Development of an energy-efficient and color-tunable phosphorescent organic LED (OLED) lighting system is the plan behind a joint effort of Acuity Brands and Universal Display Corporation, the company enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED™ technology and materials.
The project is made possible under a $2 million, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III Xlerator grant. The objective of the collaboration is to accelerate market introduction of OLED lighting for high-end commercial and institutional applications.
The companies will build on the significant advances in Universal Display’s PHOLED panel performance achieved in prior phases of the SBIR program. Acuity Brands will design and fabricate general-purpose lighting system prototypes targeted for high-end commercial spaces, including office, retail and health-care buildings, to take advantage of several key attributes of OLEDs (including a thin, sleek form factor and exquisite quality of light).
In addition, the system will offer highly-efficient white light that can be tuned across a range of color temperatures by using Universal Display’s proprietary architecture and high-efficiency PHOLED panels. The ability to adjust the color of white light in a single OLED panel adds flexibility and refinement to lighting environments. This functionality is neither feasible nor practical when using traditional light sources such as incandescent or fluorescent.
“Acuity Brands has been investing aggressively in advanced technologies and control systems, innovations that will permeate the sustainable lighting solutions of the future for our customers,” said Vernon J. Nagel Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Acuity Brands. “We are pleased to extend that commitment via this U.S. Department of Energy Award and to work alongside Universal Display Corporation. We are confident that initiatives such as this will facilitate the commercialization of advanced technologies such as OLEDs,” Nagel said.
“We are very appreciative of this continued support from the U.S. Department of Energy and this opportunity to partner with Acuity Brands Lighting, a world-leading manufacturer of lighting systems and solutions,” said Steven V. Abramson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Display. “Our recent advances in white PHOLED lighting panel performance, combined with the superb design capabilities of Acuity Brands Lighting, position our team to demonstrate an elegant, state-of-the-art luminaire system for a variety of commercial settings. By teaming with Acuity Brands Lighting under this program we believe that we can, together, accelerate the development and commercial introduction of PHOLED lighting systems.”
In 2009, lighting consumed 9.84 quads of primary energy, or about 25% of the total electricity generated in the U.S. To reduce the ever-increasing demand for energy, OLEDs, which are potentially highly energy-efficient and cost-effective diffuse light sources, may offer a ‘green’ alternative to existing incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes. OLEDs also offer unique design possibilities that may potentially revolutionize the industry through novel, thin form factor lighting products. By employing Universal Display’s PHOLED technology in luminaire systems like the one to be developed by Acuity Brands Lighting during this program, significant energy savings and reduced environmental impacts, such as lower greenhouse gas emissions, are possible. In addition, this work has the potential to launch a new U.S. lighting industry sector that may lead to additional “green” U.S. jobs while promoting U.S. technological leadership for advanced energy systems.