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Technology trends – OLED light technology comes of age

Blackbody is a French company using organic LED technology to develop the latest architectural light fixtures. TFA took a look at the London Design Festival

Organic LEDs, or OLEDs, is the latest LED technology to take the lighting world by storm. TFA caught up with Blackbody lighting at last week’s London Design Festival, where the French company was drawing upon its creative OLED lighting expertise to inspire the use of light as a material for artists and innovators in the world of design and architecture.

Standard solutions and traditional lighting can leave little to the imagination. Blackbody, by bringing OLED technology to home lighting, opens up endless creative possibilities to reveal the full potential of light design. “OLED technology transforms our relationship to light. Light can now be viewed and touched without fear. Light has been tamed. Now we no longer simply design lamps, we sculpt and manipulate pure light,” says Alessandro Dolcetta, co-founder of Blackbody.

Fellow co-founder Bruno Dussert-Vidalet adds: “Blackbody uses advanced technology and the best in design. The skills of the French production team enable a variety of bespoke creations. The Blackbody promise is to help people live in the light of innovative, appropriate and harmonious design.”

OLEDs use organic light-emitting diodes and light-emitting surfaces which provide light sources that are less than two millimetres thick. Durable (up to 14,000 hours of operation), ultra-flat, bright, but emitting no heat, these light sources offer great freedom for designers.

“A typical bulb uses a heater wire while an OLED makes use of a crystal in which electrical energy is directly converted into light without heat. The OLED illumination principle converts direct electric energy into light using molecules rather than crystals. The end result provides much greater illuminating surfaces and gives extraordinary shape,” says Bruno Dussert-Vidalet.

Blackbody exhibited a number of creations as part of the London Design Festival, at Design Junction, 21-31 New Oxford Street and Do Shop at 34 Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden.

Lucky Eye (pictured, right) “illuminates the magic that surrounds it”. Using the ethereal light from OLED panels, designers Aldo Cibic and Tommaso Corà from Cibic workshop, have taken inspiration from fortune tellers, and created a light that draws on mystic style with playful respect to the myth that crystal balls bring luck to their owners.

On display for the first time at the Design Junction, Blackbody presented Peau D’Ane, by Thierry Gaugain, a new variation on his I.Rain lighting series. Inspired by fairytales, this magical work brightened up the entrance hall of the venue’s ground floor.

Finally, Bellmondo (pictured, top), the portable and elegant lamp designed by Thierry Gaugain was showcased at Do Shop, Covent Garden. Thierry Gaugain was inspired by fireflies in summer gardens to design this bright accessory that accompanies moments alone or with friends, indoors or out.