GE definitely seems to have its eye on the ball this week when it comes to the future of consumer lighting. Yesterday it was word of a 9-watt LED that acts as a 40-watt replacement and lasts on average 17 years. Today we find out the company is working in partnership with Konica Minolta to develop what are called “the world’s first general-lighting quality flexible OLEDs.” And you thought lighting stories were boring!
GE said it is trying to showcase fixture prototypes that will “demonstrate the expected competitive advantages of its approach to OLEDs: flexibility and an ultra-thin form factor.” OLEDs, as explained by GE for those who don’t know, “are thin, organic materials sandwiched between two electrodes, which illuminate when an electrical charge is applied. In addition to widespread design capabilities, OLEDs have the potential to deliver dramatically improved levels of efficiency and environmental performance, while achieving the high quality of illumination found in traditional light-emitting diode (LED) systems.”
Konica Minolta enters the picture by being the first company to develop proprietary blue phosphorescent materials that, when combined with “multi-layer film design and innovative optical design technologies,” successfully developed white OLEDs. GE and Konica Minolta, in teaming up to develop OLED lighting which is so thin, believe their approach will allow them “to apply light to literally any surface at a thickness of just a few sheets of paper” and that “for consumers, the advent of LEDs and the emergence of OLEDs means the next five years will likely bring the most fast-paced rate of change in how we light our homes and commercial spaces.”