OLED Luminaires from OLEDWorks Channel Partners

Automotive FAQ

How bright are your automotive OLED panels?

Our ECE/SAE qualified red automotive panels have two stacks at 1000 cd/m2 each, for a total brightness of 2000 cd/m2. This brightness is more than suitable for automotive tail applications.

What colors are available for rear automotive OLED lighting?

Currently, rear lighting is available in ECE/SAE qualified red. Both amber and white OLED lighting are in development for rear automotive applications.

What testing is done for automotive OLED panels?

For automotive applications, OLED panels pass all validation tests (typically thousands of hours), including:

  • High temperature and humidity storage and operation (up to 85C/85%RH)
  • Low temperature operation (down to -40°C)
  • High temperature storage (up to 105°C)
  • Thermal shock (down to -40°C and up to 85°C)
  • Mechanical shock and vibration
  • Corrosive gas and ESD

Can OLEDs be used for turn signaling?

Yes. This application needs further development and validation, but OLEDs for turn signaling are certainly possible depending on the location and given surface. Check out our demonstrator from CES 2022 that illustrates OLEDs in rear and turn functionalities.

Can you customize the size and shape of the segments?

Absolutely. You can have different shapes and different sized shapes within a single panel, and these can be customized to suit your project specifications. The brightness is kept the same between the segments by adjusting the current supplied by the driver. OLEDWorks works closely with our customers to help balance OLED panel design rules with their automotive lighting vision.

Can OLEDs be used for headlights?

Typically, no. Headlights are usually highly directed beams of light, and for a Lambertian light source, this isn’t an efficient application.

Can you integrate multiple colors within one panel?

OLED technology is capable of this. Commercialization will follow market demand for this type of configuration.

What is the maximum operating temperature of your panels?

For automotive tail lamps we pass AEC-Q-102 testing at operating temperatures ranging from -40°C to 85°C. We also pass storage testing at 105°C.

What is the lifetime of your automotive OLED panels?

This depends on the mission or operating profile and specifications. We follow AEC-Q-102 testing procedures for all our products and incorporate customer-specific qualification tests to ensure manufacturing and lifetime requirements are met.

What size OLED panels can you make?

The technology itself has almost zero theoretical size limits, but there are practical considerations in production that limit the possibilities of size. Every panel must have approximately 5mm of unlit edge on each side for handling, and 10mm on the side with the FPC. So a very small emitter area, let’s say 1mm x 1mm, would grow to 11mm x 16mm for the entire panel. On the opposite extreme, large OLED panels are limited by production capabilities and decreased yield.

What is the vibration specification of OLEDs?

OLEDs are tested to AEC-Q-102 vibration testing taillight specifications for broadband vibration and mechanical shock and pass these stringent tests.

How are OLEDs fixed in housing?

At the operating conditions of the taillight, the OLED is attached to an injection molded polymer housing using a double-sided pressure sensitive adhesive.

What is the mirror reflectivity of the panels?

It depends on the stack used, but typical reflectivity is >90%.

How do OLEDs compare to microLED technology?

Manufacturers are expressing doubt that microLEDs will meet the performance requirements for automotive exterior and interior requirements due to stringent legal requirements, demanding environment (thermal, shock, vibration), and the high cost to align and assemble the requisite number of microLEDs into a larger emitting area.

How do OLEDs compare to edge lit LED technology?

Segmented, uniform, edge lit/surface LEDs face challenges regarding:

  • Power consumption: Use of wave guides leads to losses in efficiency.
  • Thermal management/stability/reliability: The waveguide material is typically an acrylate or polycarbonate but there are challenges in the thermal stability of these materials. New materials would be required.
  • Segmentation: This approach has very limited ability for very basic segmentation, particularly within a thin profile. Moving to more highly segmented panels becomes challenging due to the number of components required and labor challenges associated with alignment and assembly of the lamp.

What are the recommended storage conditions?

  • Recommended temperature and storage: Panels should be stored at 15°C ≤ Tstorage ≤ 40°C for a maximum of 12 months to avoid change of performance at t=0.
  • Humidity Storage to avoid electrical failure: Package open: 5% ≤ Storage Humidity ≤ 60% RH. Package closed: ≤ 80% RH

How many segments are possible within a single panel?

