The international trend towards sustainability is having an enormous impact on the development of energy-saving light sources. This means that energy-saving lamps and halogen spotlights will gradually disappear from the market. The word on everyone's lips is OLED. The organic light diodes are considered to be THE surface light sources of the future. Experts, architects and designers all believe that OLEDs will be the next big thing in the lighting industry over the next few years. The first products, produced by Philips, for example, are already on the market. The Dutch company's OLEDs can be found in lamp collections such as the "O'Leaf" lighting range by Modular Lighting Instruments or the desk lamp, "Edge", by Establishde&Sons. Admittedly, these are designer lighting collections targeted at the high-end of the market with a price tag of between 800 ($1021) and 2300 euros ($2935) – albeit not completely unaffordable. With these products, Philips is leading the way for future developments within this market. Alongside the traditional uses of standard lighting, OLEDs provide additional ways in which structural lighting (signage) and special lighting can be used. The field of photography will be no exception either, with OLEDs pushing traditional light sources aside when holohedral, homogeneous illumination is needed alongside extremely high quality light. This, in addition to the lack of heat generation, makes OLEDs predestined for such applications.
With products such as the LivingShapes interactive wall, the new light source has already found its way into places such as bars, restaurants, lounges and shops. By means of a hidden sensor, more than 1,000 OLEDs react to what is happening in front of the wall and translate this into luminous OLED spots. The first time people see this kind of wall, they are mesmerized by the fascinating warmth of this natural light. The OLED is also making inroads into the field of functional lighting. Philips recently presented an OLED at the Frankfurt Light + Building exhibition, whose 120 lumen made it the brightest OLED light ever. Which is why, on top of their decorative uses, OLEDs will also be used in practical lighting solutions such as desk lamps, for example.
But one thing is certain: the OLED is just setting out on its journey to fame as a new source of light. It is set to completely transform the way in which we perceive light, allowing new and exciting applications to see light of day, which were, until today, only a figment of our imagination.
Summary: OLED benefits at a glance
• OLEDs are very thin and are quick and effective at converting energy into light – without the heat. This is why they are ideal for such areas where we have reached the limits of conventional light sources (e.g. macrophotography)
• OLEDs can be connected to large-scale lighting systems that offer strong, even luminosity OLEDs are available in every possible color
• OLEDs provide a beautiful, all-round homogeneous light
• OLEDs are extremely energy-efficient and energy-saving
• OLEDs are free from harmful substances and are re-usable
About the author:
Dietmar Thomas is official spokesperson for Lumiblade, Philips' OLED division located in Aachen (Germany). From here, he and his colleagues oversee the worldwide marketing activities for this new lighting technology. Dietmar Thomas can look back on over 25 years in communication with large corporations, PR agencies and media in Europe and the U.S.
Courtesy of EETimes Europe
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