LED and its less- well established sister technology, organic LEDs, or OLEDs, will change the form factors of luminaires as we know them, say a new breed of product designers.
For instance, a mix of both technologies in the one product will be common, it is predicted. “We feel that OLEDs especially are going to allow completely new light designs,” says Gerd Günther of German solid state specialist Novaled. One of the firm’s concept designs – in collaboration with Trilux – is an office luminaire based on the the latter’s Enspiro and featuring 20 transparent OLED modules.
The 10 x10 cm panels supplement the precisely directed light of two direct and two indirect normal LED modules with a diffuse, wide-area light.
“OLED can change our concept of luminaires; for example, transparent OLEDs are not even perceived as being a light source when switched off,” Günther told Lux magazine. “It’s quite certain that, in the mid-term, OLED is the next step in the development of LED technology,” agreed Dietmar Zembrot, Trilux’s marketing chief.
OLEDs are new, extremely thin, luminous panel sources that emit homogeneous light. Their specific characteristics includes light in a natural colour and design flexibility. “Our project impressively demonstrates the types of design flexibility to be opened up by the new technology,” said Günther.
But the experts from Arnsberg see challenges on the way to full production in addition to high costs, such as limited OLED capacity and the availability of electronic accessories. While OLED until now was a technology for displays, as used in mobile phones, this in his view will soon change. “OLEDs are not only sources for light but at the same time the luminaire itself or part of the furniture, or even living room elements,” explained Gerd Günther. “We feel OLEDs are additional elements for completely new light compositions” It won’t be all angular lines like the Enspiro however. Curves will be big if the concept luminaire ‘Jessica’ points the way of the future.
It’s the result of a spin-off from the course Space Module held at the Royal College of Art in London by the Italian architect Daniele Bedini. It’s another LED and OLED hybrid that can incorporate flexible solar cell layers. There was active support from iGuzzini who gave a series of demonstrations aimed at illustrating the technology of the future.