Philips lumiblade OLED light - first looks

Update: Philips sent us a new white OLED square, here's our hands-on review of it

The kind folks from Philips have sent me a couple of OLED light panel samples to review. Philips have started to offer these panels online, but you can't actually get them yet. The kits are not ready, and the one I got was without a proper box and manuals. As this is just a lamp, really, it's pretty simple to use. You get a driver-box, that's got a dimmer and an on/off switch. I also got two panels:

  • Small rectangle in blue color (Height 43.7mm, 47.4mm)
  • White freeform (height 39.4mm, width 73.1mm)

The first thing you notice is how thin these panels are. It is amazing at first to have a light source so thin. After a while you get used to it, and now it seems strange that normal lamps have to be so big! Once these kind of lights are available, I'm sure no one will want to go back...

The freeform one has a lot of 'speckles' on it. It turns out that it got damaged in the shipment (or perhaps Israeli customs, who handled it and opened it, are to blame). Philips promised to send another white panel, so I'll be able to post new photos in a week or so. UPDATE: Philips indeed sent me a new, working white OLED square... 

Those panels have 1,000 cd/m2 brightness, are up to 20 lm/w in efficiency, and Philips say that the lifetime is 10,000 hours. They are also very thin - 1.8mm in fact. Here's how they look when lighted:

Philips lumiblade oled blue square and driver photo Philips lumiblade oled blue square photo Philips lumiblade oled blue square photo 2
Philips lumiblade oled blue square photo 5 Philips lumiblade oled blue square photo 4
Philips lumiblade oled blue square photo 3 Philips lumiblade oled white freeform photograph Philips lumiblade oled white freeform photo

The panels are not very bright, and you need several of those panels to create a lamp. In fact when Philips showed their table lamp design, it had more then 10 panels. So if you're thinking of ordering those for a test, be sure to order enough.

I also took a few short video clips, showing the panels:




Altogether, it's great to finally see an OLED light panel that you can actually buy. Philips plans to make these into commercial products by next year, and it'll be interesting to watch what will designers create with such beautiful and thin lighting source!

Posted: May 18,2009 by Ron Mertens