Panels of Light Fascinate Designers

Eric A. Taub in the New York Times:

ScreenHunter_09 Sep. 09 07.47 LED light bulbs, with their minuscule energy consumption and 20-year life expectancy, have grabbed the consumer’s imagination.

But an even newer technology is intriguing the world’s lighting designers: OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, create long-lasting, highly efficient illumination in a wide range of colors, just like their inorganic LED cousins. But unlike LEDs, which provide points of light like standard incandescent bulbs, OLEDs create uniform, diffuse light across ultrathin sheets of material that eventually can even be made to be flexible.

Ingo Maurer, who has designed chandeliers of shattered plates and light bulbs with bird wings, is using 10 OLED panels in a table lamp in the shape of a tree. The first of its kind, it sells for about $10,000.

He is thinking of other uses. “If you make a wall divider with OLED panels, it can be extremely decorative. I would combine it with point light sources,” he said.

Other designers have thought about putting them in ceiling tiles or in Venetian blinds, so that after dusk a room looks as if sunshine is still streaming in.

More here.