More than just a new light source…

July 25, 2017

“It’s really breathtaking that image”, “it’s so deep that color” or “real amazingly thin” …The new OLED TVs are the center of attention. Here OLED is the next logical step after LED… and with Apple now implementing OLEDs in the iPhone X soon half of the world will have an OLED in their pocket.

In the lighting market it is not the quality of an image but the quality of the light experience that matters. There is and will be always a reason to choose a LED light source if you need an indirect point light but for a direct surface light, the best choice is OLED. The OLED is by nature flat, diffuse, thin and with superb light quality. OLEDs eliminates the need to manipulate the LED, with the help of edge lit waveguides, additional diffusers, thermal management and covers, into something it is not.

Yes, the price for an OLED lighting panel might not be at the same level than a LED yet, but most of our customers forget to compare the complete system cost. To get the same light in a diffuse way out of a LED, you need to work with diffusers and waveguides, resulting in light loss plus you need heat sinks – usually heavy and bulky. All of that you don‘t need with an OLED! That‘s why that comparison of an OLED lighting panel with just the LED itself is a bit unfair. Not mentioning the difference in space you need for the whole LED system if you want to have the same surface light than with an OLED lighting panel.

But what we need to mention is the paradigm of the less efficient OLED. Sure LED manufacturers promote their 120 or 150 lm/W products rather aggressively, but what they like to forget is the efficiency loss once it is in the system. Diffusers reduce the lumen output of the initial source significantly, often as much as 50%. In addition the heat management will increase the power needed to run the system. With the OLED lighting panel you have your system already in your hand and you just need to choose the right electronics to run it in an efficient way. In this way, LED and OLED are the same.

Looking into the near future, flexible OLED lighting panels nullify such comparisons. Several hundred microns thick incredibly lightweight, efficient, bendable and still providing plenty of functional and high quality light is only achievable with OLED. That’s why OLED lighting is more than just a new light source…