The Coolest Gadget of the Lighting World: OLED



OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) has been around for a while as the new and shining star of the world of efficient lighting sources. OLED light sources that are similar to LED lighting sources are composed using electrodes and semiconductor materials. The most important difference with the LED is the organic material used. In traditional LED light sources, blue light source chips are covered with yellow phosphorous materials and white light is formed. OLEDs produce white light by using slim organic compounds.

OLED light sources, so far, are the artificial light source that is closest to sunlight. Since the light source does not produce blue light, it does not emit UV rays and therefore does not threaten the eye's health. 



It is obvious that OLED technology creates a paradigm effect in the world of architectural lighting. The main point is the use of various reflectors or diffusers to ensure light distribution for LED lighting sources, whereas the OLED light sources form uniform soft light surfaces. This situation going to cause to the lighting fixtures used to hiding the light sources to become more smaller or even be history. In addition, the light source is flexible and thin, making it more ergonomic and more durable. The fact that the material used is organic also eliminates any waste and pollution problems.



In spite of its advantages, there are some disadvantages that OLED technology needs to find a solution. First of all, the efficiency of OLED light sources is still low compared to LEDs. Yet, the production-distribution channels of OLED light sources commonly used in screen productions are not as common as LEDs. This causes to fall behind of LED at both price and product range. Also, unfortunately, traditional manufacturers and designers are cautious about OLED technology. Because of that, the momentum of OLED technology has been breaking.



Even if not OLED technology has been yet able to answer some of the question marks, it is a unique toy for architectural lighting design. It is much more useful than traditional LEDs due to its flexibility and adaptability to control systems. Many projects have been done by using OLED technology. Here are some of them…

The Plus Pendant is a pendant luminaire designed by Australian designer Andy Zhou using OLED light sources and controlled by Bluetooth-enabled devices. The luminaire was created using 36 different “LG Chem OLEDs” and has a max 2636 Lumen light power. 



Superstudio Group designed a lighting installation called ”Infuse” in Milano. The designer Chikara Ohno created a foggy, soft and illuminated scene using OLED panels. On the contrary to traditional lighting installations, in the room filled with a sea of ​wavy light, it provided a conceptual definition by creating an ethereal environment. 



The lighting of the main reading room of the Seoul University main library was designed using OLED light sources. Using a total of 1100 different light sources, the library gained harmony with vertical and cubically designed windows. The most important reason for choosing OLED light sources is that it is the most suitable light source for eye health. 



A lighting installation called “LED Cloud” was implemented in Darmstadt, Germany. Designed with double-sided 576 different OLEDs, this installation provides a completely different lighting experience by combining light with motion and sound. The design won the Red-dot Award 2018 and the German Design Award 2019.



The world’s largest media art installation was created at Namsan Seoul Tower with the contributions of LG Electronics and LG Display. 248 55-inch OLED panels were placed from the first floor to the fourth floor of the tower, giving a whole new dimension to the digital lighting approach. 



The lighting design of the Baskin Robbins Brown store in Korea was designed in 2017 using different combinations of OLED light sources.