Questions for Digital lighting goes organic

Jun 6, 2014 — 10:30 am EST


Before reading:

1.    A 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulb provides the same amount of light as a traditional 60-watt incandescent light bulb. How much less energy does a compact fluorescent bulb use, expressed as a percentage?

2.    Turn on a lamp fitted with a traditional incandescent light bulb. Hold your hand over the bulb. (Be very careful not to touch the actual bulb.) What do you feel? Does that suggest that kind of bulb is efficient or wasteful?

During reading:

1.    Detail some of the drawbacks to incandescent and fluorescent lighting.

2.    What does OLED stand for?

3.    Define solid-state.

4.    What is inside a fluorescent light?

5.    How hot does a tungsten filament glow?

6.    Where are LEDs currently being used?

7.    What does “organic” mean in chemistry?

8.    What are the primary colors of light?

9.    Explain some of the advantages of OLEDs over LEDs.

10.Describe some of the challenges facing engineers working on OLEDs.

After reading:

1.    Review the characteristics of LED and OLED lighting. Next, create two lists that detail the places or applications in your home where an LED light or an OLED light would be best suited. Examples might include a desk lamp or refrigerator light.

2.    How could switching from incandescent lighting to OLED lighting generate further energy savings in homes, schools and offices during hot weather, beyond just what is saved on lighting? Explain your answer.


1. Everyone gets the blues sometimes. Exposure to bright lights during the morning can help. In winter, that can be hard for students and others who have to rise before dawn to get ready for school or work. Working with a partner, brainstorm some ways OLEDs could be incorporated in buildings and transportation to elevate people’s mood during winter mornings. Hint: Check out this earlier story.

Further Reading

M. Kowalski. Digital lighting goes organic. Science News for Students. June 6, 2014.