Organic Light Emitting Diodes – are made from carbon-based, organic substances. They’re supposedly a step-up from regular LEDs, in part because of how thin and flexible they are – you could do almost anything with them. OLED bulbs work in a similar way to LEDs. This means that, like the current LEDs, they should be cheaper to run on an everyday basis when compared with halogen and CFL options. However, although we don’t yet know the exact costs, we know they’re likely to be very expensive to buy.
OLEDs have been used on TVs for a few years now, and these too come with a high price tag. Interestingly, when it comes to running costs, our tests have found that OLED TVs cost a little more to run than LEDs. For a 55 inch LED TV, you’re looking at paying £24 on average a year in energy costs, while an OLED TV will cost you around £26.
What OLEDs could give you is more scope for creative and flexible lighting solutions for you home. The panels are paper-thin, allowing for a variety of curved forms and options beyond the traditional bulb. LG says its OLED lighting offers a uniform light source with no glare and that, unlike LED bulbs, there’s no need for a bulky heat sink to spirit away excess heat energy. It also claims that OLED lighting has a better quality of light, closer to natural light, and better colour rendering than LED lighting, meaning that colours should be more accurately represented.
OLED vs LED lighting Our light bulb tests have shown that some LEDs can struggle with colour rendering, and if OLED lighting can improve on this it could be a real selling point for lighting aficionados. It will probably be a few years before OLED lighting is worth buying though, as the technology is still in its infancy. Early LEDs cost upwards of £25 while only delivering a relatively dim 40W equivalent light output. Today, LEDs can be picked up for less than £5, and there are 100W versions available. So, as OLEDs become more common, we’d hope the prices will begin to come down. Of course, this is all theoretical at the moment. We can’t personally exalt the benefits of OLED bulbs until we’ve got hands-on with some.
We’ll be interested to discover whether they’re really worth getting excited about – or whether they’re a gimmick. In the meantime, see which LEDs we recommend by browsing our store on www.ledlightinguspplies.co.uk
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