BASF, Philips develop OLED lighting for use as transparent car roof

Jan 19, 2012
Transparent OLEDs are still in the research phase. Philips is leading research in this area and is the first to demonstrate transparent OLEDs in an application environment such as the car roof lighting concept with BASF.

(PhysOrg.com) -- BASF and Philips have achieved a practical breakthrough in the development of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology that allows it to be integrated in car roofs. The OLEDs are transparent when switched off, allowing for a clear view outside the vehicle, yet providing light only within the vehicle when switched on. This OLED lighting concept for car roofs is the result of a longstanding cooperation between BASF and Philips in the research and development of OLED modules.

In addition to offering completely new design possibilities, the transparent OLED lighting concept also allows new approaches to automotive engineering. The transparent OLED sandwich structure can be combined with equally transparent .

“This combination allows the driver to enjoy a unique open-space feeling while it generates electricity during the day and pleasantly suffuses the interior with the warm light of the transparent, highly efficient OLEDs at night,” said Dr. Felix Görth, head of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes and Organic Photovoltaics at BASF Future Business GmbH.

Philips' transparant OLED module for car roof lighting concept developed with BASF emits light into the vehicle when switched on.

Philips' OLED module for car roof lighting concept developed with BASF is transparant when switched off.

Dr. Dietrich Bertram, General Manager of OLED Lighting at , added: “This project provides impressive evidence of new possibilities with OLEDs, and illustrates the potential of Philips’ Lumiblade OLED technology to help create innovative lighting applications that enhance people’s lives.”

BASF and Philips have cooperated closely since 2006 within the OLED 2015 initiative of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). develops organo-chemical materials such as dyes that are used in the development and manufacturing of OLEDs by Philips. Working together, the two partners put the innovative transparent OLED lighting technology into practice on a car roof.

OLED technology offers the advantage of high energy efficiency, in addition to creative flexibility and new options for designers. OLED light sources are just 1.8 millimeters thin and can be transparent. The entire surface of an illuminates with diffused light, making it a very soft light source that produces less harsh shadows compared to point light sources.

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TrinityComplex
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012
Why stop at car roofs? These could be used in buildings in place of flourescents on the top floors (or other places, I suppose). Make them skylights, or put them at the end of solar tubes to allow for more natural light during the day, then have them come on when it gets darker. Studies show that humans are more awake/productive when exposed to sunlight vs. flourescent.
Jorsher
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2012
Why stop at car roofs? These could be used in buildings in place of flourescents on the top floors (or other places, I suppose). Make them skylights, or put them at the end of solar tubes to allow for more natural light during the day, then have them come on when it gets darker. Studies show that humans are more awake/productive when exposed to sunlight vs. flourescent.


Exactly what I was thinking. Screw a traditional roof and lighting... I want an office with a view of the real sky, and light in the evening from captured solar energy.
plasticpower
not rated yet Jan 20, 2012
Put them into the windshield too! It's about time we had read HUD displays showing us speed, navigation, etc on the windshield so we don't have to take our eyes off the road!
Phil_Heston
1 / 5 (1) Jan 20, 2012
Really not sure why this would be a good idea for cars? I mean, variable opacity glass screens have been available for years. OLED is specifically about light emitting. So it looks like it becomes opaque simply by emitting light that obscures (but doesn't stop) other light passing through. Now, in a car, why the heck would you want a lit-up roof? Sure, a clear roof letting the sky view in during the day. But at night time? Even soft lighting is pretty dangerous when they seem to suggest it would be a good idea.

The HUD suggestion in another comment is nice, but you don't need HUD on the whole screen so it's overkill where other solutions already exist. Maybe when there are complementary augmented reality applications, so the windscreen becomes an active enhanced display of your environment, then I could see some use (but AR is heavily perspective-dependent, i.e. it would work only for driver but not passenger or vice versa).

Nice technology, wrong application.
rawa1
1 / 5 (3) Jan 20, 2012
How some transparent thing can radiate? It violates all physical laws, we know...
gwrede
3 / 5 (2) Jan 23, 2012
This would be excellent for normal house windows and skylights. And you could make lampshades "that don't need the bulb" in the middle for tabletop and free-standing light fixtures. These could have the color of incandescent light while those in the windows would be daylight colored.

I see this market as much bigger than some glass car roof.
powerup1
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2012
How some transparent thing can radiate? It violates all physical laws, we know...


That is a very inane statement, but then again, look at the source. :-D