Organic LED

2013-02-13 16.25.17In the last few years we have seen significant advances made in LED technology. We are guaranteed that someone at the beginning of every lighting design project will bring the LED possibilities into the conversation. Like the LED, another rising star in the LED family is the OLED, also known as the “Organic Light Emitting Diode”.

While all the reputable lighting companies (Phillips, GE, and Osram Sylvania) are developing OLED’s this blog will focus on the strides Phillips Lighting is making and only in part because the Phillips Rep was the fastest in bringing by our office all the cool samples of OLED’s to play with.
If you are looking for the technical material qualities and working principals on OLED’s after you finish reading my blog you can find that by typing in OLED on Wiki. This blog will be a very simple explanation of OLED’s with more emphasis on the Cool, and Future Cool.

OLED’s unlike LED’s are a flat sheet of organic material that when electrified produce uniform, shadow-less, dimmable lighting. The OLED panels are extremely thin (0.7 and 1.8 millimeters) with the actual OLED material having a very thin thickness that is equal to 1/400th the size of a human hair.
OLED’s come in all colors by design. An OLED can be white or warm in appearance. Color is achieved by mixing RGB. At this time there is no color changing from Phillips in the OLED’s. Phillip’s is projecting that in 5 years time they will have a color changing OLED on the market.

Similar to the Color, the OLED’s shapes can be designed as well (circles, squares, triangles, stars, etc) within the size limits of the OLED panel. Another projection by Phillips is that in 5 years the OLED will be flexible enough to wrap around objects.

Of all the OLED’s, the transparent OLED I saw demonstrated had the most potential or probably future potential to bring cool to a project. This OLED when illuminated emits light, then when the OLED is turned off the glass is transparent. You can see from the images the illuminated OLED and the clarity when the same OLED is turned off. The Phillips example of this use portrayed a protoype car that coupled this transparent OLED with the Phillips solar collector. By day, the OLED’s provided a skylight to the outside, while by night the OLED’s provided the needed artificial light inside the car.

One architectural possibility that comes to mind is the transparent OLED in a private residential bathroom setting. When needed OLED’d installed into or next to a mirror provide the perfect shadowless light we need for shaving or putting on makeup. When we are finished using the light we have a view to the transparent view to the outside.2013-02-13 16.25.53

The OLED’s are very cool and have great potential down the road for future architectural lighting solutions. The current downside that will improve over time is that the initial cost and lamp life will be a road block for most projects.

The cool installations presented to date include projects for Aston Martin and the W Hotel Taipai, projects that didn’t really have a real world budget. The LED started out this way, and now the LED is quickly becoming more of a realistic option on most lighting specifications. I would predict the OLED is on the same path.

Below are some cool links to some additional OLED videos and information, provided by our Phillips rep.
• New video for the Interactive mirror: The full video can be found here.
• Here is a video for the Philips’ LivingSculpture kinetic OLED installation
• Finally, the Lumiblade Living wall:

More information can also be found on the Phillips website;


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