Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Light Up Everything With OLED

We have reported several times on OLED (organic light emitting diodes) technology and how it could outperform eInk. So it was very interesting to read today about OLED being used to create "light emitting wallpaper" that could replace traditional light bulbs in a few years!

LOMOX, a Welsh company has been developing the technology and has been awarded a £454,000 grant from the Carbon Trust to get it into use in homes, business and on even on the roads.

The technology has wide usages such as televisions, computers and mobile phone displays but can also be coated onto a thin flexible film to cover walls like wallpaper. It needs a very low operating voltage and can be powered by solar panels or batteries. It is expected that outdoor applications could be the first to appear and remove the need for signs to be powered by the mains.

Lomox has developed chemicals which they believe can allow low-energy devices to be developed at economic rates which should replace existing technology. They claim that you can paint it on a wall or wallpaper and enable it to glow with light. It could make the phrase ceiling lighting real!

With close to 20% of all the UK's electricity being used for lighting and with OLEDs offering significant efficient over standard energy-saving lightbulbs the real potential is significant.

1 comment:

Inkling said...

Painting a ceiling makes far more sense than painting a wall. WIth the exception of reading lights, I've never liked having lights in my field of vision. Others seem to feel the same. That's perhaps why most room lighting is installed in ceilings.

Lighting in the ceiling is also less likely to get damaged, less likely to get damaged by small kids, and won't limit the ability to remodel a room by changing wall colors. Also, energy isn't wasted lighting up space behind furniture and bookshelves.

If this sort of lighting makes sense, it hardly needs money to promote it. What is needed is a good standard for solar-supplied power for homes, meaning a standard voltage, distribution connectors, and interchangeable components. Imagine how crazy things would be if every home's AC power used non-standard voltages, connectors and components.

Near me, a solar-powered ATM machine went kaput because someone had 24-volt solar cells feeding a 12-volt battery system. Solar power won't take off as long as that sort of messiness goes away.