Light and Building 2018: LG Display, OLEDWorks, Sumitomo Chemical Optimistic about Development of OLED Lighting

Connected lighting is definitely a main focus at Light and Building 2018. While most of the lighting companies emphasize the smartness of their products, a group of OLED lighting manufacturers differentiate themselves, showing multiple values of OLED with their innovations.

LG Display

American industrial designer Richard Stone designed Interwoven Luminance and won first place of the LG OLED Design Competitiion 2017. (Image: LEDinside)

LG Display amazed visitors with a broad range of OLED panel lights combining with different technologies that add so much more value to its products. Under the brand Luflex, it introduced the Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) lights. With exciters embedded, those OLED panels become illuminating speakers. The technology can only be achieved with OLED due to its thinness, explained Michael Chung, Assistant Manager of Promotion at LG Display. The thickness of an OLED panel light is about 0.41mm and increases to 2-2.5mm when encased. It features only a thickness of 30mm after being integrated with an exciter which turns it into a speaker.

LG Display’s CSO lights can be connected with smartphones and tables to play music. (Image: LEDinside)
Those illuminating OLED panel lights are CSO lights that generate sounds of the TV program. (Image: LEDinside)
(Image: LEDinside)

The company also showcased its Truly Flexible OLED lights, of which the high flexibility enables various curved designs. It takes curved OLED panel lights to a higher level by devising the Curved Transparent Solution. LG Display places a curved OLED panel light on a special flexible glass substrate that contains a thin layer of transparent conductive film allowing electricity to go through the substrate to power the light.

(Images: LEDinside)

With over a decade of experience in OLED lighting R&D and manufacturing, LG display targets not only decorative lighting but automotive lighting, said Chung. It collaborated with automakers such as Mercedes Benz to develop OLED rear lights for the high-end vehicle market. By aligning small OLED lights next to one another, it creates a signature of dragon scales.

(Image: LEDinside)

Chung revealed that the company continues to reduce the thickness of OLED rear lights and refine their designs for future cars. It showcased a new ultra-thin OLED rear light that can save more boot space for car owners.

LG Display’s new ultra-thin rear OLED light (Image: LEDinside)
(Image: LEDinside)

In terms of production sites, LG Display now also utilizes a Gen 5 line in Gumi, Korea to produce OLED lighting products along with its Gen 2 lines. The company acknowledged its production cost for OLED lighting is not likely to decrease in the short term since it puts massive investments into the development; however, it is confident that the added-value it creates for their products to have more than just the illumination capability will become a strong demand driver.

Sumitomo Chemical

(Image: LEDinside)

Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical showcased its color and patterned OLED lighting. Unlike other manufacturers, Sumitomo uses the ink-jet printing technology and thus is able to produce OLED panel lights with different patterns that cannot be achieved with the OLED deposition technology.

Another difference between Sumitomo’s OLED lights and its equivalents lies in the structure. The company devised the Polymer OLED (PLED) structure that combines the electron injection layer, the electron transport layer, and the RGB light-emitting layers all together into one white emissive layer.

The simple composition and the ink-jet OLED printing technology significantly lower the production cost. The cost of a 10cm*10cm Sumitomo OLED lighting panel is just around USD 10, according to a Sumitomo representative.

Sumitomo mainly distributes its OLED lighting to the indoor decorative lighting segment. It plans to launch new products with flexibility and higher efficiency in 2020.

Patterned OLED lights can be manufactured with the ink-jet printing technology. (Image: LEDinside)

OLEDWorks

OLEDWorks also adds innovation to its OLED lighting. At the fair, the company showcased the new Brite 3 series with higher efficiency in different form factors. Apart from rigid OLED lights, the series also includes a curved OLED light called BENDOLED.

Instead of focusing only on decorative lighting, OLEDWorks would also march into the general lighting market by transforming a part of its products into functional lights, revealed Daniel Hoffmann, Product & Marketing Manager of OLEDWorks.

He also said that the company has been controlling its production cost and gradually reduced it while enhancing the value of the lights over the past three years.

Daniel Hoffmann, Product & Marketing Manager of OLEDWorks (Image: LEDinside)
BENDOLED (Image: LEDinside)
The intelligent OLED lighting fixture KUMOLED produced by i art. (Image: LEDinside)

i art, one of OLEDWorks’ partners, creates KUMOLED, an intelligent OLED lighting fixture. The company embeds sensors in the light stands at the bottom to detect the amount of external light, allowing those fixtures to emit dynamic light that simulates weather conditions.

OLEDWorks co-developed OLED lights suitable for office lighting with Acuity Brands Lighting. (Image: LEDinside)
OLEDWorks integrates round OLED panel lights into a table to make them serve as coasters when illuminating. (Image: LEDinside)

In terms of regional preferences towards lighting, Hoffmann said that Europe is very design driven, while consumers in the US prefer functional lighting. The company has been in collaboration with Acuity Brands Lighting to design OLED lighting that can be used in offices.

In Asia, Japan is a market where OLEDWorks sees greater demand for OLED lights. The market looks for both decorative and functional OLED lighting. OLEDWorks also works closely with designers in Japan to develop decorative OLED lighting that meets Japanese consumers’ needs and preferences. 

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