The technology world is currently trending with OLED (organic light emitting diode) lighting being included in many applications. One of the most promising uses for OLED lights is actually in the automotive industry where it is being included in prototypes and concept cars. It is hoped that its light weight properties, energy efficiency and flexibility can have a major impact on vehicle design.
Some vehicle manufacturers have already employed the OLED technology in their concept cars. OLED lighting is actually being used mainly for dashboard display purposes in those vehicles right now. Forward looking manufacturers are already working on ways to incorporate the technology into other parts of their vehicles as well. They are optimistic about applying OLED lighting to headlights, tail lights, interior lighting and even transparent lighting for display on windows.
OLEDs are exceptionally thin, as they are made from layers of luminescent organic materials sandwiched between two layers of conductor material. The whole thin panel lights up when it receives an electrical current. The technology uses very little electricity so it is thought to be an excellent way to reduce energy consumption both by the amount of electricity it uses and by reducing the weight (and possibly size) of a vehicle which in turn takes less fuel to move around.
OLED lighting is quite different from the now common LED lighting used by many car manufacturers. Its biggest difference is that the whole OLED panel is a light because the thin layers light up when they receive an electrical signal. LED lights are comprised of panels that are made up of many “points of light” instead as each “point” is an individual LED. OLED lights are also brighter than LED lights, so may be preferable for obvious reasons. They are different from the older bulb lighting technology in headlights (and tail lights) in that the bulb lit up a clear transparent (or transparent red for tail lights) cover that distributed the light from the bulb over a larger area to make the light effective. OLEDs obvious advantage over both of these older technologies is their much smaller size, weight and their effective lighting properties.
One of the current development issues facing the automobile industry as they work at incorporating OLEDs into their future products is the relatively shorter life span of an OLED panel than its older lighting options. With a shorter life span, the basic efficiency of the light can be questioned, due to the fact that it may need replacement more often, thus making it a more costly component over the long term.
While this OLED technology is still being developed and extensively tested, it appears to be an inevitable future component of newer automobiles, especially for headlights, tail lights, dashboard lighting and even other kinds of components. It is thought that some manufacturers could be incorporating OLED headlights into their vehicles as early as a couple years from now.