LUX Research released a new OLED lighting report (Finding the End of the Tunnel for OLED Lighting) in which they say that OLED lighting will remain a small niche player in the future - in fact in 2020 worldwide revenues will only amount to $58 million.

LUX Research says that while OLEDs will drop from $18 per lumen today to $0.71 per lumen in 2020, this will not be enough as the technology will still lag behind other display technologies, and this will limit adoption. LUX Research also forecasts that flexible OLEDs on plastic substrate will be cheaper than glass - and will cost $0.18 per lumens in 2020. They say that 63% of the OLED market in 2020 will be flexible OLEDs.

LUX Research are quite pessimistic about OLEDs, and we only hope that they are wrong. OLED lighting is advancing rapidly, but of course no one knows if this will be fast enough. Nanomarkets for example predicts that the OLED lighting market will grow to $4.8 billion in 2016. Mass production will start by 2014, and one of the sectors that will lead the demand will be the automotive industry.



In the end....

In the end it comes down to this: Either someone comes up with a killer application which can only be realized with OLEDs and successfully pushes it into the market OR there is a technological breakthrough which finally gives OLED technology a strong commercial edge over current technologies.

The OLED applications available so far are all great, but to be honest I doubt whether they will be enough to push OLEDs into the real mass markets. As far as applications are concerned OLEDs have the added problem that in the end they are luxury items which means that most likely success will have to come via a market push route. Applications like flexible eReaders might be candidates for killer applications, but to succeed it needs a company which agressively pushes this technology into the market. After all tablet PCs have been around for nearly a decade, but it took Apple to come up with a successful market push approach before they finally took off. IMO OLEDs face a similar problem.

If you say 18$/lumen you say

If you say 18$/lumen you say 54K$ per m2, so its nonsense.

i agree it is nonsense

Even $0.18/lumen is absurd, plasma tv's are already available for $1000 per square meter which includes all the electronics and oled will eventually become much cheaper to produce than either plasma or LCD which means display panels will be available for a fraction of this price. Considering lighting panels are much simpler devices i am sure they will have even cheaper mass production processes so i would expect them to easily go under $0.01 per lumen by 2020.

A ridiculous "report"

You can't convince me that GE, Philips, Konica-Minolta, Novaled, and the rest of the companies scrambling as fast as possible to build OLED lighting are doing do to capture a percentage of a 58 million dollar annual market. That's far less than most of them are spending on infrastructure right now to make OLED lighting!

Much more likely is this estimate for OLED white lighting - US $4.8 billion by 2016 (Nanomarkets)

There is no guarantee that

There is no guarantee that OLEDs will ever become cheaper than plasma or LCD technology. While OLED panel prices have been dropping, it is still far from certain how cheap they will ever become. They MAY become cheaper than plasma or LCD but it's far from a sure thing and if they don't then there is a risk that OLEDs remain a niche market.

As for lighting's difficult. Most of the cost intensive production steps remain the same (layer depositioning, packaging, etc.) plus additionally you have the problems that a) few people are willing to pay premium for lighting applications and b) lifetime becomes a much bigger issue especially in professional lighting.

So overall i would say that the judge is still out on how big the market for OLEDs will become


FYI: The current OEM pricing for OLED panels looks like this:

~10-25 lm/W 

~$10k - $50k per m2

So while the report may exaggerate a bit I don't think it's neccessarily complete nonsense. The DoE projects huge drops in cost for the next 1-2 years, but DoE reports have been known to be way too optimistic in the past.

My guess is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle...


sorry, my mistake:

~10-25 $/lm  

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