Light-emitting wallpaper

Homes across the world could be fitted with ‘light-emitting wallpaper’ and negate the need for light bulbs as soon as 2012.

This is the hope of the Carbon Trust, which is backing new organic LED (OLED) lighting technology that promises major carbon cuts. 

LOMOX, the company developing the ultra-efficient OLED lighting technology, has been awarded a £454,000 grant by the Carbon Trust.

It is claimed the OLED materials have a wide variety of potential applications and when coated onto a film could be used to cover walls, creating light-emitting wallpaper that removes the need for traditional light bulbs.

While operating lifetime has traditionally been a problem with OLED technology, LOMOX claims to have found a way to achieve significantly longer lifetimes than fluorescent lamps. The company also said the technology will be more efficient (producing 150 lumens/W) as it only emits light along one axis. It is believed that OLEDs can produce a more natural-looking light than other forms of lighting.

The Carbon Trust has announced that it is looking for other technologies with significant carbon-saving potential to receive up to £500,000 of grant funding through its Applied Research scheme. It recently launched an open call for applications, which will close on 18 February 2010. 

The grant scheme has so far supported 164 projects from around 1,900 applications and committed a total of £23m towards research worth around £55m.

According to the Carbon Trust, approximately 65 per cent of completed projects have, or are in the process of generating new patents, making commercial sales or receiving further investment into the development of the technology.