement in color quality, with most products providing CRI over 85, and concern about excess blue light has raised interest in the low color temperatures provided by OLED. The focus has returned to efficacy and panels with 90-100 lm/W are promised within the next year. Price remains the greatest challenge, but the progress in reducing the cost of OLED TVs augurs well for lighting applications. Roll to roll manufacturing remains a dream, but LG has announced the construction of a new line that should enable substantial savings, provided that the market can accept the increased production. On the market side, OLED provides an opportunity for thin lightweight, glare-free panels that can be flexible or be embedded in walls, ceilings, appliances and furniture. Although LED suppliers are trying to meet this need with edge-lit wave-guides, or plastic sheets with embedded LEDs, current products fall well short of the ideal solution. The prototype automobile lights developed by Osram and the artificial tulips exhibited by Konica Minolta show the potential of OLEDs, but significant technical challenges remain before these can be converted to commercially viable products.