OLED lighting panels get closer to target efficiency

 A new OLED panel provides further improvement in efficiency over fluorescent tubes.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff June 23, 2008

Organic light-emitting diodes ( OLED ) have passed yet another milestone in efficiency. Universal Display Corp. has created an OLED panel that can produce up to 102 lumens. This is a marked improvement over current fluorescent tubes in the market that yield 50 to 90 lumens, and an even greater improvement over the 13 lumens produced by Tungsten light bulbs.
The technology has gotten consumers and even competitors excited. Anil Duggal of General Electric is trying to beat Universal Display to the commercialization of the technology. Cell-phone displays are one of the more popular
uses of OLED technology. At a time when energy is becoming more valuable by the day, OLEDs can stand to provide much needed relief from a power shortage.
There are, however, still a number of obstacles that stand in the way of OLEDs becoming the standard in lighting. The panels tend to dim after a few hundred or thousand hours of use. It is also difficult to mass produce them, which drives up the cost of the product.
It is clear that the future of the lighting industry lies in the commercialization of the OLED. Universal Display has received research funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy , which has targeted a commercial OLED operating at 150 lumens/W by 2015.