SSL Technology Update: February 13, 2013

We regularly expand our scope to cover solid-state lighting technologies beyond LEDs. Organic LEDs, or OLEDs, hold great potential in delivering naturally diffused light. A group of European researchers have just completed a three and a half year project called So-Light that has sought to overcome obstacles to broader OLED deployment, including production cost. The research spanned study of materials to end applications. For example, Siteco worked on a suspended OLED pendant fixture that also includes LEDs in the fixture for task light directly below the linear center.

The results of the research should see new materials and products commercialized. Novaled and Sensient have developed new materials for layers that make up the OLED panel, including an electron transport layer and emitter layers. Aixtron and Comedd optimized an organic vapor phase deposition system for larger OLED panels. Ledon worked on improving electrical contact technology, and Fresnel researched a new primary optic layer for panels. The end product research extended all of the way to the automotive market where Hella developed an automotive tail light that uses a cluster of small red OLED panels.

Staying in Europe, the new Lighting Europe organization has made progress in developing an organizational structure. The organization is intended to become the central representative of lighting companies and country-level lighting associations across the European continent. Lighting Europe has now appointed an executive board and Dietmar Zenbrot of Trilux will serve as the initial president.

Enabling technologies for LED-based lighting products come in many forms and a new ring light from Global Lighting Technologies, or GLT, is a great example of the diversity. GLT is a specialist in LED-based edge-lighting and light guides that are typically used in planar lighting applications, a similar target market to OLEDs. The new ring light still utilizes a pair of edge-mounted LEDs, yet GLT will supply the technology in a circular ring. The circular light guide includes optical extraction features to evenly distribute light around the ring. An injection-molded diffuser plate also helps the design deliver uniform light. GLT believes that the ring can serve in general lighting applications such as desk lamps and vanity mirrors. The company will customize the size to specific applications and also notes that automotive applications such as lighting for cup holders and clocks are targets.

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