An OLED or "Organic Light Emitting Diode" is a type of lighting used in many electrical devices such as laptops, T.V. screens, smart phones, pedometers, tablets, and digital cameras. The term "organic" is used in the name, because the materials are all carbon-based. OLEDs were first discovered in the 1960s, but it is only recently that widespread research has been done in OLED technology and devices utilizing OLED technology are more commonplace.
OLED vs. LCD and LED
Many consumers are familiar with LCD ("Liquid Crystal Display") screens. There are some key differences between OLED displays and LCDs. An LCD cannot produce its own light, therefore, it requires an additional light source for an image to display. For example, "backlights" or "frontlights" are common. By contrast, an OLED display does not need a backlight, which results in a slimmer screen that doesn't weigh as much. An OLED will also provide a brighter and higher-definition display than LCDs. OLEDs use significantly less power than LCDs, specifically because they do not require a backlight, which consumes a lot of energy. OLEDs refresh about 1,000 times faster than an LCD display, so information can change much faster.
Compared to LEDs ("Light Emitting Diode"), OLEDs are lighter, thinner, and more flexible. Because OLEDs are thinner (fewer layers), this also makes them brighter than LEDs. Unlike both LEDs and LCDs, OLEDs do not require the use of glass.
Drawbacks of OLED
There are many benefits to OLED technology as described above, but there are also a few downsides. One negative is that the manufacturing costs of OLEDs are currently extremely high, which makes devices with large screens (such as OLED T.V.s) very expensive for consumers. Perhaps with new technological advances, this will not always be the case. Another drawback is that contact with water can destroy or damage an OLED. Lastly, OLEDs do not last as long as LCDs and LEDs.
Where to Find OLED Technology
OLED technology can be found in several devices that we use every day. For example, in 2003, the first digital camera with OLED was introduced. Later in 2007, the first OLED T.V. came out. Today, it is much more common to find OLED technology in smaller, battery-powered devices versus larger devices such as T.V.s. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is cost. OLEDs are expensive, so it's more cost effective to use them in smaller devices that have tiny screens. Also, because they are lighter, thinner, and use less power, it's much more common to find OLED technology in a smartwatch versus a desktop computer. Specific products that have OLED technology include Lenovo's Sisley S90 Android smartphone, Samsung's NX1 digital camera, LG's 55EC9300 television, and Dell's Venue 8 7000 Android tablet. These, as well as many other OLED technology devices, can be found on eBay.