Transparent and flexible – the new lightness of light

Ultra-thin, transparent and flexible – these are the attributes that distinguish the innovative OLED technology. Within the European research project PI-SCALE, with a total of 14 partners, the lighting experts of EMDE development of light act as so-called “launching customers”, i.e. as pilot customers. Together with renowned companies such as AUDI AG, Pilkington and REHAU, the experts contribute their know-how to adapting a pilot line under the LYTEUS branding to the needs of the market and customers. The aim is to make the innovative OLED lighting technology available to companies of any size in order to launch products quickly and cost-effectively. As an example of new possibilities in lighting design, EMDE development of light GmbH is presenting for the first time a prototype for a light art object at LOPEC in Munich (19 to 21 March 2019), which demonstrates the aesthetics and immaterial appeal of the latest OLED technology.

“COLORLOOP” prototype © EMDE development of light GmbH

The prototype with the name “COLORLOOP” was developed in close cooperation between the founder of the GmbH and artist Thomas Emde and his colleague, product designer Christoph Petersen. The comprehensive design concept can be seen in the object – it is both an aesthetic work of art and a smart, technologically highly innovative light object.

The EMDE development of light GmbH team has many years of experience with the new OLED light and developed the world’s first OLED luminaire series, which has been available on the market since autumn 2016 under its own OMLED brand. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can not only produce pleasantly warm and glare-free light, but can also be colorful, transparent and flexible. In order to demonstrate the almost infinite application potential of OLEDs, the interdisciplinary team of artists, designers and engineers developed a light object that playfully handles additive color mixing and the immaterial aesthetics of ultra-thin and flexible OLEDs.

Product designer Christoph Petersen of EMDE development of light about the motivation for developing the demonstrator: “Our goal is to show the variety of new applications with OLED light on an object with which the user can interact. Our light object “COLORLOOP” plays with the effect of additive color mixing by using magnetic contacting to arrange OLEDs in the three light colors red, yellow and blue differently on spring steel rings. The spring steel rings are used for electrical contacting and mechanical fixing as well as for shaping the flexible OLEDs. An advantage of the construction of the light object is the simple exchangeability of each OLED. “

Thomas Emde adds: “With “COLORLOOP” we want to present the new transparent light directly from the laboratory to the public and show application possibilities of OLED light for the design of space and atmosphere. We see new possibilities for using light as a design element for our living spaces in the immaterial appearance of transparent OLEDs and the lightness they bring. We at “COLORLOOP” are not primarily interested in a functional benefit, but rather in creating a special atmosphere by superimposing the various light colors.”

Together with research partner VTT from Finland, a battery-powered driver with programmable control was developed for the “COLORLOOP”. This means that the light object does not require a cable and different light scenes can be retrieved.

The transparent and flexible OLEDs come from the Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden. Their pilot and research lines for roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet production of OLEDs are currently the only ones in Europe on which this new technology can be manufactured. The teams from EMDE and Fraunhofer FEP want to work together in the future on challenges in the production and integration of OLEDs in various applications and are open to further development with partners of industry.

The prototype   can be seen during LOPEC 2019, from 19 to 21 March 2019 at the ICM in Munich, at OE-A booth, stand no. 216 (hall B0).  In addition, the design demonstrator by EMDE was submitted to this year’s OE-A Competition 2019.

Demonstrator Competition LOPEC 2019:

  • Stand: OE-A booth
  • Stand-No: 2016, Hall B0
  • Further information about the OE-A competition at LOPEC 2019:

“COLORLOOP” prototype © EMDE development of light GmbH

The results were achieved on the joint pilot line service LYTEUS of the EU-funded PI-SCALE project and financed within the framework of the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No. 688093.

Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLEDs) integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of technologies and processes for organic electronics and component integration. The team at the design company of EMDE development of light GmbH also has many years of experience with the new organic light-emitting diode light (OLED), including development of the world’s first OLED luminaire series. OLEDs cannot only emit colored and wide area light, but they themselves are also extremely low-profile and flexible, allowing them to be integrated into many types and shapes of surfaces. They can be even be designed to be transparent and dimmable. To demonstrate the sheer endless potential for employing OLEDs, the designers at EMDE are now integrating flexible OLEDs for the first time into a motorcycle jacket. Used as a material for clothing, OLEDs not only can trigger completely new aesthetic trends, they can also provide active illumination instead of just limited reflectance. This enhanced visibility from all angles means the wearer can be seen more clearly, increasing rider safety.

This is made possible by fabricating the OLEDs on flexible substrates such as plastic films and connecting them to conductive threading for their supply of electrical power. Together with the HOLST Center in Eindhoven, the Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden, Germany, has now for the first time implemented an extended approach of the technology for the OLED on the joint pilot line service LYTEUS within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE – a hybrid OLED.

These new flexible luminous surfaces combine the advantages of printed and evaporated layers in one component. Specifically, the passivation layers, the metallization, and an organic layer were printed in a roll-to-roll process on barrier films from the HOLST Centre (Netherlands). All the subsequent layers required by the OLED were vapor-deposited at Fraunhofer FEP with the help of its R2R evaporation tool, which is unique worldwide. Optical output is very homogeneous thanks to printed metallization over the entire surface of the component.

Claudia Keibler-Willner, head of department at the Fraunhofer FEP, explains: “We have taken a major step forward in economical fabrication processes for OLEDs. The results are impressive: the OLED shines very uniformly. The use of the roll-to-roll process also promises considerable cost reductions for future components. By combining printed and vaporized layers, process throughput and production speed can be increased up to 100 times.”

Clear advantages for designers result – infinitely long materials with practically unrestricted dimensions and configurations can be created. The only limitation is the 30 cm roll width of the substrate material. Thomas Emde of EMDE development of light GmbH looks ahead: “We are very pleased to present a first design demonstrator using the hybrid OLEDs from the EU project PI-SCALE at LOPEC 2019. After examining the first samples, we decided on a prototype that would combine imagination with a practical application. We exhibit a few meters of the hybrid OLED in its raw form from the roll as a „pure“ material component. Its transformation into a future product is illustrated through the example of our eyecatcher motorcycle jacket with luminous, integrated, flexible OLEDs. This will suggest the potential of OLEDs as an innovative surface material for interior design and product applications, fashion and textile designs, and architectural and signage uses.”

The Fraunhofer FEP and EMDE teams want to tackle challenges of fabrication and integration of OLEDs with different surfaces jointly in the future and are open to further development projects with industrial partners.

The exhibits can be seen during LOPEC 2019 in Munich, Germany from March 19-21, 2019 at Hall B0, booth no. 407 of the Fraunhofer FEP and the OE-A competition area. In addition, the aforementioned design demonstrator from EMDE as well as other design kits from Fraunhofer FEP have been submitted to this year’s OE-A Competition.

Prototypes of the Eyecatcher motorcycle jacket with luminous integrated flexible OLEDs at LOPEC 2019
© EMDE development of light GmbH

The results were achieved on the joint pilot line service LYTEUS of the EU-funded PI-SCALE project and financed within the framework of the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No. 688093.

Flexible OLED Workshop – Unlocking the world of new lighting applications

Flexible OLEDs are unlocking a world of great new lighting applications. It is uniform, bendable, ultra-thin and transparent. Flexible OLED lighting brings fresh solutions and new design freedom to ever-present challenges and possibilities. For the last three years Europe’s experts in OLEDs lighting have joined forces, combining expertise in science and technology with manufacturing scale up to create Lyteus.

copyright Lyteus demonstrators, flexible OLED lighting

At LOPEC 2019, join the Lyteus workshop to listen to successful case studies from the field and hear expert views on the current technology landscape. The workshop will bring together partners from the whole supply chain, from end users and mass manufacturing to researchers technology scale up. Technology demonstrators will also be shown ranging from lighting samples, to integrated product prototypes.

