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How OLED Lighting Technology Simulation Benefits Designs

OLED lighting simulation made using ANSYS SPEOS. Courtesy of Blackbody.

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) may be the future of commercial lighting.

OLEDs are flexible, bright, directional and able to fit onto any curved surface. These low-power, eco-friendly lights can also be made into ultra-thin screens that are capable of producing dark blacks and bright colors.

For these reasons, OLED lighting is becoming popular in electronics, automotive, marketing and commercial applications.

Why Is OLED Lighting Technology Favored in Industry?

OLEDs are made up of an organic electroluminescent film that emits light in response to an electrical current. These lights come in two different types:

  • Passive matrix OLED (PMOLED)
  • Active matrix OLED (AMOLED)

PMOLEDs are rather simple, while AMOLEDs have a backplate filled with transistors that switch individual pixels on and off.

Therefore, you are more likely to see PMOLEDs in general lighting scenarios and AMOLEDs on a screen — like mobile phones.

OLD simulation of taillights

In recent years, OLED lighting has made a splash in many industries. Notably, the automotive industry has taken a significant interest in the technology. The ability of OLEDs to work on curved surfaces gives the automotive industry a unique way to assert brand identity by giving their displays, taillights and headlamps a unique look.

How OLEDs Compare to Other Lighting Technologies

An OLED simulation made using ANSYS SPEOS, courtesy of Blackbody

OLEDs are a lot easier to work into a design than competing lighting technologies.

Incandescent bulbs, for instance, emit light in all directions, requiring a reflector and lens to improve efficiency. Due to the bulkiness of the light, lens and reflector, engineers are limited in how the lights can be used in a design.

Light emitting diodes (LED) are a step up from incandescent bulbs. They are directional, efficient and brighter, meaning they no longer need reflectors. However, lightguides are still needed to build LEDs into a surface.

OLEDs are Lambertian light sources, so they already appear as a surface with uniform brightness. As a result, OLEDs don’t require reflectors or lightguides. This means that engineers can design a very flat OLED that can adapt to any curvature.

Regardless of the industry, OLED lighting enables engineers to design more attractive and energy efficient products with uniformly bright panels.

Simulating OLED Lighting to Anticipate How It Will React in a Real Environment

Engineers can use ANSYS SPEOS to simulate OLED light sources compatible with any computer-aided design (CAD) geometry with non-uniform rational basis splines (NURBS). This enables engineers to test an OLED’s spectrum variation, emission direction and luminance in various environments.

OLED wall simulation made using ANSYS SPEOS, courtesy of Blackbody.

By prototyping the OLED lighting digitally, engineers will be able to save time and money as they avoid using physical prototypes.

Additionally, ANSYS multiphysics simulation technology enables engineers to assess how the electrodes, temperature and optical characteristics of the OLED lighting all work together.

To learn how to access OLED’s in the SPEOS optical library, read ANSYS SPEOS Capabilities.