While LEDs are widely regarded as the star lighting technology of tomorrow, OLED - another emerging new technology - is also playing an increasingly conspicuous role in next-generation lighting. This is chiefly because both LED and OLED are solid-state lighting technologies, and as such are likely to massively surpass the luminous efficacy (efficiency) performance of fluorescent lights in the relatively near future; moreover, they do not involve the use of mercury and are capable of meeting the requirments of next-generation lighting in terms of eliminating ultraviolet rays, improved color rendition and added light adjustability.
Only a tiny number of OLED lighting products are currently available on a commercial basis, largely because the technology has not yet been developed to the point where it can compete with other common forms of lighting in terms of luminous efficacy or luminous flux performance. OLED lighting panels currently achieve luminous efficacy of 35-66 lm/W, levels which are far from ideal in comparison to mainstream lighting technologies; the goal for future development is to increase this figure to a level comparable to other energy-saving light bulb technologies, that is a luminous efficacy of 80 lm/W and a luminous flux approaching 1,000lm.
OLED lighting is still very much a fledgling industry. In order to expedite its development, many major nations have launched OLED lighting development plans, examples of which include the United States' Department of Energy (DOE) R&D Plan and Roadmap, Europe's OLED 100.eu plan, and Japan's Next Generation SSL (solid-state lighting) Plan. In the following report, Digitimes Research describes in detail the OLED plans, targets and schedules of each country or region.
Digitimes Research has also followed the progress of several manufacturers that have already begun to launch commercial OLED lighting products on the market. Examples include Philips, Osram, Panasonic and Lumiotec - companies that are also the world's most proactive developers of OLED lighting. Consequently, this Digitimes Research report also provides a detailed overview of the route that each of the major OLED lighting manufacturers is taking in terms of development progress, technology, commercial products and future goals, as well as the likely impact on the future of the OLED lighting industry, costs and the size of the market.