Philips preps first OLED desk lamp

OLEDs use less electricity (and mercury) than normal light bulbs or LEDs, making them more efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Unfortunately, a high cost and a low lumen count have put OLEDs out of the reach of commercial consumers. Now, after years of research, Philips has announced plans to release its very first commercial OLED desk lamp.

OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) are made up of multiple organic, semi conductive layers, while LEDs are made up of inorganic layers. An OLED is a two-dimensional light source that provides a soft light that is largely glare-free with no harsh shadows, which is why they’ve become especially desirable in smartphone screens. With the release of Moorea, Philips hopes to finally lift these restraints, allowing OLEDs to finally break into the consumer lighting market.

According to Fast Co. Design, Moorea was designed by a young Berlin industrial designer named Daniel Lorch, who just happened to visit one of the Philips free OLED workshops. Desk lamps typically sport a ho-hum design that hasn’t changed all that much since electricity was first discovered. Still, there’s something quietly elegant and fiercely modern about Lorch’s simple design.

Moorea incorporates two OLED panels side by side, supported on a sprung-steel stem, according to Dezeen.

“The curve of the lamp’s stem is held under tension by a rubber-coated power cable, which is clamped in a component normally used to hold ropes on a sailboat. The angle of the light is adjusted by sliding this cable through the clamp and the base of the lamp features a tab so the whole thing can easily be swivelled.”

Light from the just 1.8 millimeter-thick (~ 0.07 inches) Lumiblade OLED delivers an all-encompassing, non-dazzling light at a quality that Philips says other light sources and systems cannot achieve. The good news is that if all goes well, we’re likely to see Moorea go on sale by the middle of 2013. The bad news is there’s no word yet on how much it might cost.

* Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling