The humble light bulb is again making news as LG announced that it has gone one step passed LED technology for banishing darkness by introducing an OLED desk lamp.
LG broke this news at the Light + Building show in Frankfurt, Germany where it debuted the organic light-emitting diode or OLED Table Lamp. This wavy bit of desktop architecture uses a fat OLED panel, normally used to backlight televisions, computer monitors and other tech devices, to instead generate light.
Like its LED light bulb replacements, the LG Table Lamp can also be controlled through an iOS or Android app. Here it can be set to turn on at a certain time or emit a specific level of light for say reading or TV viewing. Pricing and availability were not released.
The fact that OLED panels are flat leaves open a huge array of potential designs that manufacturers can use to entice consumers away from the now hard to find, old-fashioned incandescent bulb. Being distinctly different could prove to be a huge plus for this market as many consumers are still shying away from fully replacing their old bulbs with the more energy efficient types.
Another way to take advantage of a flat lighting technology has been to create entire sheets of OLED wall paper.
Since cost is the overriding reason the old bulbs have remained popular, trying to attract through design is probably a good way to go as consumers will pay for something that looks good and is also useful.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that about 70 percent of all light bulb sockets in the country still contain old, inefficient incandescent bulbs. The EPA said that by replacing these 20 million bulbs with Energy Star qualified LED bulbs Americans would save $118 million per year and remove the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions from 150,000 vehicles from the atmosphere.
Mark Williamson, Director of Innovations at the Carbon Trust, said: "Lighting is a major producer of carbon emissions. This technology has the potential to produce ultra efficient lighting for a wide range of applications, tapping into a huge global market. It's a great example of the kind of innovation that makes the UK a hotbed of clean technology development. We're now on the look-out for other technologies that can save carbon and be a commercial success."
There is even an app for helping consumers find energy efficient light bulbs.