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OLED Lighting 2015-2022: Reassessing Markets and Momentum

A year ago the outlook for OLED lighting seemed to brighten a bit, anticipating that new capacity build-outs and continued development would enable higher outputs and lower costs, and finally start to unlock broad market demand. Unfortunately these efforts largely haven't panned out: LG Chem has pushed out its planned expansion, Konica Minolta did ramp but we believe with disappointing results so far, and Philips is getting out of OLED lighting (and lighting components entirely).

On the end market side of the equation, one can still find reasons to be encouraged. OLED lighting products are showing up in home improvement stores for just $200, instead of the thousands they cost just a couple of years ago. The first vehicles with OLED lighting are expected to arrive within the next 12-24 months. And there are always occasional opportunities to be found in unique showcase installations.

But the real big end-market fish for OLED lighting -- office and commercial lighting, and low-cost residential -- remain frustratingly elusive, still unable to broadly appreciate and embrace OLED lighting's value proposition. The issue seems to be less about technology and performance improvements, and more about persistently high costs and pricing -- which is why the aforementioned manufacturing expansions and improvements (and more of them) are so critical.

The OLED lighting sector is also stuck in a loop. Manufacturers are waiting to commit until there is enough real or imminent end-market demand --  but demand largely will be lured by vastly cheaper products enabled through production improvements and lower costs. The question now seems to be which strategy to embrace for the near- to mid-term: press on and believe, stand pat and wait, or give up and get out? All these cases can be made.

This latest report from n-tech Research revisits our assumptions and expectations on the evolution of end-markets for the OLED lighting sector, evaluating the challenges still standing between OLED lighting and key end markets, especially general illumination in offices and low-cost residential lighting. We include eight-year (volume and value) projections for all the major market sectors along with an assessment of how OLED lighting can effectively compete with conventional lighting technologies. This report also analyzes the core strategies of leading players in the OLED lighting space, from technology development and manufacturing to key partnerships.

Executive Summary
E.1: Countdown to Mass-Market Launch
E.2 Resetting the Timer: Changes from the previous report
E.3 Update on End Markets
E.3.1 General Illumination: Whistling While We Wait
E.3.2 The Essence of It: Costs and Timing
E.3.3 Rev Up Engines
E.3.4 Showcase Projects: Still the Stars
E.4 OLED Lighting Technology Update: What's the Story?
E.4.1 Product Performance Progress
E.4.2 Any Help from OLED Displays and TVs?
E.5 OLED Lighting by Region: Our Thoughts on Where, Who, and When
E.5.1 Korea
E.5.2 Japan
E.5.3 China
E.5.4 Taiwan
E.5.5 Europe
E.5.6 U.S.
E.6 Summary of Eight-Year Market Forecasts for OLED Lighting Markets

