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REPORT # Nano-302 PUBLISHED December 06, 2010
The Business Case for OLED Lighting
  • OLEDs
    Check the Related Report link on the right for new reports issued since this report was published
    With new companies entering the OLED lighting business seemingly every month, it is increasingly vital to go beyond the hype and identify why the world really needs OLED lighting and how the manufacturing and marketing of OLED lighting can generate new business revenues. 
    Is the sudden rise of the OLED lighting business just a reaction to the fact that the developed world is phasing out incandescent bulbs leaving a gap that other types of lighting can fill, or is there more to it?
    This timely report begins by identifying the factors that create mass markets for new lighting technologies, providing a guide to what OLED manufacturers will have to achieve before they can move beyond the current low-volume “designer lighting” phase.  As part of this task, this report considers not just the general illumination market, after which OLED lighting makers are mostly chasing, but also the business case that can be made for using OLED lighting in architectural and automotive lighting.   In each of these segments it takes a look at how OLED lights can compete with other lighting types, especially LED and fluorescent lights.
    OLED lighting manufacturers currently target high-priced luminaires, while proclaiming a day in the not-so-distant future when OLED lighting will in some sense “replace” incandescent bulbs and florescent tubes; products that are currently sold at throwaway prices.  But how the lighting manufacturers get from here to there, is the proverbial “elephant in the room” in the OLED lighting community.  In this report, we set out what it will take to turn OLEDs into the “light bulb of the future,” including design, performance and pricing considerations.  And with regard to pricing, we examine how consumers will adapt to pricing based on total cost of ownership models and which segments of the user population will adapt to it fastest.
    By while the long-term hope for large revenues coming out of the OLED lighting sector may well be by addressing garden variety lighting applications, OLED lighting also makes interesting promises in terms of novel features that may lead to quite new kinds of products.  For example, OLEDs can be tunable, flexible and exceedingly thin; all features that are sure to appeal to lighting designers in a number of different lighting markets.  What is not so clear is the degree to which these features will appeal to consumers in the lighting market or how they can best be sold.
    This report analyses all of the above issues and establishes the business case for OLED lighting in its various addressable markets.  It is based on NanoMarkets ongoing program of personal and telephone interviews in the OLED lighting space, as well as our companies extensive database of information in this space; NanoMarkets was the first industry analyst firm to cover the OLED lighting space.  We have also drawn on NanoMarkets OLED lighting market forecasts, which are updated regularly.
    We believe that this report will be extremely useful to planners and strategists throughout the lighting industry, as well as OLED firms themselves, along with investors.

    Executive Summary

    E.1 OLED Lighting:  A Push from the Supply Side
    E.1.1 How to Interpret OLED Lighting Forecasts:  What They Mean for  Business Cases
    E.1.2 OLED Lighting:  The Emergence of an Industry
    E.2 Who in the World Wants OLED Lighting?
    E.2.1 Who are/will Be the Early Adopters of OLED Lighting?
    E.2.2 Can OLEDs Replace Light Bulbs?
    E.3 OLED Lighting:  Technical Parameters and Expectations
    E.3.1 Efficacy, OLEDs and Lighting Markets
    E.3.2 Luminance, OLEDs and Lighting Markets
    E.3.3 Light Quality:  Advantage OLEDs?
    E.4 The Fit Between OLED Lighting and Market Needs Will Change Over Time
    E.5 Selling the Market on the Novel Features of OLEDs
    E.6 Thinking Through the Pricing of OLED Lighting
    Chapter One: Introduction
    1.1 Background to this Report
    1.1.1 Four Reasons for Skepticism about the Prospects for OLED Lighting
    1.1.2 Making the Business Case for OLED Lighting
    1.1.3 From Luxury Light to Tomorrow's Light Bulb
    1.2 Objective and Scope of this Report
    1.3        Methodology of this Report
    1.4        Plan of this Report
    Chapter Two: Markets, Drivers, Products and Market Gaps
    2.1 Phasing out Incandescent Lights:  How Powerful a Driver for OLED Lighting?
    2.2 Impact on SSL of Direct Subsidies of CFLs
    2.3 Early Markets for OLED Lighting:  Designers and Designer Lights
    2.3.1 Markets for OLED Lighting "Designer Kits"
    2.3.2 Markets for OLED Lighting Designer Luminaires
    2.4 The Shape of Mass Market OLED Lighting to Come:  What Kind of Products?
    2.4.1 Market Expansion Needs Enhanced OLED Capabilities
    2.4.2 The Importance of "Panelization" for OLED Market Development
    2.4.3 Integration with Other Types of Building Materials:  Of Smart Windows and Building-Integrated OLED Lighting
    2.4.4 Is There a Business Case for Flexible Lighting?  And Why This Question is So Important
    2.5 Special Requirements for Commercial and Industrial OLED Lighting:  Fitting in With the Existing Lighting Infrastructure
    2.5.1 OLED Lighting of the Future: OLED Bulbs and Tubes?
    2.5.2 OLED Lighting of the Future: Special Considerations for Office Lighting
    2.6 A Note on the Business Case for OLEDs in Architectural Lighting
    2.7 A Note on the Business Case for OLEDs in Automotive/Vehicular Lighting
    2.8 Key Points in this Chapter
    Chapter Three: The Business Case for the OLED "Light Bulb"
    3.1 Can OLED Panels Replace Bulbs and Tubes?
    3.1.1 Important Conventional Parameters for Measuring OLED Lighting:  Efficacy, Luminance and CRI
    3.1.2 Why is OLED Light Different from All Other Lights?
    3.2 Required Performance Criteria for General-Purpose OLED Lighting
    3.2.1 Efficiency/Efficacy
    3.2.2 Brightness/Luminance
    3.2.3 Lifetimes
    3.2.4 Light Quality and CRI
    3.3 Pricing Considerations for General-Purpose OLED Lighting:  OLED Lighting Today Still Out of the Ballpark
    3.3.1 Traditional Strategies for Reducing OLED Costs
    3.3.2 Current Pricing Expectations for OLED Lighting
    3.3.3 Prospects for Consumer Acceptance of Total Cost of  Ownership-Based Pricing
    3.3.4 Appropriate Discount Rates for OLED Pricing/Cost Models
    3.4 Key Points in this Chapter
    Chapter Four: Products:  The Business Case for Special Features in OLED Lighting
    4.1 What Can an OLED Do, that Other Kinds of Lighting Can't Do?
    4.1.1 The Case for Value-Added OLED Lighting
    4.2 Large-Area Format Lighting:  OLED Lighting as Panels
    4.2.1 The Need for Larger Panel Sizes
    4.2.2 Designing with Flexibility
    4.2.3 Tunability and Transparency
    4.3 Opportunities for Luminaire Makers and Designers
    4.3.1 Luminaire Design Options
    4.4 Economies of Scale and Manufacturing Issues
    4.5 Key Points in this Chapter
    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
    About the Author

    List of Exhibits


    Exhibit E-1: Summary of OLED Lighting Markets ($ Millions)

    Exhibit E-2: Comparison of Light Source Parameters

    Exhibit E-3: Addressable Markets and Niches for OLED Lighting

    Exhibit 2-1: Phasing Out the Incandescent Bulb:  Policies Worldwide

    Exhibit 2-2: Early OLED Lighting Products:  Ideas and Concepts

    Exhibit 2-3: Business Cases for Flexible OLED Lighting Products

    Exhibit 3-1: Early OLED Lighting Products:  The Pricing Story So Far

    Exhibit 4-1: Unique/Value-Added Opportunities for OLED Lighting



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