Just when it seemed that at least most of us were finally getting used to LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, it now appears that the LED era will be a short one. In its place, many say, will soon stand the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology.
OLED is a wondrous form of lighting that understandably brings with it many of the same benefits that its ancestor LED did. It runs cool, uses very little energy per unit of light (lumen) produced, and produces extremely dark and vivid colors since it does not require backlighting or color filters. However, OLED is a huge step up from LED because it is essentially made up of a film of an organic compound that has been printed onto a suitable substrate, which can be anything from a sheet of plastic, cloth, or even paper. The film then emits light when given an electric charge.
Print Your Own Lights
Some lighting industry experts feel that the day may eventually come when facility managers and others will be able to print their own OLED lighting solutions on properly equipped ink jet or screen printers. This of course would be a huge saver of time and money and would in many aspects be as large of a game changer to the facility management industry as has been, say, work order management software.
As hinted at above, the cost savings of OLED lighting could be illuminating. Already, LED lighting was estimated to provide up to 40 percent in cost savings over the old-timey bulbs and tubes that our ma’s and pa’s lived beneath. So, the savings of the even more efficient OLED lights will be even greater.
But, to me, the best thing about OLED lighting is that it is way cool. Curved televisions use this technology as do phones with flexible screens. Some believe that OLED wallpaper will soon be used inside rooms and hallways to provide just the right amount of light exactly where it is needed at all times. It can also be used on clothing and to make highly-portable emergency panels.
Just think of all the uses for print-yourself, flexible, and light-weight lighting you could use around your facility. Anytime you need a “Wet Floor” or “Manager 2 Interviews in Room 332” sign, you could print it up and mount or hang it wherever it is needed. Your safety officers could have customizable OLED vests to wear and they assist employees during emergency drills. Really, once we facility managers get used to the technology, there are few limits as to how OLED could be used.