Electronics - Energy

A festive switch: OLEDs instead of candles?

What would it take for you to replace your old-fashioned candles with modern LEDs this Christmas time?

What would it take for you to replace your old-fashioned candles with modern LEDs this Christmas time? A research group from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan think they have at least part of the answer – they’ve developed ITO/polymer-based OLEDs with color temperature and coordinates close to a traditional candle light.

Medical studies indicate some cancer rates increase with frequent exposure to light at night, associating with the suppression of the oncostatic hormone, melatonin. Candles, when compared to current lighting measures, including LEDs and CFLs, show the smallest effect on melatonin suppression, as they emit the least blue light. The romantic sensation and general feeling of well-being from candle light also provides visual comfort – this is a result of the very diffuse and continuous emissive spectrum.

Given all this, the Taiwanese researchers sought to devise a physiologically friendly and sensationally pleasant light source to mimic the positive effects of candle light while reducing the environmental effects and safety risk.

By using an orange-red emission dominant OLED with a greater than the typical 2- or 3-band spectrum other light sources, an electricity driven candle light is generated with far less energy usage. The color of the light gives the impression of warmth without in fact releasing infrared radiation. Additionally, it is free from mercury, ultraviolet, glare, flickering, flame-burning, and carbon-blacking, and is least 30o times more energy efficient than traditional candles.

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