Green home construction is on the rise. From using sustainable building materials to seeking out the latest energy-saving appliances to cut down on electricity usage, people are willing to adopt the latest green products to change their homes. When it comes to lighting, about everyone has accepted that old incandescent lights are obsolete as LED lighting has shown green advantages in durability, longevity and energy savings. In time, even these lights may become obsolete in favor of organic lighting.
What is Organic Lighting?
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are an advancement to electroluminescence that uses electricity to produce light versus the old incandescent lights that rely on a heated metal filament to make the light. This electroluminescence technique consists of four materials: the framework substrate that holds it all together, the semi conductive material, the cathode that produces the electrons and the anodes that draws the electrons through the layered material to produce the light.
As the electrons run through the semi conductive material, it produces light. The differences between LED lights and OLED lighting are that the semi conductive material is made from an organic material — in this case carbon — that is placed down in a film sheet. LED lights rely on semiconductors and inorganic material placed in individual bulbs set as an array.
So what does this all mean for lighting?
LED lighting produces a single point of light when in use. OLED lighting can diffuse the light in a larger area and as a flat surface due to the film of carbon material. Also, carbon is an organic material as it is a greener lighting alternative. OLEDs are commonly used today for small displays such as smartphones, digital cameras and other electronics.
The Benefits Of OLED Lighting
OLED lighting can be used throughout homes from televisions to ambient lighting options. The benefits are numerous once more advances in this organic lighting technology are made. Currently, the top benefits of OLED lighting include:
- Flexible, lightweight materials:The film of carbon makes the OLED lighting ideal for flat display surfaces such as television screens and roll-up displays.
- More durability:Due to the flexibility of the OLED semi conductive materials, it can have a substrate made out of plastic instead of the typical glass, making them shatter-resistant.
- Improved brightness and colors:OLEDs can produce light as well as have a color array for image screens. This lighting has a refresh rate that is as much as a 1,000 times greater than a typical LCD display.
- Better power efficiency:OLEDs have a better power efficiency when currently used in electronic devices because it relies on less circuitry to produce lights and different colors.
OLED Used As General Lighting
While OLEDs are used in small electronics, they have yet to make their way into mainstream general lighting purposes in homes. There are several reasons why, including the fact it is still a relatively new technology that was first implemented in 1983 by Eastman Kodak researchers Steven Van Slyke and Ching W. Tang. OLED lighting is still a niche market with only a few manufacturers taking this big step as production costs are still high.
In addition, there are still a few drawbacks existing for OLEDs. This type of organic lighting has a short lifespan due to the carbon organic material. The material can degrade quickly, especially when used for blue lighting. It can also become damaged by water, so the OLEDs need to be completely sealed to be used for outdoor lighting. Due to these challenges, organic lighting has yet to become a practical, economically viable light source for general home and business illumination.
OLED To One Day Replace LED
Technology is rapidly advancing, and the organic lighting revolution is at hand. Once the OLED lighting has been improved to make it economically feasible for general lighting purposes, manufacturers can then begin to design the processes that will lower their operating costs. In the near future, people will have green lighting options that offer brighter illumination at lower prices when compared to still expensive LED lights.
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