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this Report
1.1.1 What’s the Matter with OLED Lighting?
1.1.2 OLED Lighting’s Success as a Niche Business
1.1.3 Getting Out of a Niche:  OLED Lighting’s Perpetual Failure
1.1.4 Of Value Shifts and Champions
1.2 Objective and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.4 Economic Assumptions
1.5 Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: OLED Technology, Manufacturing, and Materials
2.1 OLED Lighting Performance: Status and Targets
2.1.1 Balancing OLED Lighting Performance Parameters
2.1.2 Lifetimes
2.1.3 Luminous Efficacy
2.1.4 Luminance
2.1.5 OLED Lighting Performance and End Markets
2.1.6 A Word about OLED Device Drivers
2.2 Key Issues in Manufacturing:  Where Do We Go from Here?
2.2.1 Where are Costs Now?
2.2.2 Choose Your Own OLED Adventure
2.2.3 OLED Production Priorities: Old and New
2.3 Generation Next: Migration to Large Panels
2.3.1 Issues Still to be Resolved
2.4 OLED R&D To-Do List
2.4.1 Light Extraction Options
2.5 Process Progress Report
2.5.1 Printing Path Progressions
2.6 Update on Flexible Panels
2.6.1 Research Projects for Flexible OLED Panels
2.6.2 Ongoing Research into Flexible OLED Lighting
2.7 Materials Update
2.7.1 Setting Priorities Straight
2.7.2 The Search for Better Blue Continues
2.7.3 TADF Emitters
2.74 Other Research into OLED Materials
2.8 Substrates
2.8.1 Low-cost Float Glass
2.8.2 Integrated Substrates
2.8.3 Flexible Glass and Foils
2.9 Encapsulation
2.9.1 Who's Doing What
2.10 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Three: Automotive, the OLED Lighting Pace Car
3.1 How OLED Lighting Adds Value for Vehicles
3.2 How Automakers Buy New Technology
3.2.1 Timeframes and Alliances
3.2.2 Hidden Value
3.3 OLED Lighting, Smart Glass and Smart Lighting
3.3.1 Smart Auto Lighting and the Implications for OLEDs
3.3.2 Smart Auto Glass Deployment in Automotive
3.4 How Automobile Industry Requirements Impact the OLED Lighting Sector
3.4.1 Performance Tradeoffs for OLED Lighting in Automotive
3.5 Where OLED Lighting Makes Sense in Automotive Applications
3.5.1 External Lighting: Prime Real Estate
3.5.2 Internal Lighting: Coming to the Forefront
3.6 Flexible OLEDs: A Natural Fit for Automotive?
3.7 Update: Car Makers' Plans for OLED Lighting
3.7.1 BMW
3.7.2 Audi
3.7.3 Volkswagen
3.7.4 Japanese Automakers
3.8 Eight-Year Forecast of OLED Lighting in Automotive
3.8.1 Summary of Our Thoughts on OLED Lighting in Automotive
3.8.2 Forecasts for Automotive Lighting Applications
3.9 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Four: Offices and OLED Lighting, Still Hunting the  Killer App
4.1 Why Office Lighting Remains an Elusive Target
4.2 Retelling the Story
4.2.1 Hidden Assumptions
4.3 Examples of OLED Office Lighting
4.3.1 Conference Room
4.3.2 Desktop Lamps
4.3.3 Collaborative Area
4.3.4 Washroom
4.4 OLED Lighting and Retail
4.4.1 Examples of OLED Lighting in Retail Shops
4.4.2 Our Take on Retail
4.5 Medical Lighting
4.6 Small Slice: Architectural Lighting
4.6.1 Heritage Lighting
4.7 Forecasts for OLED Lighting in Commercial Applications
4.8 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Five: Homeward Bound: OLED Lighting and Residential/Consumer Lighting
5.1 The Problem of Pull: Where Have We Heard This Before?
5.1.1 How Businesses and Consumers Purchase Lighting
5.1.2 OLEDs vs. LEDs: Why Consumer Education Still Matters
5.2 Reaching the Masses: Retail Access and Prices Finally Arrive
5.3 Suppliers Pushing OLED Lighting's Consumer Messaging
5.3.1 Acuity
5.3.2 LG Chem
5.3.3 Philips/OLEDWorks
5.4 Still Quietly In the Market?
5.4.1 Lumiotec
5.4.2 Blackbody
5.5 Start-ups On the OLED Lighting Scene
5.5.1 OTI Lumionics
5.5.2 Alkilu
5.6 Niche Consumer Markets for Consumer OLED Lighting
5.6.1 Lighting for Heritage Houses
5.6.2 OLED Lighting and Aquariums
5.7 Luxury Product Conundrum: Embrace or Escape?
5.8 Eight-Year Forecast of OLED Lighting in Residential
5.9 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Six:  Custom Large-Scale and Outdoor Installations
6.1 Large Installations: OLED Lighting's Newsmakers
6.1.1 Spotlight: Galleries and Museums
6.2 What's New in Big OLED Lighting Projects
6.2.1 Konica Minolta
6.2.2 LG Chem
6.2.3 Philips
6.2.4 Lumiotec
6.2.5 Audi and Mystery Supplier
6.2.6 Umage
6.3 Our Takeaway: Still OLED Lighting's Showcase, for Now
6.4 Eight-Year Forecast of OLED Lighting in Custom Large-Scale Installations
6.5 OLED Lighting and Outdoor Applications: Still in the Shadows
6.5.1 Key Issue #1: Performance
6.5.2 Key Issue #2: Encapsulation
6.5.3 Key Issue #3: Scale and Output
6.5.4 Key Issue #4: The LED Buzzsaw
6.6 Eight-Year Forecast of OLED Lighting in Outdoor Installations
6.7 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Seven: Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts for OLED Lighting
7.1 Our Overall Thoughts: Where OLED Lighting Is and Needs to Be
7.2 General Forecasting Assumptions
7.2.1 Production Capacity and Utilization Estimates
7.2.2 Panel Sizes
7.2.3 Pricing Estimates
7.3 Into the Sunset: Summary of Forecasts for OLED Lighting Kits and Samples
7.4 Summary of Forecasts for OLED Lighting Panels
7.5 Summary of Forecasts for OLED Luminaires
7.6 Summary of Forecasts for OLED Lighting—Grand Totals
Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
About the Author

