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

The EU SOLEDLIGHT project developed solution-processed R2R OLEDs, reports interim results

Nov 18, 2017

The SOLEDLIGHT (Solution Processed OLEDs for Lighting) project was launched in 2015 by a European consortium with an aim to develop cost efficient, roll-to roll (R2R) solution processed OLEDs, including their integration in prototype multiple-panel OLED lighting systems and luminaires.

The SOLEDLIGHT consortium (which is coordinated by the University of Valencia and includes OSRAM and Solvay) reported that it managed to develop multi-layer R2R solution processed OLEDs that achieved a power efficiency of 20 lm/W. This is still not up to par with evaporation-based OLEDs, but the project partners aim to achieve 100 lm/W (and 15,000 hours) by the end of 2017.

New videos show the latest LG Display OLED installations in Korea and Hong Kong

Nov 13, 2017

LG Display published three very nice videos showcasing three new OLED lighting installations. First up is an OLED chandelier that was specifically designed for the presidential suite suite in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong.

As you can see in the video above, the Chandelier has a unique design that uses 36 modules each with 4 OLED Panels (for a total of 144 10x10 cm panels). The project managers (TELCS Lighting Design and Consutancy) and the chandelier designer (Joyce Wang Studio) say that only OLED lighting panels provided them with the light quality and design possibilities that they wanted.

OLED Microdisplays Market Report

IKEA launches its first OLED lamp, the Vitsand chandelier

Nov 11, 2017

IKEA launched its first OLED lamp, the Vitsand - a chandelier with 7 OLED panels. The Vitsand provides 700 lumens at 2700K. Each panel is about 77 lm/W (total 7W). The lamp is dimmable, and the panels unfortunately cannot be replaced.

IKEA Vitsand OLED photo

The Vitsand is now available in IKEA Europe for €199. It is great to see OLED lighting enter a retail store like IKEA, even though the price is still very high. The panels are likely made by LG Display but we are not sure.

LGD's rigid and flexible OLED lighting deployed at Baskin Robbins' new cafe in Seoul

Oct 18, 2017

Baskin Robbins opened a new cafe in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul, under the new premium brand Baskin Robbins Brown (a new brand that is exclusive so far to South Korea).

OLED lighting at Baskin Robbins Brown, Seoul

The new cafe installed a large amount of LG Display's rigid and flexible OLED lighting panels to create a grid on the ceiling. The designer SPC Group aimed to create a "striking focal point for the store" while ensuring that the lighting was well distributed over the shop's display areas. LG says that one of the advantages of OLED lighting is the very low heat emission - which is helpful when you offer frozen ice cream...

Audi details the OLED lighting panels used in the 2018 A8

Oct 14, 2017

In July 2017 Audi unveiled its flagship luxuries sedan, the 2018 Audi A8, which uses OLED taillights. Hopefully the A8 is Audi's first car with OLED panels in all versions (the 2016 TT RS also has OLED lighting, but these were optional).

Audi A8 2018 OLED structure slide

Audi did not yet reveal the specification of these OLEDs, but now it has released the image above which shows the structure. The A8 uses four OLED modules on each side , each with what seems to be 6 different structured panels, a large red one and five yellow ones which form the turn indicators.

OLED-Info's flexible, transparent, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2017

Oct 10, 2017

Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, transparent, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to October 2017.

The OLED for VR/AR Market Report:

  • Why OLEDs are adopted in almost all VR HMDs
  • What kind of displays are required for VR and AR applications
  • What the future holds for the VR and AR markets
  • Current and future VR and AR systems

The report package provides a great introduction to the emerging VR and AR market, and details the role that OLED displays will have. Read more here!

Is LG the supplier of the Mercedes S-Class Coupe OLED taillights?

Oct 07, 2017

LG Electronics Germany posted a short press release in which it says it has launched its first OLED taillights product, adopted already by a major European car maker.

LG Electronics OLED Taillights (2017)

As you can see in the image above, this is the OLED Taillight used in the Mercedes 2018 S-Class Coupe and Convertible, unveiled last month. We do not know much details on this module, only that each one contains 33 individually controlled red OLED panels.

The Fraunhofer FEP, NSMAT and MSSMC developed an OLED on a stainless steel substrate

Sep 21, 2017

The Fraunhofer FEP institute, in collaboration with Nippon Steel & Sumikin Materials (NSMAT) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC), developed a new OLED lighting prototype that is made on a stainless steel substrate.

OLED on stainless steel prototype (Fraunhofer, NSMAT, NSSMC)

The researchers say that a stainless steel substrate has several advantages compared to glass or plastic - it has excellent thermal conductivity and excellent barrier properties. The lighting panel features an extremely homogenous OLED light, thanks to the planarization layer developed by NSSMC. The prototype panel was produced at the Fraunhofer's R2R research line.

UBI: the OLED lighting market will reach $1.9 billion by 2021

Sep 17, 2017

UBI Research says that LG Display will start mass producing OLED lighting panels at its 5-Gen fab by the end of September 2017, which will the growth period of the OLED lighting market.

OLED lighting market forecast (2017-2025, UBI)

According to UBI, the market will reach panel sales of $1.9 billion by 2021, and continue its fast growth to reach $5.8 billion by 2025. That's a CAGR of 85% from 2017 to 2025!

The National Palace Museum of Korea adopts OLED lighting from LGD

Sep 15, 2017

The National Palace Museum of Korea in Seoul has replaced its lighting system with OLED lighting panels made by LG Display, significantly decreasing the amount of unwanted shadows and glare.

OLED lighting at the national palace museum of Korea

The OLED lighting panels also takes up less space than the previous system - the museum has old-fashioned low ceiling which made it difficult to light properly, and the museum curator explains that the low temperatures of the panels enabled them to place the lighter closer to the exhibited items without loss of damage.

Kyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emittersKyulux - Hyperfluoresence OLED emitters