Verbatim started shipping the Velve OLED lighting evaluation kit back in May 2011, and last month they sent us a unit for review. This is the world's first (and only) color-tunable OLED lighting panel, and it's pretty exciting.
The Fraunhofer Institute first announced their Tabola OLED lighting panels back in October 2010, with plans to release them in Q1 2011. We haven't heard anything since (and I assumed the project was scrapped) - but last week I got a nice surprise in the mail: three sample panels (two transparent, one structured). The Fraunhofer are now producing sample panels and have actually started to ship these cool transparent Tabola OLEDs to customers now - which makes these the first transparent OLED lighting panels on the market. Read on for our hands-on review.
Philips released their first OLED panels (or Lumiblades, as they call them) back in April 2009, and in May they sent us a few panels for a review. Since then Philips released new panels, and last week they sent us a new "experience kit" with two OLEDs: a white dot and a white tall rectangle.
Back in June, Lumiotec announced a couple of new OLED lamps: the Vanity desk lamp and the world's cheapest OLED lamp, the $450 Hanger. Both use a single square OLED panel (we reviewed a previous generation panel back in September 2010). They were kind enough to send both lamps for a review, and after a few weeks of dealings with the Israeli customs, the lamps finally arrived and here's my review.
Both lamps use Lumiotec's Version-2 square OLED panels (14.5 x 14.5 mm active area) which feature a color temperature of 4,900K and a maximum luminance of 2,700 cd/m2. The panels are not very efficient at 10.5 lm/W (they use all-fluorscent OLEDs). The Hanger consumes 12 W while the Vanity consumes 13 W (the extra Watt is because of the electric touch sensor, more on this below). Here's our hands-on review of Lumiotec's Version-1 panels.
Blackbody announced their new Smart OLED lamp family back in September 2011, and they kindly sent us a V-LUX OLED desk lamp for a review. The V-LUX is an OLED desk lamp with two long rectangular OLED panels, designed by Bertrand's ID Medas. The V-LUX comes in 4 colors - gray, red, black and white - they sent me the black one.
Each OLED panel is 100 cm2 in size, has a color rendering index of 80 and a color temperature of 3200K. The V-LUX consumes 2.8 W and its size is 35 (H) x 25 (W) x 46 (L) cm. The price is €572.
The Organic Electronics Association (OEA) recently released their latest OE brochure, to which they attached a very cool demonstrator - an organic solar cell (PV) powered flashlight:
What feels like a bit of cardboard actually contains a a roll-to-roll printed organic solar cell, a flexible lithium-ion battery and a printed electronic circuitry. And of course a small white LED. The association says that this can "give you the feeling" of the next generation of electronics: thin, lightweight, flexible and produced at a low cost.
The nice guys over at APUS have kindly sent me an OLED watch for review. This is their Alpha Dark Force, which uses a blue PMOLED (they have other watches that use red or white PMOLEDs). APUS are selling the phones on-line in their web shop. The watches are also available in Amazon.com. The Alpha Dark Force, shown above costs $129.
When you first take it out of the box, you notice something strange - the display is off. Then you realize that that's how it's supposed to be - the watch does not display anything until you press a button. Then it shows you the time for a few seconds, and turns off again. APUS say that this is to preserve the battery, which will drain in a couple of days if the display will be always on. More on this later.
The kind folks over at Osram has sent us one of their new ORBEOS OLED Lighting panel for a review. The ORBEOS is a round (88mm diameter) glass panel that's only 2.1mm thick (it weights 24g). The efficiency is 25lm/W. The brightness of the panels is 1,000cd/m² with power input of less than a watt, and they should last around 5,000 hours. The panels are available now via OSRAM's site, they cost €240 each. The panels were actually released back in November 2009, and OSRAM say that they are happy with the sales and interest so far.
Read on to see my impressions of this OLED panel, and how it compares to Philips' Lumiblade panels which were the first available OLED panels...
A few weeks ago, Philips sent me a couple of Lumiblade OLED panels to test - a blue square, and a white 'freeform'. Unfortunately the white one had some defects. So they sent me a new white panel, this one a square. It's the same size as the blue square. Finally I have a real OLED light lamp - a white one... The OLED driver that I have can only connect to one panel (when you actually buy these from Philips, you get a 4-panel driver. So I couldn't take a photo of two panels together.