After 20 years on the market LED lighting has been able to rapidly rise and reach almost 8% of the global lighting market. It’s a huge market to be sure at nearly $80 Billion dollars and covers everything from street lamps to auto headlights, home and business lighting and everything in between.
That growth has slowed of late as the markets for this new-ish lighting technology have been nearly saturated and now faces even more competition from the newest tech, OLED lighting. Organic LEDs are even more flexible, more energy conserving and more adaptable than the LEDs that came before them, leading experts to believe that LED research may be stymied and even stopped in favor of the new OLEDs.
That, in a nutshell, will be one of the major topics of discussion at the 2012 Printed Electronics USA conference and exhibition that will have its annual get together in December in Santa Clara, CA. The event focuses on the newest lighting technologies as well as how to commercialize them.
A main sub-topic this year will be what effect the new OLED will have on LED. Part of that discussion will be about whether the OLED tech will be able to achieve the same things that LED has achieved before they are completely ingrained into society as well as the question of who the investors will be in the new OLED manufacturing that’s going to be needed.
As with all tech there will probably be a rush to get the new OLED’s to market as soon as possible once a manufacturer has decided to take the huge financial risk necessary to develop and manufacture them. A major part of that will focus on displays, an area where LEDs have been used very extensively and where OLEDs are mostly untried and unproven.
Of course when you look at the overall picture and the fact that lighting technology can and usually does spell billions in revenue for the manufacturing companies you see why they want to invest in a tech that could become even more popular than LEDs.
The simple fact is that even if OLEDs only were able to penetrate a small portion of the $8 billion marketplace the potential revenues could be in the millions just in the next few years. This is a good thing for all of us because the more money that can be made in investing in technology that uses less electricity the less electricity will be used, cutting the need for power across the board and helping many communities to ease their expensive energy costs.