Currently OSRAM is a big player in the lighting industry and it considers itself to be one of two major global players. The company has therefore invested heavily in the OLED sector, which it thinks can deliver ‘efficient, aesthetic, and wafer-thin’ light. The advantages to this kind of light are obvious. In the future the clean light that OLED lights can provide to lighting designers, professionals and users will be a great boon. The company is making OLED design luminaires, OLED modules and OLED panels. Luminaires represent organic lighting systems that can light up an entire room. Their flat construction and modern aesthetics are sure to appeal to interior designers and those accustomed to working with light. The Luminaires are useful since even when they are switched off they remain flat and discreet. This has certainly led to new developments in OLED lighting, which was previously considered unable to light up vast spaces in the same way a light bulb can do. The Airabesc, as it is currently called, is a design that uses both OLED and LED light to give off a warm and what OSRAM considers to be an ‘atmospheric’ light.
The development of the Airabesc has obviously been an innovative step in how OLED technology can be used in home or commercial spaces. The shape was inspired by the ballerina’s arabesque and the model does seem to hang so elegantly in the air that it is at once captivating. With this design shape has tried to reflect technology instead of the other way around. The Luminaire is composed of aluminium and is made in Germany. The OLED light is made with an 11 ORBEOS RMW-046 panel.
OLED designs have been making headway by designers experimenting with OLED ORBEOS panels. Examples of the designs that luminaires have come up with include an ‘Early Future’ lamp made of OLED tiles that is similar to a tree type structure. A cluster of lights including both LEDs and OLEDs has also been created. Finally, the ‘PirOLED’ is in the shape of a pirouette is like a lamp with what looks like two strands of material coiled around each other with the lights in the centre.
OLED modules are also being developed by OSRAM. These are plug and play light devices with integrated electronics that can easily be integrated into any design. For example, if you wanted to make your very own luminaire design like those mentioned above, or even just light up your dining table, this light will do the job. The heat it emits is not much so the light can be safe to touch at any time. The kind of light it emits is described as warm. The module comes on with the ease of plugging a charger into your mobile phone. The makers are excited by the prospect of commercial uses in that the light displays products very well. ORBEOS air is the OLED module of choice at OSRAM right now. It is like an RDW-046 OLED tile but has the advantage of plugging in and turning on. The modules can be connected in parallel with each other since the electronics are integrated inside the module. They also have the advantage of being clean sources of light like most OLEDs, being mercury free and with no UV/IR radiation. This makes them suitable to display sensitive products with clean light.
Meanwhile, the main focus of OLED production by OSRAM is OLED panels. At the moment they are featuring three major panels on their website. These are the ORBEOS CDW-030, the ORBEOS RDW-046 and the ORBEOS SDW-058. These vary in size and shape. The first, the ORBEOS CDW-030, is the second generation of OLED panels originally released in November 2009. This is a circular panel that has double the efficiency of the previous panels at 40 lumens per watt. It provides a uniform and glare free light source and is very light and thin. The matching glossy front and back provides style and elegance to the design. In the future this light is expected to be transparent or flexible, but not yet.
The second OLED panel produced by OSRAM is the ORBEOS RDW-046. This is a very popular product by OSRAM which was the first rectangular design produced by the company. Its reflective surface meant that it could be built into a reflective surface like a bathroom mirror effectively. This light only showed when switched on and lit up the mirror in an attractive way. The panel has been made more efficient recently and matches the efficiency of other OSRAM OLED panels at 40 lumens per watt. This is even better than that achievable in a halogen lamp. Service life performance has also improved. Again, this is a clean source of light without mercury and giving off no UV/IR radiation. It is also RoHS compliant.
The final OSRAM light panel for sale right now is the ORBEOS SDW-058. This panel will be interesting because it is in the shape of a square, where previous panels were circular or rectangular. Its surface is 110 cm², and is so large that it emits light at 67 lumens. This is the brightest and largest panel to date. The connection options for this panel are interesting. You may choose from either a soldered connection or a new contact technology with a pin connector. OSRAM has sales partners online from which these panels can be bought online.
Trends in OLED lighting are always moving forward. It is one of the first area lighting forces in the world that has become mainstream. Since the light emitted is not glaring people can look directly at an OLED light source. This means they can integrate successfully vertically into walls or furniture. The OLED light source power consumption has decreased in comparison with other relevant kinds of lighting today and this is expected to decrease even further, so that it should eventually become a very green power source. Light can be applied very close to applications they intend to light up again since the light is non-glare. The beauty of OLED light sources means that they can be used as the centrepiece of interior design, not just for highlighting unique pieces themselves.