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.

Stage Entertainment Hamburg Theatre OLED installation 2 photo

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).

LG Chem truly flexible OLED lighting panel photo

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

Konica Minolta Shining Tulip Festival photo

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 OLED lighting cost and market (2016-2025)IDTechEx OLED lighting forecasts (April 2016)

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).

Further reading

Latest OLED lighting news

OLEDWorks aims to release 80-100 lm/W flexible OLEDs by 2018

Apr 24, 2017

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.

OLEDWorks technical roadmap 2016-2020

By 2020, OLEDWorks' panels will have an efficiency of over 100 lm/W and a lifetime of over 50,000 hours (LT70).

Audi's latest Sportback Concept car sports OLED lighting taillights

Apr 18, 2017

In 2015 Audi demonstrated a luxury electric crossover concept car, the e-tron quattro, which sported OLED displays and OLED lighting in its frontlights and taillights. Audi is soon set to unveil its latest e-Tron concept, this time of a sportback edition, which also uses OLED tail lights.

Audi did not show the new car yet, but did release the video you see above demonstrating the OLED taillights, and also the image below.

OLED Handbook

LG's Wall of the Sun is the world's largest OLED lighting installation ever with 30,000 panels

Apr 07, 2017

LG Display has put on an ambitious OLED lighting display at Euroluce which is a part of the Milan Design Week. LG actually has two booths, with the first one designed by Tokujin Yoshioka. Tokujin's installation is called Wall of the Sun, and it uses 30,000 of LGD's OLED lighting panels installed on the wall.

Wall of the sun closeup, LG OLED installation by Tokujin Yoshioka (2017)

This makes this installation the world's largest ever OLED lighting installation, which is double in size compared to Konica Minolta's OLED Tulip installation from 2015. This seems to be a very impressive display. The 15 chairs scattered on the floor, by the way, are embedded with LGD's OLED TV panels.

New video shows Wisechip's flexible, transparent and candle-light OLEDs

Mar 30, 2017

Wisechip, the Taiwan-based PMOLED maker, demonstrated its new flexible and transparent PMOLED displays last week in a trade show in Germany. Embedded News TV interviewed the company's R&D manager and published the following video which also shows Wisechip's latest OLED prototypes.

On display at the trade show were two flexible OLEDs - a 1.8" monochrome 160x32 panel, a 1.36" monochrome 128x16 panel. Wisechip also has a 256 x 64 display. Wisechip also demonstrated a new transparent OLED for automotive applications and a round 1.07" 160x136 transparent PMOLED (this one was also on display last year). Wisechip's original plan was to start producing transparent displays towards the end of 2016, but apparently this is a bit delayed. We hear that the displays are nearing production though.

The Holst Centre: flexible OLED lighting is an excellent solution to illuminate touch controls

Mar 27, 2017

The Holst Center presented a new functional demonstrator that uses the Holst' in-mold electronics (IME) technology to show new human-machine interfaces in automotive electronics and consumer appliances. One of the new technologies embedded in this demonstrator is flexible OLED lighting that is used to illuminate touch controls.

Holst IME automotive technology demonstrator photo

The Holst Center says that this is the first time a flexible OLED has been used to illuminate touch controls. Usually several LEDs, light guides, complex wiring and bulky PCBs are required to achieve this effect. Flexible OLED lighting provides a much easier solution with complete design freedom.

The OLED lighting commercialization strategy of China's First-O-Lite

Mar 25, 2017
This is a premium OLED-Info article

First-O-Lite (FOL) was established in 2010 in Nanjing, China with an aim to become an OLED lighting developer and producer. Based on its hybrid tandem architecture, FOL has a 2-Gen OLED lighting production fab that is currently producing 70 lm/W OLED lighting panels.

First-o-Lite 3 OLED lamp families (January 2017)

This article details the company's OLED lighting panels, its strategy to create an initial health-lighting niche market in china, its current product families and its technology and business roadmaps going forward.

Konica Minolta and Pioneer announce a new automotive OLED joint venture

Mar 25, 2017

In January 2017 we reported that Konica Minolta and Pioneer are set to merge their OLED business unit, and today Konica Minolta officially announced a joint-venture with Pioneer to accelerate automotive OLED lighting.

Konica Minolta and Pioneer will setup a joint venture, which will be called Konica Minolta Pioneer OLED. The new 50:50 JV company will be established in May 2017 with an initial capital of 490 million yen (about $4.4 million) and a focus on OLED lighting for automotive applications.

The FlexE Center in Kanpur orders a bespoke pilot R2R line for printed and flexible electronics R&D

Mar 23, 2017

The National Centre of Flexible Electronics (FlexE Centre) at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur announced that it assigned UK-based RK PrintCoat Instruments to manufacture and supply a bespoke roll-to-roll (R2R) pilot line that will be used for R&D and prototyping projects in the field of printed and flexible electronics.

FlexE R2R R&D pilot line image

The National Centre for Flexible Electronics (FlexE) was established in 2014 at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, with an aim to bring together Indian academia, industry and public research organizations for research and development of large area flexible electronics. The FlexE center develops OLED lighting and OLED signage applications and is collaborating with industrial partners in both fields. The center explores evaporation, printing and hybrid processing for OLED production.

BASF acquires light management expert Rolic

Feb 24, 2017

BASF announced that it acquired light management expert Rolic AG, Rolic Technologies logoa private company headquartered in Switzerland. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Rolic develops and markets nanoscale surface modification systems that achieve unique light management and optical effects. Rolic has three business units: displays, security and organic electronics. For the OLED market, Rolic develops materials that improve light outcoupling, lifetime and efficiency for OLED displays and lighting panels.

Konica Minolta and Pioneer to merge their OLED lighting business?

Jan 31, 2017

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Konica Minolta and Pioneer are in talks to merge their OLED lighting business. According to the report, the two companies are finalizing the agreement, and will setup a new 50:50 joint venture in the spring.

Both companies are producing OLEDs, and the two production facilities will still be owned by the parent companies - but the OLED R&D and sales operations and will be spun-off to a new company.