An initiative to develop the UK's first printed lighting panel has received government funding and will officially start in November this year.
The manufacturing process to make a polymer light-emitting diode (PLED) luminaire will be proved and tested at the Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC) - the UK's national design, development and prototyping facility based in County Durham, England. It will be made possible by the installation of a large-area coating line at PETEC in early 2011.
Thorn Lighting leads the TOPDRAWER (Thin Organic Prototypes, Design, Research, Applications with Enduser Recognition) project which will help to build a comprehensive UK PLED lighting supply chain. Plans are underway to demonstrate novel capabilities at the 2012 Olympics.
The project will receive a share of the £8.4m investment, reserved for Plastic Electronics R&D, from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
Others in the consortium include Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), Tridonic, Pilkington, Conductive Inkjet Technologies (CIT) and Durham University.
Reference: News Distribution Service
Ac electroluminescent printed lighting is employed in buildings, car decals that on only when a car door is open, for example, but life in use is usually under two years. T-Ink, Inc has put partly printed multilayer electronics and electrics including lighting/ displays into cigarette multipacks, toys, point of sale displays, games etc but it has tended to use LEDs with light guides where necessary. This technology will be a prime candidate for printed lighting/displays when it is affordable and has a sufficiently long life in use.