Modular OLED strips can be assembled to any length

September 20, 2019 //By Julien Happich
OLED light strips
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP) have developed light strips from individual organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), which can act like a single luminous surface without interruption.

The OLED light strips can be designed in any length and could be used as under-cabinet luminaires or in decorative articles, but also in the automotive industry.
"We manufacture flexible OLEDs with appropriate control electronics in such a way that any number of OLED modules can be connected without creating visible interruptions to the active surface. This makes it possible to produce infinitely long OLED light strips. An additional highlight is the individual control of the segments. This allows additional lighting effects such as different dimmings or dynamic warnings to be realized", explained Claudia Keibler-Willner, head of the "Sheet-to-sheet OLED Technologies" department at Fraunhofer FEP.

In contrast to LEDs as point light sources, OLEDs illuminate surfaces and are homogeneous in essence, hence they do not require reflectors, light guides or additional optics. They are also very thin and light weight. This filigree quality of flexible OLEDs, which are manufactured on plastic substrates, for example, can hardly be achieved with conventional LED technology. In addition, the reduction of glare effects contributes to increased road safety, for example in safety clothing with lighting.
OLED strips can be flexibly applied to curved surfaces such as car bodies or furniture. They can be transparent when switched off so that the underlying surface remains visible, literally blending into their surroundings. Dynamic control or dimming opens up additional possibilities, such as for welcoming scenarios at the car.
The scientists are now looking forward to concrete industry inquiries to develop prototypes or small series of these light strips for innovative designs and applications.

Fraunhofer FEP - www.fep.fraunhofer.de

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