OLED lighting is a new Solid—State Lighting technology, featuring Non-Glaring that enables long-term lighting in the dark environment without causing eyestrain. Though there will be no significant growth in the near term, OLED lighting is expected to grow to $2.5 billion in 2027, potentially opening a new chapter in the global lighting market.
The lighting market is very extensive in structure and is full of various technical combinations and different customer needs. There are different levels of energy efficiency, service life, light intensity, color temperature and design requirements for homes, offices, industrial areas, stores, outdoor environments, etc.
If divided by field application, indoor application fields such as hotel and store will first introduce OLED lighting. Given BMW's announcement in 2015 that it would introduce OLED lighting into its headlights, the introduction of vehicular lighting is also optimistic. However, life expectancy and reliability have yet to be improved. Once the cost is reduced and the service life is extended, OLED could be gradually introduced into home, office and outdoor areas.
The characters of OLED lighting, namely thinness and flexibility enable its application designs to be more flexible and versatile, and at the same time consume fewer materials. In addition, OLED lighting is of no heat emission and ultraviolet radiation, which is very suitable for outdoor use. The ultraviolet radiation of artificial sources may cause damages to human skin as well as attract insects, yet OLED lighting source, being of no ultraviolet radiation, frees people from insect bites if it is employed outdoors.
The OLED lighting market will grow to $2.5 billion in 2027. However, growth will be slow by 2020. In particular, LED lighting has been successfully introduced into the market, and it has been greatly improved in terms of technology, cost structure, and supply chain. And this results in more huge cost gap between LED and OLED markets. Although the leading OLED manufacturers like Konica Minolta and LG have developed important technologies in recent years, the performance gap has not shrunk too much.
Therefore, the top challenge OLED lighting faces are to make the market differentiation. Many companies, such as Osram and Philips, have already been successful in LED lighting realm and are growing in business volume. Hedging bets on investment in OLED are feasible. And it is a way to stand out in the increasingly commoditized LED market.