There have been a few stories in the news recently about new lighting technology advancements. The progression of OLEDs is coming in to particular focus with companies such as Samsung putting OLED research above LEDs.
A UBI report stated that in 2015 OLED technology will perform just as well as an LED. However, though manufacturers are developing OLEDs many of them do not think their progress will be as fast.
One of the major advantages of OLEDs is that they are more flexible than LEDs so more varied products can be made. The problem is that manufacturers are struggling to lower manufacturing costs and lower their energy usage to match LEDs.
Recent Nobel Prize Winner, Shuji Nakamura claims that the next big lighting breakthrough will be lasers.
Laser diodes are already being used in cars. The Audi R8 LMX and the BMW i8 are already using laser diodes. The BMW i8 was the first car to use laser headlights developed by Osram. A major advantage of laser diodes is that they are so small that they offer more design possibilities.
Nakamura said: “It’s a great opportunity for the next lighting [products]. Laser lighting is already used for automobile headlamps at BMW and Audi, because the laser diode headlamp is almost 700 metres, whereas LED headlamp is only 300 metres, and current automobile headlamps are only 100 metres.”
However, Nakamura thinks it will be a while before laser diodes developed: “We can make highly efficient lighting in the near future but we still have to work very hard to make the laser diodes highly efficient. I think this will be a huge opportunity in the future.”