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On Sumitomo's OLED lighting program
Last week we reported that Sumitomo Chemical is planning to start mass producing OLED lighting panels later in 2012 based on their PLED technology in a ¥5-6 billion ($60-70 million) investement. Now Sumitomo finally announced that they plan to unveil panels at the L+B 2012 exhibition, and also unveiled a web page with lot's of info on their PLED lighting program. It seems that the company will commercial PLED panels for "decorative lighting" in 2013, and for general lighting in 2015.
In L+B2012 Sumitomo will show new PLED panels that are about 10 centimeters square each. There will be panels in sixty different colors, which are made using printing technology (all layers except the electrodes). The booth was designed by world-renowned Japanese lighting designer Motoko Ishii, with the theme “The Colors of Japan – The Colors of Harmony”, in an innovative attempt to replicate—by means of lighting—the elegant and refined colors of ancient Japan in a modern day setting of a Japanese traditional tearoom. Here's what the booth will look like:
We don't have a lot of technical information about those panels, or Sumitomo's actual production plans. Sumitomo did release a chart showing the technology roadmap: by 2015 they plan to produce PLEDs on plastic substraces which will feature between 20,000 and 30,000 hours of lifetime and 60-80 lm/W. These plastic based OLEDs will also be flexible.
It seems that PLEDs will remain less efficient compared to SMOLEDs - in 2015 Philips hopes to achieve over 90 lm/W and LG Chem hopes to achieve over 135 lm/W. Of course this is all just company wishful thinking currently, but it seems that while efficeicny will be lower, Sumitomo hopes that PLED will enable cheaper mass production.