DOE Publishes OLED Luminaires Testing Results

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released CALiPER Report 24: Photometric Testing, Laboratory Teardowns, and Accelerated Lifetime Testing of OLED Luminaires, which is the first CALiPER report evaluating the performance of OLED luminaires based on independent procurement and testing. Among the findings:

  • Overall, efficacy of the OLED luminaires was low compared to contemporary LED luminaires, ranging from 23 lm/W up to 45 lm/W. OLED panels range between 42 and 55 lm/W according to panel manufacturer data, and much of the efficacy reduction in the luminaire performance is due to very inefficient transformer and driver selections and combinations. The wider availability of dedicated OLED drivers should improve efficacies in the near future.
  • Light distribution was consistent among the tested products – a soft, diffuse, roughly Lambertian emission, moderated only by the physical configuration of the luminaire hardware. This is expected to produce very soft shadows from objects in the path of the light, and patterns of light on surfaces with very soft gradients at the edges of the “beam.”
  • The drivers for all four CALiPER luminaire types were different, with some luminaires using a single driver and others using a combination of electronic components for voltage transformation, conversion from AC to DC, and voltage/current control.
  • The OLED luminaires performed very closely to the manufacturers’ published technical data, where available.

OLED panels, drivers, and transformers are still in a steep curve of development. Goals are higher efficacy; longer life, before panel replacement on the jobsite is needed; better lumen maintenance over time; even better color quality and wider CCT options; higher-efficiency drivers; and robustness under high temperature, high humidity, and rough handling from shipping and installation. Improvements in these areas could make OLED luminaires more accepted in the architectural marketplace, and adopted as a trusted lighting solution.

For a closer look at the findings, download the full report

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