What does LG Chem's "5 lm/$" really mean for lighting?

LG Chem came out this week claiming to have the world’s highest OLED lumen-price ratio at 5 lm/$, but what does this really mean, and how does it compare to traditional and LED lighting? To really see how this ground breaking development in OLED lighting compares, I have listed below the average selling prices (ASPs) for the general lighting luminaire form factors that Strategies Unlimited believes OLEDs can potentially penetrate: downlights, troffers, and suspended pendants (we do not believe OLEDs will play in track lighting, high bay, or street lighting due to current lumen output, efficacy, and price).

Feb 5th, 2015
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LG Chem came out this week claiming to have the world’s highest OLED lumen-price ratio at 5 lm/$, but what does this really mean, and how does it compare to traditional and LED lighting?

Strategies Unlimited recently published itsGlobal Luminaire report, which details the global market for luminaires in general lighting by the main luminaire form factors: downlights, suspended pendants, track lights, troffers, high bay, street lights, and others. The report is segmented by region, application, and technology; the data is shown for the installed base, unit shipments, and revenues by each form factor. To really see how this ground breaking development in OLED lighting compares, I have listed below the average selling prices (ASPs) for the general lighting luminaire form factors that Strategies Unlimited believes OLEDs can potentially penetrate: downlights, troffers, and suspended pendants (we do not believe OLEDs will play in track lighting, high bay, or street lighting due to current lumen output, efficacy, and price). For reference, for 2015, these three form factors are forecast to make up around 55% of the total global installed base and nearly 50% of all revenues.

The ASPs listed below compare traditional (fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, and CFL) with LED and OLED ASPs. Based on average lumen output required for downlights, troffers, and suspended pendants, I have calculated the lm/$ ratio of traditional and LED lighting with that of LG Chem’s new OLED panel, as well as what the ASP of the OLED panel would need to be. You can then see how much more expensive OLED lighting panels are.

Here you can see that, in some cases, OLED lighting is still 20 times more expensive than traditional lighting and 13 times more so than LED lighting. Suspended pendants looks like an application where OLEDs could potentially play, seeing as it’s currently around 5 times more expensive, but keep in mind that this is for a panel that is slightly larger than 1ft x 1ft. Suspended pendants commonly come in smaller sizes (think hanging fixtures with one lamp inside), and what’s currently available on the market for that size (around 5 inches) does not have nearly enough lumen output to be a viable replacement yet. So while this is definitely an improvement and a step forward in the OLED lighting sector, there is still a ways to go before OLED lighting can replace traditional or LED lighting in terms of lumen output and price.

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