Nippon Seiki Co Ltd started to sell samples of its low-priced OLED lighting panels May 9, 2012, in Japan.
The sample of an 90 x 90mm panel is priced at ¥8,000 (approx US$100.2).
"We believe that our panels will be used on a trial basis because we reduced prices by about 50 to 90%," Nippon Seiki said.
"OLED lighting panel businesses were just started," the company said. "To promote the use of them, we have to let users actually use them, receive feedback and make improvements to technologies and products. To meet that goal, it is necessary to provide samples that have low enough prices to be purchased."
As for the reason why the low prices were realized, Nippon Seiki said that it made use of its existing production line and technologies for passive matrix OLED displays and did not make any new investments. Also, as an OLED material, the company employed a low-molecular fluorescent material that is used for passive OLED displays.
Nippon Seiki considers that OLED lighting apparatuses will begin to become widely used in 2015. And it is planning to use other materials such as phosphorescent and delayed fluorescent materials in the long and medium terms.
"We aim at not only the market for ornamental lamps but also the market for more general products," the company said.
However, it is not easy to compete against light bulbs, fluorescent lamps and LED lamps, which began to replace light bulbs and fluorescent lamps.
"With help from users, we want to apply OLED panels to general lighting apparatuses that can make the most of surface light sources," Nippon Seiki said.
The brightness and general color rendering index (Ra) of the samples are 1,000cd/m2 (maximum brightness: 3,000cd/m2) and 80 or higher, respectively. The color temperatures of the incandescent and daylight color samples are 3,000K and 5,000K. Their product life cycle is 30,000 hours (the time it takes for the initial brightness to decrease by 30%). The company considers that the specifications including uniformity and stability are high enough for lighting apparatuses.
Nippon Seiki has been mass-producing passive OLED displays for automotive measuring instruments since 2004. And, this time, it used fluorescent device technologies developed through the mass production to realize the high specifications. The brightness of the new panels can be further improved, but the company put priority on product life cycle and uniformity, which are in a trade-off relation with brightness.
The sizes of the standard samples are (1) 90 x 90 x 1.9mm, (2) 140 x 38 x 1.9mm and (3) 280 x 38 x 1.9mm. The luminous fluxes of the first and third samples are 45lm, and that of the second sample is 20lm.