A Bright Future for OLED Lighting Technology

In order to further illuminate the opportunities that exist within this growing sector, we reached out to Dr. Michael Boroson, CTO and Co-Founder of OLEDWorks, to discuss emerging opportunities, existing barriers, and how to advance the mainstream adoption of OLED lighting technologies.

Smithers Apex: Why have you decided to support the 2018 OLEDs World Summit?

Dr. Boroson: The OLEDs World Summit is one of the largest OLED meetings in the world and one that covers both display and lighting. This meeting is unmatched in the depth of technical knowledge and the collaboration that can come from networking here.

Smithers Apex: What makes the OLEDs World Summit different from other OLED related conferences you’ve attended?

Dr. Boroson: The fact that this meeting is located in the US and not solely focused on display.

Smithers Apex: Where do you see the OLED lighting market is heading? Which market segments are the greatest growth potential? How do we expend to those market segments?

Dr. Boroson: There is increasing awareness of the light quality benefits of OLED with affordable fixtures for the residential markets. The 3 main areas are general lighting, automotive and specialty lighting. Automotive is pulling hardest, but general lighting is also expanding, especially in the medium lumen application areas where it is now entering the mainstream product markets.

Smithers Apex: What industry barriers/challenges exist, technical or otherwise, that prevent progress? How does the OLEDs World Summit help to address those challenges? 

Dr. Boroson: The number one barrier is consumer awareness around the benefits of OLED lighting. Those who see OLED lighting, love OLED lighting and want it. Number 2 issue is availability of luminaires. Not enough luminaires that are easy to order and buy. Always being asked where can I buy OLED luminaires for my home or office? Due to our introduction of the Brite 3 family of panels with 85 lm/W and 100,000 hr lifetime (at 3000 nits) the issue of performance is now only number 3 on the list. Awareness and solution availability now rise to the top because product development for fixtures by luminaire manufacturers is now justifiable due to the higher performing Brite 3 panels.

Smithers Apex: What steps are you taking or do you plan to take to combat these challenges?

Dr. Boroson: With the achievement of Brite 3 performance, the engagement and collaboration with luminaire manufacturers has accelerated. We will build OLED lighting awareness mutually with these partners as well as through the OLED Coalition. We are also expanding our own marketing and awareness strategies.  We are also expanding our strategic partnerships with the transportation market, primarily automotive.

Smithers Apex: Can you give us an update on OLED lighting panel performance in terms of lumens/watt, life time, CRI, shelf life, panel reliability? 

Dr. Boroson: Please see the link for our current product specs:  https://www.oledworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/OLEDWorks-Brite-3-Product-sheet.pdf

Smithers Apex: With LG Gen 5 OLED light panels into production, we expect pricing will drop drastically. What is OLEDWorks Strategy?

Dr. Boroson: OLEDWorks panels are designed to be able to deliver good lifetime at ~3x the brightness of any other OLED lighting panel and are priced at less than 3x other OLED lighting panels. That means the cost per lumen is already lower than other commercially available OLED lighting panels.  Of course, as volume increases cost will continue to decrease. Our high throughput system will also drive lower cost/prices. We are also doing strategic engineering to lower pricing as well.

Smithers Apex: What is driving the growth in OLED lighting panels?

Dr. Boroson: Opening new building design considerations including no need for constructing plenums, no need for high heat sinks, cheap electrical install and clean lines (nearly flush to surfaces or floating in air).  The combination of excellent (low glare, full spectra) light quality and ultra-thin light engines allows designers to do what they have long desired – present light in a pure light form creating interesting and emotive spaces.

Smithers Apex: You’ve been in the OLED industry for some time – what progress have you seen and what are the key challenges ahead?

Dr. Boroson: In the last 5 years efficacy up 5x, cost down 5x, lifetime up 10x, CRI over 90. Key challenges: consumer awareness, product options (more choice), cost and efficacy.

Smithers Apex: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s OLEDs World Summit?

Dr. Boroson: Sharing the optimism!

Hear more from Dr. Michael Boroson on Day 1 of the conference at 4:55 pm PST in his presentation - OLED Lighting Adoption Status: From Innovators to Early Adopters