You will hear from our partner emdedesign who will discuss the use of roll to roll OLEDs for luminaires, in and around the house. Demmel AG will offer insights into flexible OLEDs for automotive and how Lyteus helped them achieve their goal.

The workshop will be held on Thursday 21st March 2019 just outside the exhibition hall at LOPEC in room 4a at 2pm. The workshop will last for 1 hour.

There will be an opportunity to view our demonstrators from the project partners involved within the workshop.

To register for the workshop please click HERE. We look forward to seeing you there.

copyright Lyteus demonstrators, flexible OLED lighting

OLED printing on bottle

Flexible OLED panels open up new opportunities for product packaging

Bright eye-catching packaging helps products stand out on the shelf. With OLED lighting, products can stand out even more and have the potential to add even more features to product packaging. In the case of the Lyteus bottle label, a flexible OLED panel embedded in the paper label lights up to show the logo.

Lyteus_Bottle with OLED printed label
copyright Lyteus_Bottle with OLED printed label

The Lyteus label features a rectangular OLED panel integrated into the label, which shines through a printed cut-out in the paper label to display the logo. However, the OLEDs can be printed to produce any shape or colour. And highlighting the product brand or catching the attention of passing shoppers is just one possible application. They could also be used to highlight specific product details, such as a drink’s flavour or colour, or to provide additional information.

Integrating sensors into the packaging further extends the possible uses, opening up a whole new range of opportunities. For example, the package could light up only when touched or when the product was opened, the OLEDs could flash in time to music or light up to warn that the contents were hot.

The OLED panels are incredibly thin, just 330 µm thick, making them ideal for embedding into paper labels. They are also very flexible, so can be easily bent for curved objects like a bottle or cup. Currently, production of the OLED labels is based on a sheet-to-sheet process. For mass manufacturing for labels, the process needs to be scaled up to be able to produce large numbers of labels consistently. Therefore, Holst Centre is developing a roll-to-roll pilot production process to address the challenges of producing OLED labels in large quantities.

“We are seeing a lot of interest from the packaging market for OLED labels”, said Erno Langedijk, Business Development & Program Manager at Holst Centre. “Currently we are working towards the launch of a roll-to-roll pilot line for OLED labels, which will be needed by the industry to print the necessary volumes of labels for mass production.”

Holst Centre is also working to further develop the technology for labels. For example, the current implementation still needs wires and a cell battery. These could be replaced in the future with flat, flexible batteries or even flexible wireless charging coils. And it may eventually be possible to integrate flexible OLED displays, providing even more possibilities for attracting and informing customers about products.

For manufacturers interested in the technology, Holst Centre offers three test kits. The Starter kit includes some sample basic OLEDs panels, the Standard kit includes a wider range of shapes and colours, and the Premium kit is customized to the customer’s specific needs with OLEDs in any shape or colour.

15-meter roll-to-roll device is world’s longest OLED

Working within the framework of Lyteus, Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP step into the spotlight with the creation of the world’s longest single-device OLED.  At a stunning 15 meters in length it opens the door to ‘endless OLEDs’ that manufacturers and designers can then easily tailor to their own needs.

European pilot line

Lyteus brings together leaders in OLED technology from across Europe to create a pilot production line and product development services for OLED products. Working together, Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP successfully demonstrated the possibility for continuous production of OLEDs of any length. This both reduces the cost of production and enables “cut-to-fit” lighting for applications such as transportation, architecture and interior design.

“This is a major milestone in the development of pilot line Roll-to-roll (R2R) technologies that will enable Lyteus to offer long OLED strips to its customers. It is an example of how the Lyteus pilot line turns flexible OLED possibilities into products. It was only possible due to the unique capabilities of Holst Centre and Fraunhofer FEP and the great cooperation between them and other Lyteus partners” says Pavel Kudlacek, Leader of Technology Development at Lyteus.

