Lighting Industry, News

Breakthrough OLED could hit market in November from LG Chem

That’s when South Korea’s LG Chem says it will start selling an OLED (organic light emitting diode) panel with very LED-sounding performance ratings of 100 lumens per watt efficacy and 40,000 hours lifetime, according to several newspaper reports from the company’s home country.

‘LG Chem announced on September 11 that the development of OLED lights with 100 lumens per watt was completed for the first time in the world, and products will begin to be sold in November,’ wrote BusinessKorea

‘The LG flagship said it would offer the panels to the global market beginning in November, mostly targeting consumers in North America and Europe,’ reported The Korea Herald. ‘It already secured partnerships with some 50 companies in those regions including Acuity Brands, with the aim of sealing deals to supply OLED panels for automotive rear lamps to global automakers.’

An OLED is a swath of material that emits light when excited by a current. For years developers have heralded them as the greatest thing in lighting since the sun. In principle they throw open tremendous design opportunities. As light sources as they could literally become part of the fabric of lamps as well of furniture, buildings and fashion. And as LG Chem notes on the ‘microsite’, OLEDs eliminate the need for heat sinks and for diffusing light, and they also mimic sunlight 

But developers have struggled to lower the manufacturing costs and to replicate the energy efficiency of LED (light emitting diode) light sources, which are renown for requiring only about 20 percent of the electricity of a conventional incandescent lamp.

Whereas an LED operates at around 100 lumens per watt (lm/w) and sometimes higher, LG Chem’s current stable of OLED products mostly range from 50 to 60 lm/w.

But according to LG Chem’s microsite, it will offer 100 lm/w this year, 120 lm/w next year and 140 in 2016. The company also aspires to 60,000 hours lifetime by 2016.

The Korea JoongAng Daily claimed that the 40,000 hours for the forthcoming OLED in November is “nearly double that” of competitors’ OLED products, and is on a par with LEDs.

None of the stories cited sizes or pricing for the new OLED. LG Chem could not be reached by the time Lux posted this story.

UK research firm cintelliq recently predicted that OLEDs will start generally competing against LEDs by 2016. 

Photo: Sheet lighting. LG Chem OLED panels in an Acutiy lamp. Image is from LG Chem via The Korea Herald.