LED lighting has become the norm in car manufacturing over the last ten years. As technology has advanced so has LED technology, and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) have been a focus of car lighting discussion for a number of years. OLED lights are made from organic, carbon based materials and take the form of a thin, flexible and transparent film. They emit a high-contrast light and are extremely homogeneous in nature, which makes them highly desirable for an aesthetically pleasing finish.
OSRAM, an automotive lighting manufacturer, have been pioneering the advancement of the technology for specific application in cars for some time. They made a breakthrough in 2013 where they were able to better control the thermal temperature, which had been a barrier to the technology advancing, along with the cost of production. Audi announced in 2016 that they were on track to release the world’s first car featuring OLED tail lights, the 2016 Audi TT RS Coupe. Audi have recently released their popular 2018 A8 which features a full panel of OLED tail lights, indicating that the cost of the lights has begun to stabilise.
Audi OLED Lights
Car manufacturers have been unveiling concept models using OLED technology with recent car shows featuring OLED interior lighting, instrument display panels and digital rear-view mirrors. As with most technological advancements, is likely that as demand for OLED lights increases in top of the line models costs will reduce and penetration will increase. Though the car industry works to long development timelines, it’s likely that OLED technology will become more commonplace for exterior, interior and instrument lighting and trickle down into mid-range models over the next 2 - 5 years.