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Kaneka launches OLED lighting device with both the longest life in the world at approximately 50,000 hours and minimal color change

November 14, 2014

Kaneka Corporation (Osaka, Japan; President: Mamoru Kadokura) developed an OLED lighting device that offers the longest life in the world at approximately 50,000 hours and has minimal color change. Samples have already been provided to multiple customers for evaluation. Sales began in September of this year.
The estimated life of a regular LED light is presented as the hours it takes for the total flux*1 to fall to 70% of its original value, which is said to be around 40,000 hours. Up until now, Kaneka’s OLED devices offered an estimated life of around 17,000 hours at an initial brightness of 3000cd/m2. By scrutinizing the mechanism of OLED lighting device degradation and optimizing device structure and thin film deposition conditions, Kaneka succeeded in achieving a long life of approximately 50,000 hours at an initial brightness of 3,000 cd/m2. This is the longest life in the world for OLED lighting devices.
  *1Total flux: Brightness scale indicating the amount of light emitted from the light source in all directions. Generally, the higher this number, the brighter the light source. The units are lm (lumens), the international unit, or cd·sr (candela steradian).
The improvements with the successfully developed device are substantially less time degradation (speed of degradation) in each emitting layer and longer life. These were achieved by focusing on the degradation behavior of emitting layers of various wavelengths (in general, RGB: red, green and blue) comprising white light and optimizing device structure such as material and lamination constitution and film making conditions such as thickness. The result was the long lifetime above mentioned and at the same time, substantial reduction in color changing (correlated color temperature*2), which was another issue with OLED lighting when used for extended periods of time. This device has a correlated color temperature of 3000K and the temporal change in correlated color temperature has been kept within 200K with 50,000 hours of use. This is 40% or less of the change observed in our past products with 17,000 hours of use.
  *2 Correlated color temperature: A scale expressing the color of light emitted from a light source in quantitative figures. The units are the thermodynamic temperature in degrees K (Kelvin). Generally, 3000K is the color of light bulbs, 4000K is white, and 5000K is neutral white. The lower the correlated color temperature, the warmer the color and the higher the temperature, the whiter the color. At even higher temperatures, the light takes on a bluish color.
Since April of last year, mass production demonstration equipment that incorporated surface deposition technology was newly introduced into operation in the organic material vacuum deposition process at OLED Aomori Co., Ltd. (Aomori, Japan; President: Koji Sezaki), a wholly-owned subsidiary that manufactures OLED lighting devices. A mass production and supply system has been established that includes the newly developed devices.
Kaneka seeks to accelerate business development and achieve sales of ¥50 billion by 2020 (roughly $435M) through the aggressive promotion and expansion of sales into the Japanese, European and US markets where the characteristics of OLED lighting, for use in art and history museums, restaurants and other retail stores, hotels, hospital rooms and designer lighting for luxury housing are advantageous.
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