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Organic Light Emitting Diodes Expand the Possible Applications in Lighting

Saurabh Srivastava, TUVHow Organic Light-Emitting Diodes work?

Similar to light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, organic LEDs create light with the use of two electrodes and a semiconductor. The major difference comes from the use of organic materials in OLEDs. There are various types of OLEDs, such as passive-matrix OLEDs, active-matrix OLEDs, transparent OLEDs, top-emitting OLEDs, foldable OLEDs, and white OLEDs. Traditional LEDs are coated with yellow phosphor to create light; however, OLEDs utilize thin layers of organic compounds to emit light through electric currents.

An OLED consists of 6 layers that play a role in making the OLED well-structured and energy efficient:

  1. Seal: Glass top plate
  2. Cathode: Negatively charged electrode
  3. Emissive Layer: Made up of organic molecules or polymers that transport electrons from the cathode layer
  4. Conductive Layer: Made up of organic molecules or polymers that transport holes from the anode layer
  5. Anode: Positively charged electrode
  6. Substrate: Glass bottom plate

What makes OLED different?

Both OLED and LED operate on the same principles but they are different as per their functionality. The basic difference is that an OLED provides its own illumination. OLEDs are comprised of mainly organic materials, in the form on carbon, to provide a natural light source to light the display which allows OLED lights to be bigger, lighter, and retain consistent colour. Organic LEDs are free of ultraviolet rays, which are considered as a more ‘human- friendly light source where LEDs produce a limited amount of UV radiation.

The demand for OLED lighting panels has increased due to their standout characteristics such as flexibility and ultra-thin property. OLED panels can be transformed into any shape which makes them unique in nature. They can be placed across an entire wall or used for whimsical lighting displays. The soft white light transmitted from OLEDs can be compared to sunlight by giving them a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 or greater. The most significant difference is that OLED lights do not exceed 90 CRI and generate very lesser heat compared to LEDs, which make the need for heat sinks and diffusers obsolete.

OLED Advantages and Disadvantages?


  • Thinner, lighter and flexible than LED
  • Generates all colours and brighter than LEDs
  • Consume much less power than LEDs
  • Easier to produce and can be made to larger sizes. Because OLEDs are essentially plastics, they can be made into large, thin sheets
  • Produce own light, and has a much wider viewing range


  • Manufacturing processes are expensive
  • Some OLEDs are moisture sensitive
  • Limited lifetime (mainly due to sensitivity to moisture)

OLEDs are definitely a fascinating and impeccable new form of lighting. The biggest drawback of OLED is the material used to produce blue light which degrades at a much faster rate than the other hues. OLED lighting technology is the most energy-efficient form of light that continues to advance. It is predicted OLED technology will usher in a new era of Lighting technology.

TÜV Rheinland, the world’s leading technology service provider, is equipped to perform a series of test on lighting quality to boost consumer confidence in the product’s quality and safety. Our network and team of experts perform comprehensive testing to demonstrate the product’s compliance with the safety standards of a variety of target markets. Our test reports are well-recognized by overseas buyers, thus providing the customer with greater global market access. TÜV Rheinland offers tailor-made testing solutions in response to customer requirements, providing customers with more testing options.

To know more about our services, please visit:


Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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