List of Exhibits

Exhibit E-1: Japanese Companies in OLED Lighting    
Exhibit E-2: Summary of OLED Panel Shipments and Revenue    
Exhibit E-3: Summary of OLED Luminaires Shipments and Revenue    
Exhibit E-4: Summary of Total OLED Lighting Market ($ million)    
Exhibit 2-1: OLED Light Performance, Current Status and Future Targets    
Exhibit 2-2: Panel and Luminaire Efficacy Targets    
Exhibit 2-3: OLED Lighting Performance and Addressable Markets    
Exhibit 2-4: OLED Lighting Deposition Process Choices    
Exhibit 3-1: How OLED Lighting Might Add Value to Cars    
Exhibit 3-2: How Automobile Industry Requirements Impact the OLED Lighting Sector    
Exhibit 3-3: OLED Lighting Applications in Automotive    
Exhibit 3-4: Eight-Year Forecasts of Automotive Lighting Applications    
Exhibit 4-1: OLED Lighting's Value In Retail Use    
Exhibit 4-2: Eight-Year Forecasts of OLED Lighting in Office and Other Commercial Lighting Applications    
Exhibit 5-1: Eight-Year Forecasts of OLED Lighting in Residential LightingApplications    
Exhibit 6-1: Eight-Year Forecasts of OLED lighting in Large-scale Custom Installations
Exhibit 6-2: Eight-Year Forecasts of Non-automotive Outdoor OLED Lighting    
Exhibit 7-1: Eight-Year Forecasts of OLED Lighting Panels in Designer Kits    
Exhibit 7-2: Number of OLED Lighting Panels Sold (Millions)    
Exhibit 7-3: Total Area of OLED Lighting Panels Sold (000s of square meters)    
Exhibit 7-4: Value of OLED Lighting Panel Market  ($ Millions)    
Exhibit 7-5: Number of OLED Luminaires (000s)    
Exhibit 7-6: Value of OLED Luminaire Market  ($ Millions)    
Exhibit 7-7: Grand Total OLED Lighting Market ($ Millions)    

OLED Lighting 2015-2022: Reassessing Markets and Momentum

n-tech Research Issues Latest Report on OLED Lighting Market

Glen Allen, VA: Momentum for the OLED lighting sector has remained frustratingly elusive. Nevertheless, industry analyst firm n-tech Research still sees OLED lighting arising to a billion-dollar market by the end of this decade, and topping $2.2 billion by 2022, thanks to steady improvements in the technology, suppliers finally pulling the trigger on capacity expansions, and general illumination markets finally arriving (if late) to the party. Details of the new report, "OLED Lighting 2015-2022: Reassessing Markets and Momentum " including a downloadable excerpt, are available at:

About the Report:

This latest report from n-tech Research revisits our assumptions and expectations about the evolution of the OLED lighting sector and the challenges still standing between the technology and key end markets: general illumination in offices/commercial buildings and residential lighting, automotive, non-automotive outdoor lighting, designer kits and related products, and large-scale custom installations.

We include eight-year (volume and value) projections, along with an assessment of how OLED lighting can effectively compete with conventional lighting technologies. We also evaluate the regional potential for OLED lighting, and the leading players in the OLED lighting space.

Among the companies discussed in this report:  Acuity, Astron Fiamm, Audi, Blackbody, BMW, Corning, Cynora, First-o-Lite, Henkel, Idemitsu Kosan, Konica Minolta, Kaneka, Kateeva, LG Chem, Lumiotec, Merck, Mitsubishi, NEC Lighting, Novaled/Cheil, OLEDWorks, Osram, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung, Sumitomo, Umage, Universal Display, Visionox, WAC Lighting, and WiseChip Semiconductor.

Highlights from the Report:

  • Performance parameters for OLED lighting have seen impressive gains. Lifetimes are approaching where they need to be; efficacy may well see increased emphasis now.

  • Above all else is the need to reduce costs, primarily through capacity expansions, but suppliers remain overly cautious. Meanwhile familiar areas continue to be addressed: better encapsulation, process optimization, materials utilization, and flexible substrates. New production methods like solution-based processing are improving but probably on a medium-term timeframe.

  • OLED lighting for vehicles is still on a timeframe of 2017 arrival, and initially for luxury models. BMW has been most vocal about OLED lighting on that schedule, while Audi also recently tipped plans for an upcoming model due in 2017. We also expect an update shortly about Japanese automakers and OLED lighting. We see automotive OLED lighting slowly emerging as a $42 million market by 2019 and $119 million by 2022.

  • What's holding back general illumination markets -- office/commercial lighting especially -- is largely higher costs, while for residential lighting aesthetic appeal (within a consumer’s budget) needs to improve as well. OLED lighting has seen some minor success in niche areas though, including medical and architectural/heritage buildings. Acuity's new $199-$299 OLED lighting products now available through Home Depot are enormously important, but more products and vendors and designs are needed to crack these markets.

  • n-tech sees both commercial and residential OLED lighting segments on roughly the same trajectory: around $100-$130 million each by 2017, $445-$490 million by 2020, and closing in on $1 billion market values by 2022.

  • Large-scale custom installations of OLED lighting will continue to drive the majority of business in the near-term, while also serving to broadly educate what OLED lighting can do. The past year has seen a number of remarkably large OLED lighting installations, including the biggest one by far: Konica Minolta's 15,000-panel project for a Japanese festival.

About n-tech Research:

n-tech Research is rebrand of NanoMarkets.  We are a leading provider of market research and industry analysis for OLED lighting, display and materials businesses. Visit for a full listing of the firm’s services.


Robert Nolan
(804) 938-0030

posted May 28, 2015

n-tech research  what's next in emerging technology 

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