Monday, December 5, 2011

Light On the Horizon: OLEDs the Future of Illumination?

LEDs, LCDs, incandescents, compact fluorescents: with all the lighting options that you hear about nowadays, introducing another one might not seem like the – forgive us – “brightest” idea. Once you learn a bit more about organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs, though, we’re confident that you’ll see the benefits of the continued evolution of our industry. OLEDs are similar to standard LEDs in that they generate illumination through conducted electricity acting on the electrons in a given material. The difference, naturally, is that the material in OLEDs is organic (carbon-based), while the semiconductors used in LEDs are not – typically, they are silicon-based.

Put into practical terms, the difference between the two materials is clearer. Take, for instance, televisions.  A typical LED TV is actually LED-backlit, meaning that a white light source behind the display is what makes it visible. OLEDs, on the other hand, generate enough luminescence not to require a backlight, and so can make for much thinner hardware. OLED displays can even be printed onto a flexible substrate by an inkjet printer! Like other newer lighting technologies, OLEDs consume much less power than older methods. The reason we don’t all have OLED TVs in our homes right now?  Costs are still a bit higher, though coming down, and engineers are working to develop longer-lasting displays.

Though we don’t yet offer OLEDs at Bulb Direct, it’s always useful to stay up-to-date on developments around the corner. Something to look forward to, if nothing else. Stay in contact for more information!

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