One of the bigger takeaways from LIGHTFAIR 2014 in Las Vegas earlier this month was how quickly the world of lighting changes – not in terms of years, but in terms of months. We already know LED lighting has permeated our daily lives starting in offices, moving into homes and in our cars. As the industry changes, the demand to make our lights more efficient while maintaining optimal light output is key.
The next step is what we all call OLED’s –
“organic light-emitting diode” and several manufacturers are pushing their products and research into OLED’s heavily. We have already seen OLED’s in some lighting products including TV’s.
We happened upon Bayer MaterialScience’s booth at LIGHTFAIR International and learned more about their reflective white polycarbonate that appears to create higher light reflection, minimal light loss and is flame resistant. You have to remember, when we are talking about using glass, there are refraction issues; the light has to fight the refractive properties of the glass and air in order to escape. The polycarbonate, or organic layer, Bayer MaterialScience and other groups are trying to perfect actually emits light from the source nearly eliminating refraction of the light back into itself.
Is this the end of the light bulb as you know it?
GE has created lightweight panels made of OLED’s that can bend and twist – we are talking about solid materials that will not require the basics of the bulb, a vacuum in the incandescent or the gas in a fluorescent. OLED’s release light in all directions and the light is soft and diffuse unlike the unpleasant nature of fluorescents. OLED’s also don’t need hot temperatures to work. LED’s do.
Prepare to start hearing more about OLED’s as manufacturer’s and many of our partners and vendors start to carry them. Their ability to change how we light the world is coming fast!