Konica Minolta to unveil flexible OLED Lighting panels next month

Konica Minolta will unveil new flexible OLED lighting panels at the Lighting Fair 2013 exhibition in Tokyo next month (March 5). Their flexible OLEDs will debut in a "variety of forms", and visitors to KM's booth will be able to experience those new panels. 

We do not have any more information yet - hopefully KM will give technical details soon (or during the exhibition). Back in 2010 KM (together with GE) unveiled flexible OLED panel prototypes, but it seems that now the company is set to actually releasing products. The 2010 prototypes achieved 56 lm/W (and "commercially viable lifetime") using soluble materials in a roll-to-roll process. In 2010 the companies announced plans to produce those panels in 2011, but obviously this never happened. We're not sure if GE is involved in these new panels.

GE and Konica Minolta flexible desk lamp prototypeGE/KM, 2010 prototype

In November 2012 KM launched a flexible OLED lighting design contest, and they have now announced the winners of this contest. Those designs had to use a single OLED panel - 60 x 150 mm (0.5mm width) with a radius of curvature of no more than 100 mm. It's likely that this will be one of the panels that KM will unveil next month.

The first prize in the contest went to Yoriko Yamamoto for its Cloud Lamp design - which locates the lamp within a floating balloon and uses the electrical cord as the string enabling it to be carried along like a balloon. KM liked it because this utilizes the light weight of flexible OLED panels - and achieves a unique design that cannot use any other light source.

The 2nd prize in Konica Minolta's contest is the EL Desk Lamp (by Yomohiro Kitayama) - a crescent piece of timber with an OLED lighting panel that can be pulled in and out.

Today Konica Minolta are offering OLED sample panel sets (5 OLED panels for ¥100,000, or about $1,250). Those 74x74 mm rigid glass panels feature 45 lm/W, 8,000 hours lifetime (D50) and a color temperature of 2800K . KM's OLED panels use all phosphorescent emitters (using Universal Display's PHOLED technology), it's the same panel that Philips is offering (as the Lumiblade Plus). In fact Philips is producing this panel for Konica Minolta, as was announced in July 2011. Hopefully the new flexible OLEDs will also be efficient ones.

Posted: Feb 13,2013 by Ron Mertens