5 Most Frequently Asked Questions about OLED Lighting

September 18, 2019

Over the last decade, organic light emitting diodes (OLED) have grown into a reliable, powerful and innovative technology with a multitude of benefits. But there are still a few questions about what exactly makes this lighting so special. Read on to find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about OLED lighting.

What is OLED lighting?

Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) are a member of the solid-state lighting family. The panels are composed of thin layers of organic compounds placed between two electrodes on a substrate and encapsulated. When DC current is applied, charge carriers from the anode and cathode are injected into the organic layers resulting in electroluminescence and visible light emission. Fabricated on sheets of glass, OLEDs do not need heat sinks, diffusers, or waveguides and are uniquely thin and lightweight.

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How is OLED different than LED?

While LEDs are point source lights, OLEDs are large area surface emitters. The broad surface emission creates a diffuse light that is glare-free, reducing eye fatigue and strain compared to intense point source lights (such as LEDs without diffusers), and is an inherent characteristic of OLED lighting panels. OLEDs use carbon-based materials that emit the wavelength of choice – creating a full color spectrum output. Unlike LED, they do not use phosphor conversion of blue light to generate the longer wavelengths required for white light, thus OLED has reduced blue-light risk.

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What is the light output of an OLED panel?

For the square and rectangle Brite 3 products, the nominal output is 300 lumens for 3000K white and 250 lumens for 4000K white. Round panels are nominally 200 lumens (3000K) and 165 lumens (4000K). By decreasing current, the panels can be dimmed to user preference and application demands. Panel lifetime is proportional to the current, with lower current levels and brightness resulting in longer lifetimes.

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How long do OLEDs last? What is their lifetime?

Lifetime is defined as the time at which the panel’s light output is reduced to 70% of its initial brightness, noted as L70 for most solid state lighting products. This is not a hard failure, the way an incandescent bulb dies, but a metric based on reduced light output at constant current. Brite 3 products at nominal brightness are rated for 30K hours. At 3,000 cd/m2, a brightness level that is consistent with office lighting standards in the EU, lifetime extends to 100K hours.

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Can OLED panels be customized to any shape or size?

Absolutely! The nature of OLED manufacturing allows for a high level of customization including panel shape, size, and individually addressable segments (including logos for branding).

To find out how they’re being used today and what’s possible in the way of customization, download our OLED Lighting FAQ Guide.

Download the OLED Lighting FAQ Guide