Lighting Design & OLED Energy Efficient Technology

by Linda Lenore on June 17, 2011

Since attending seminars at the PG&E "Light Affair", I'm so enthralled by this new lighting design technology - OLED - I thought I would share more with you. Not only is the product extremely innovative, the philosophy of the presenter, Peter Y. Ngai with Acuity Brands, aligned with mine on many levels. One of those being the envisioning of what lighting needs to be, which parallels my "Green Feng Shui" design perspective.

OLED Lighting is a form of SSL (Solid State Lighting). SSL is used in many applications, things like cell phone displays, computer and flat screen TVs. Major companies using them are LG, Sony, Kodak, Google/HTC and Samsung.

OLED Lighting Modules held by Jeannine Fisher

Jeannine Fisher with Acuity Brands Lighting in Berkeley, California, holds two samples of OLED modules during the seminar at PG&E's Light Affair IX 2011

To manufacture OLED, the process is similar to making a sandwich. It is a layering effect. And the way the layers are put together determines whether the finished product will emit light from only one side or two. And if it emits light from both sides, the process determines what the proportions to each side will be: 50-50, 30-70, 20-80, etc.

Light transmitted through this technology isn't glaring. Henceforth, there is no need for a lens to cover it to soften it (which is why you have lens covers for most recessed ceiling fixtures) or to have a lampshade to diffuse the light. In fact, since it is pliable, eventually the shape might be like a light shade - in form - yet there wouldn't be a "lamp" to "shade". The cone or cylinder would be the only object producing the light itself.

Acuity's OLED Lighting design "flower" example

This is one of thousands of possibilities for configuring the small sections of OLED lighting. This one, made by Acuity, is an example of their "flower" design. It easily can be configured within an office space of cubicles to provide better lighting patterns for productivity as well as energy and cost efficient design.

This is really great stuff - the stuff of which innovative design is made. That's why this product was honored at "Lightfair International, May 2011" through the  "Most Innovative Product of the Year Award". This is recognized as the best of the best - the event's highest honor.

I want to share that which was presented in the seminar that touched me on a philosophical level. These are the words presented on the PowerPoint slides:

OLED blackbody-helix chandelier

This sculptural chandelier is an example of the possibilities of lighting design using OLED with form, function and emotion.

"Energy efficiency must always remain a key metric in the judgment of a lighting application, but it needs to be framed in a larger context – that of the human aspects of Lighting."

"Fixation on Energy Efficiency is not Enough."

"Big Bang" OLED LIghting Design Chandelier

"Big Bang" OLED LIghting Design Chandelier

"On the Human Aspects of Lighting - Lighting is not just math, physics or engineering. It is also art, design, architecture, ergonomics, psychology and emotions. It is for people. In order for SSL to transform lighting, it must recognize that the 'human aspects' of lighting set the bottom line."

"Done well, lighting can elevate our energy and mood and increase productivity. It can foster creativity, collaboration and communication."

"Vision on Solid State Lighting (SSL) Technology and Innovations"

"SSL – the mindset not just to replace existing light bulbs, but a transformation in lighting that is energy efficient, cost efficient, and brings forth a quality of lighting design that is relevant to users.

  • Lighting and luminaire designs that connect with their users
  • Technology that aims to understand human needs and emotions
  • Innovations that emphasize the “interactions” between the users and the lighting system

"Focus on the Human Aspects of Lighting – Human Connection"

"Lighting immerses the user in a soft volume of light and creates a sense of companionship and comfort. When mounted in a close proximity, it transforms the interaction within an interior space to a more human and personal experience. It invites us to gather."

OLED technology to embrace "Form, Function & Emotion"

This photo of one of the slides from the PowerPoint presentation, although not possessing as much contrast as I'd like, shows unique lighting design possibilities using OLED technology to embrace "Form, Function & Emotion"

"Luminaires connect with us emotionally by its design intent and its beauty - a design that can only be achieved with SSL."

Many of these statements are feelings I first experienced in my very first "Lighting Design" class back in 1976. I saw how lighting can make or break a design. I saw rooms fade into oblivion. Now I see "archi-tainment" POP with spectacular pizzazz in modern cities around the world.

I've experienced the healing power of "color therapy" - using colored lights to produce a desired color on a wall or in a bath tub - in "alternative" medicine practices and "mainstream" major hotel chains.

"Lighting is organic. It's as organic as we human beings are."

This product - OLED - allows us design freedom. We can create from an organic "creative" mindset in a way that enriches our environments providing an organic manner in which to invite the human involvement into our spaces.


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