Unique OLED structure

It is the first OLED source produced using a unique R2R process that combines the performance of an evaporated OLED stack with solution processing of auxiliary layers. Moreover, the combination improves the process reliability and enables fabrication of devices of any length.

To produce the device, Fraunhofer FEP deposited an indium-tin oxide (ITO) anode onto a protective multi-layer barrier film produced by Holst Centre. The roll was processed at Holst Centre, where slot-die coating was used to structure the anode and deposit the first layer of the OLED stack. Fraunhofer FEP then evaporated the rest of the OLED layers and finalized the devices by lamination of Holst Centre barrier. The resulting devices have a good homogeneity and an efficacy of 15 lumen/W at a light output of 1000 cd/m2.


“Roll-to-roll production promises higher volumes and lower costs for flexible electronics applications like OLEDs. At Holst Centre we have been developing a unique solution coating roll-to-roll line for 10 years. The 15-meter OLED shows that the technology is now ready for industrialization, and can deliver cost-effective, high-volume OLED production,” says Pim Groen, Program Manager at Holst Centre.

“The 15-meter OLED is further evidence of our ability to deposit high-quality organic layers and integrate them with solution-processed layers to create reliable and homogeneous devices in a continuous process. It is a step towards the creation of ‘endless’ OLED devices and a further step in our R2R OLED manufacturing processes, which we are developing now for more than 10 years,” says Jacqueline Hauptmann, Project Manager OLED R2R at Fraunhofer FEP.

Visit us at the IDTechEX show –

Lyteus r2r OLED

Santa Clara USA – November 14-15, 2018

Lyteus video- The world of great new lighting applications

Lyteus have created an online video that promotes the world of great new lighting applications. The video showcases end products that could be use when we turn flexible OLED lighting possibilities into successful products.

In 2016 the EU launched the PI-SCALE project, branded as Lyteus, which established a European-wide roll-to-roll flexible OLED lighting pilot production line, with an aim to enable companies of all sizes to quickly and cost effectively test and scale up their flexible OLED lighting concepts.

Since the launch Lyteus serves four customers: Audi, Rehau, Emde and Pilkington, to develop flexible OLED lighting products in the automotive, aeronautics and designer luminaires sectors.

Lyteus partners include the Holst Center / TNO, the UK CPI, the Fraunhofer FEP institue, VTT, BOM, DuPont Teijin Films, Coatema, FlexEnable, M-Solv, FE, and Amires. Lyteus demonstrated some flexible and transparent OLED lighting prototypes at SID 2018.

The video promoted Lyteus expertise and capability required to progress a concept from an idea and into a commercialised product. Lyteus work with companies of all sizes from household names to innovative starts ups, facilitating the development of truly innovative flexible OLED lighting applications.

Lyteus Shows Flexible OLED Technology for Vehicles

In-car HUD shows power of flexible, transparent OLED lighting technology.

Source: Printed Electronics
May 25, 2018

When designing a vehicle, manufacturers need to ensure drivers can receive essential information without unnecessarily distracting them from the road ahead. At SID Display Week, Lyteus demonstrated how flexible OLED technology makes this possible through a revolutionary automotive heads-up display (HUD). Built on a thin plastic substrate, this transparent display can be integrated into the vehicle’s windshield to add driver-friendly functionality without adding weight. It can be fully customized during manufacture with segments of any shape and color.

The demonstrator features a transparent, multi-color segmented display based on OLEDs. By producing the OLEDs on a thin plastic substrate, Lyteus has produced what it believes is the first transparent and highly bendable automotive HUD to reach pilot production. The OLED-on-plastic approach also enables a display that is extremely light and thin and provides complete design freedom.

The HUD demonstrator was produced on the Lyteus pilot line, a pan-European initiative funded via the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. A unique resource for companies looking to explore the potential of flexible OLEDs, the Lyteus pilot line allows manufacturers to start developing new OLED-enhanced products today without waiting for OLED technology to enter mass market. It offers sheet-to-sheet fabrication up to 20 cm x 20 cm, and a 30-cm roll-to-roll line is due to come online later this summer.

