The light emitting area is 13 cm2 and the whole panel weighs just 1 gram. Yeolight says that the panel uniformity is over 90%. The panel uses a "special organic polymer" and Yeolight developed and used new materials, package structure and processes in order to improve the lifetime and durability of its new panel.
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) are light emitting panels made from organic (carbon based) materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLED are used today to make beautiful and efficient displays and large, efficient and beautiful lighting panels.
An OLED 'light bulb' is a thin film of material that emits light. OLED is the only technology that can create large "area" lighting panels (as opposed to point or line lighting enabled by LEDs and fluorescent bulbs). OLEDs can be used to make flexible and transparent panels, and can also be color-tunable. OLEDs emit beautiful soft diffused light - in fact OLEDs lighting is the closest light source to natural light (with the exception of the old incandescent lamps).
OLED lighting on the market
Several companies already offer OLED lighting panels - including Philips/OLEDWorks, Osram, LG, Konica Minolta and others. Current production lines are still small, and prices are still high, but we see rapid advances in performance and price and hopefully OLED lighting prices will drop dramatically once mass production is achieved.
Above you can see a video review we posted a couple of years ago, showing sample OLED panels from Philips, OSRAM, Blackbody and Lumiotec. Current panels on the market are larger, brighter and more efficient than those available back then, and some companies already produce flexible and transparent panels as well.
The OLED lighting market
There are several companies that produce OLED panels, but most of these panels should be considered as "samples" as production volume is low. The leading OLED producers at this stage are LG Display, OLEDWorks/Philips and Konica Minolta. LG is offering the widest range of panels, including flexible panels and the largest OLED in production (at 320 x320 mm).
Philips/OLEDWorks is focused on functional light - bright, efficient and homogenous panels. The company's main panel is the FL300 Brite Lumiblade, which is a 100x100 mm panel that offers a 300 lumens, 50 lm/W, 10,000 hours lifetime (LT70) and is only 1.4 mm thick.
Konica Minolta built the world's most advanced OLED fab - a Roll-to-Roll flexible OLED lighting fab - that has a capacity to produce a million flexible and color-tunable OLED panels each month. The Japanese company recently announced that it shipped 15,000 flexible OLEDs to a Japanese Tulips Festival - by far the largest OLED installation to date, but real mass production at that fab is yet to be achieved
OLED lighting future
It is still not clear when and if OLED lighting will break out and become a real market. Most market analysts agree that OLED lighting will eventually become a large market - but it will take time.
IDTechEx estimates that the OLED lighting market will reach more than $1.8 billion in 2025 at the panel level. IDTechEx is optimistic about OLED lighting in the long term - because "OLED lighting exhibits key characteristics of a disruptive technology". Yole Developpement predict a $1.5 billion OLED lighting market in 2021 (up from nearly $30 million in 2015).
- An introduction to OLEDs
- OLED Technology explained
- Transparent OLEDs
- Flexible OLEDs
- The OLED Handbook, our very own comprehensive guide to OLEDs
Latest OLED lighting news
Kaneka introduced a new OLED lighting fixture, the Kumiko - designed by lighting designer Michiru Tanaka. This is a high-tech decorative update to a traditional Japanese patterned woodwork.
The Kumiko is a fully-customizable modular tile system that can be vertically-mounted on a surface or built into complex architectural designs. The Kumiko panels offer diffused light that looks like staned-glass windows. The panels have a mirror surface when not in use. Kaneka did not disclose the technical specification of these Kumiko panels.
Novaled celebrates its new premises corner stone foundation, OLED-Info pays a visit to its current one
In January 2017 Novaled started constructing its new fab and office buildings in Dresden, that will comprise of a renovated old mill that will be turned into a prestigious office building and a new 110-meter long R&D plant with state-of-the-art research areas, laboratories and clean rooms. Today Novaled celebrates the corner stone foundation for the new company premises.
Samsung's decision to invest over €25 in the property purchase and construction shows the Korean OLED developer commitment to Novaled. The site's total space will be 10,200 m² - the old mill, which is under monument protection, will be renovated and transformed into a prestigious office building. and a 110 meter long new R&D plant will be built - and it will include research area, clean rooms and new laboratories.
In March 2017 Konica Minolta and Pioneer announced that the two companies are set to merge their OLED business unit, and on June 1st the new 50:50 joint venture, called Konica Minolta Pioneer OLED, was officially established.
Konica Minolta says that the new company will take charge of all business and product planning, product development, production technology development and marketing functions of both companies' OLED lighting business to drive its initiatives.
Yeolight Technology (which was spun-off Visionox in May 2015) developed a new bright Amber OLED panel. The panel's size is 85x85 mm (active area 76.5x76.5 mm) and its color temperature is 2000K-2600K. The efficiency is >70 lm/W at 2,000 cd/m2 brightness. The lifetime is over 20,000 hours.
This new panel is still a prototype - but Yeolight says it can already be mass produced at the company's 2.5-Gen production line.
LG Display participated in Milan Design Week 2017 (Euroluce) and demonstrated its latest OLED lamps and panels - and the company also unveiled the largest OLED installation ever - the 30,000 OLED panel "Wall the of the Sun". LGD now published the video you see below that shows all these exciting new OLED lighting installations and lamps:
Leading simulation and measurement tool provider Fluxim and OLED-Info have teamed up to offer a 20% discount on Fluxim's large-area OLED simulation software LAOSS.
LAOSS is a software tool that simulates large area semiconductor devices (OLED and PV), taking into account the voltage drop in the electrodes due to important resistive effects when the size of the device increases. LAOSS facilitates electrode layout optimization and material choice, which can save substantial time and resources. Both OLED lighting panel design and study of AMOLED pixel cross-talk is just a click away.
Researchers from the Institute of low temperature and structure research in Wroclaw, Poland, developed a new white light source based on graphene-foam. Graphene does not have a band-gap, but this device uses a continuous-wave laser to excitate the graphene and opens up a bandgap which results in light emission that UV to near-infralight.
The researchers say that the light spectrum of this device is similar to the spectrum of the sun which is better than current light sources such as LEDs that offer light spectrum with strong peaks (the main problem is the strong blue light emission in LED lighting). This design can achieve a high efficiency (over 200 lm/W), high color rendering index (CRI > 99) and a broadband warm white color. The lifetime depends on the laser, which can be over 10,000 hours.
OLEDWorks introduced a new OLED lighting panel, the Brite Amber. This panel is free from any blue emission and OLEDWorks sees applications in the healthcare, senior living and residential markets. This upgrade to OLEDWorks' existing Amber panel features a higher brightness of 2,000 cd/m2.
The Brite AMber features an efficiency of over 50 lm/W and the lifetime is over 25,000 (but OLEDWOrks does not mention at what brightness level). The panel is 41.5 x 101.6 mm in size (active area 88 x 25 mm).
OLEDWorks latest panel is the Brite 2 - announced in March 2016. The Brite 2 offers a brightness of 300 lumens, a high CRI (>90) and an efficiency of 60 lm/W. According to the company's roadmap, OLEDWorks aims to release 80-100 lm/W flexible panels by next year.
By 2020, OLEDWorks' panels will have an efficiency of over 100 lm/W and a lifetime of over 50,000 hours (LT70).