Your next lightbulb could come off a printing press.
General Electric's Global Research organization said Tuesday that it is the first to demonstrate roll-to-roll manufacturing for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)--a move that can dramatically lower costs.
OLEDs have been touted as the next generation of lighting and displays for consumer electronics like TVs.
They are very energy-efficient, are made out of flexible material, and can be tuned to give off different colors of light.
As part of its Ecomagination initiative, GE is investing in the technology in an effort to make it a viable replacement for incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
The demonstration of a roll-to-roll production, similar to how a newspaper is printed on rolls, has the potential to lower the manufacturing costs and make the end product cost-competitive with existing lighting, according to GE.
This printing process is being pursued by solar manufacturers as well, including Konarka, which is making solar cells from plastic.
GE demonstrated a transparent OLED, made at its research lab, to reporters last October and said it hoped to have OLED lighting devices available by 2010. (For a photo gallery of OLEDs and GE's Global Research lab, click here).
The roll-to-roll manufacturing machine will be used for further research, company said.