“The automotive HUD demonstrator shows how flexible OLED technology can change our lives, in this case potentially making driving safer and more user friendly. The Lyteus line exists to help innovative ideas like this get to market faster in areas such as automotive, aerospace and health. We offer large-scale pilot production of bendable OLEDs in any shape and color, transparent or reflective, and with a uniformity that surpasses any other light source,” said Erno Langendijk, program manager at Holst Centre, one of the Lyteus coordinating partners.

A roll of light: Rehau participates in EU-funded lighting project

Polymer specialist REHAU and 13 partners are investigating OLED lighting technology, an innovative new lighting technology, which allows for lighting to be uniform, bendable, ultra-thin and transparent. REHAU’s involvement is part of the European programme called Lyteus, which is establishing a pilot line enabling companies of any size to develop concepts related to flexible OLED lighting technology quickly and cost-effectively and to bring products to market maturity. REHAU’s role in the consortium is to validate the pilot line as a launching customer, along with AUDI AG, Pilkington and emde design. The research activities are supported by the European Commission through the Photonics Public-Private Partnership with a total of 14 million Euro.

“In this project, REHAU is venturing into the market of printed electronics. With our know-how in the processing of polymer materials, we are trying to integrate OLED films into edgebands and profiles,” explains Dr.-Ing. Constanze Ranfeld, Corporate Research & Development / Advanced Technologies at REHAU. If the project is successful, these profiles could light up aircraft cabins, for example, as a design highlight. Moreover, the advanced, film-based and therefore flexible OLEDs could be used for numerous other application areas. The polymer specialist can also see possible applications in the automotive sector. REHAU demonstrates the new design freedom, which OLED lighting brings, in its technology carrier Smart Backend. On the rear of the vehicle, the films have been integrated into the lights in a spiral and thus created a unique optical effect. The integration of OLEDs into REHAU products fits perfectly with the strategic direction of REHAU. The aim of the company is continuous development. The polymer specialist invests in innovative technologies, in order to be able to supply high-quality and high-tech products to its customers.

There are however, commercialisation obstacles, which must be overcome before the technology reaches the mass market. Two of which are price intensity and limited availability: “OLEDs could become the lights of the future. Initially, however, technology scale up and commercial price points must be achieved,” Ranfeld emphasises. Lyteus is helping companies such as REHAU to bridge this gap. Integration into windows would also be conceivable. “Panes of glass that are transparent in the daytime and light up the room in the evening are visions for the future, though,” the developer explains.

Polymer specialist REHAU makes sustainable contributions to the ecological and economic challenges of tomorrow. Over 20,000 highly qualified employees all over the world are committed to this. For 70 years, outstanding innovations, the latest production technologies and flexible logistics have made the independent family company a forward-looking and reliable partner with expertise for almost all economic sectors. Focal topics are mobility, energy-efficient construction, digital transformation, future living and water management.

Whether here in the automotive field, in the aviation industry or in the furniture sector: Polymer specialist REHAU can see many possible applications for the OLED technology. (Photo: REHAU)

Lyteus at LED expo

Come and see the Lyteus stand at LED expo
Date: 7-8 February 2018
Venue: Brabanthallen, Den Bosch (NL)

Moreover Erno Langendijk leads a workshop titled “Shaping the future with OLEDs”.

March: Lyteus at LOPEC, Munich (D)

Lyteus will be present at the LOPEC trade fair

Date: March 13-15, 2018
Venue: Munich Convention Center (D)
LOPEC is the leading event for printed electronics: research, development, and applications.

LOPEC (Large-area, Organic & Printed Electronics Convention) is the leading trade fair and the most important congress for the printed electronics industry.  It is the leading global platform in the industry and provides support in every aspect of the industry, from application to research. It connects, inspires and puts ideas into practice. For today and tomorrow. This is the place where printed electronics come to li