The quantity of segments depends on the dimensions of the panel. An innovative OLEDWorks panel prototype presented at CES 2022 contained over 600 segments with lit dimensions of 56mm x 203mm.

How long does development take for an automotive OLED solution?

Development timelines depend on the required tests and the requested development phases. The prototyping process could be as short as 6 weeks or as long as 20 weeks. Products typically take 1-2 years, depending on the application and testing required. We work alongside each of our customers to provide a more accurate timeline as we progress.

How well do your panels resist UV?

We follow DIN 75 220 testing protocol

  • 1000 ±100 W/m²
  • 240 h dry climate T = 42 ±3 °C, H < 30 % rel.
  • 240 h humid climate T = 42 ±3 °C, H > 60 % rel.

The samples are exposed through an appropriately tinted lens. Our panels pass these tests.

Can LED drivers be used for OLEDs, or are there any special technical specifications required?

In principle, yes, any driver can be used if it meets the current and voltage requirements. However, it is worth noting that our OLED panels require drivers with a common cathode.

General Lighting FAQ

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.

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.

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.

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 to100K hours.

What drivers are compatible with OLED lights?

OLEDWorks LumiBlade and LumiCurve product families require drivers that provide constant current output at relatively low current levels. For example, the Brite 3 panels require a range of145mA to 215 mA, depending on shape. Constant current or pulse width modulation driving schemes can be used.

Are OLED panels dimmable?

OLED lighting panels are 1 – 100% dimmable. Direct current driven panels can be dimmed by adjusting the delivered current level. OLEDs are also compatible with both pulse width modulation(PWM) and amplitude modulation (AM) dimming. Because OLEDs are solid-state lighting (SSL) solutions they can be used with standard SSL control systems such as occupancy sensors, daylight systems, and dimmers.

Do OLED panels emit harmful blue light?

OLED lighting panels and fixtures are rated as exempt from any blue light hazard, which means they are not harmful to the skin and eyes. This is because OLEDs produce a broad blue spectrum with less short-wave blue and more long-wave blue, resulting in a lower blue light hazard rating and lower melatonin suppression.

Can OLED lighting panels be segmented? Are the segments individually addressable?

Yes and yes. One example is the segmented OLED taillight used in the Audi A8. We are continuing to work with the market to define how segmentation can benefit both designers and users. For example, segmented OLED panels can be utilized for dynamic signage for wayfinding, information display, or branding with the benefit of millimeter thinness, crisp shape rendition, and low heat generation.

What are the handling requirements of OLED?

OLED panels are glass-based and should be handled with the same care as you would a glass plate. Do not cut, puncture, twist or snap the OLED panel. The only exception to this is the LumiCurve Wave, which may be bent to a minimum radius of 10cm (3.9in).

Does OLEDWorks bin panels in manufacturing?

No. The OLED manufacturing process uses quality control methodologies to produce lot-to-lot color consistency and brightness. We target < 2.5 MacAdams consistency and +/- 100K CCT maximum.

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). We offer four standard shapes and sizes of panels, each in 3000K or 4000K CCT. If you are interested in large volume custom shapes and sizes, contact us today.

What size OLED panels can you make?

While the technology itself has almost no theoretical size limit, there are practical considerations in production that limit the panel size. Every panel must have approximately 5mm of unlit edge on each side for handling, and an additional 5 mm on the side with the electrical connection. For a very small emitter area such as 1mm x 1mm for example, the overall panel size would grow to 11mm x 16mm. On the opposite end of the scale, there are limitations for extremely large OLED panels due to manufacturing considerations. Please
contact us directly to learn more about the possibilities with panel shapes and sizes.

Is dynamic color tuning available with OLEDs?

Dynamic color tuning is not available in our current products. However, it is possible and has been achieved in our labs as a demonstration.

What is the replacement process of an OLED panel?

The replacement process depends on the luminaire design. The panel itself can be readily plugged into a connector and disengaged for replacement.

What is the disposal process of an OLED panel and the environmental impact?

OLEDWorks panels are mostly made of glass and are certified by ISO 14001 to be easily disposed of with glass waste. Brite 3 OLED technology also meets the European Union’s stringent RoHS and REACH directives.