As the basis for creating ambient atmospheres, LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) are intriguing. But they are also attracting attention for an entirely different reason: energy efficiency.
What’s kept LEDs out of mainstream lighting applications for the past 40 years is the fact that they were not very bright. However, in recent years this has rapidly changed. They can now compete head-on with compact fluorescent and halogen lamps in many instances.
By changing the relative intensity of LEDs, you can create virtually any color imaginable, swinging the color from one end of the spectrum to the other at will. That’s why highly efficient LED lighting is so attractive to architects and interior designers.

While chip LEDs are the ideal solution for applications where you want directed light, such as spotlights, OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) promise the other extreme – entire walls that gently and evenly glow with light or even OLED-coated windows that illuminate rooms with simulated daylight when it gets dark.
Like ordinary LEDs, OLEDs rely on the same electron/hole phenomenon that occurs in semiconductor materials, yet this time the semiconductor material is not a brittle crystalline inorganic material. It’s an organic substance that can be deposited onto surfaces, theoretically any size or shape, using vacuum-deposition techniques. One day, it may even be possible to produce OLED panels using a roll-to-roll printing process not unlike that used to produce wallpaper. Just image it – wallpapering your home with light.