Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Universal Display Has Its Eye on the Skies

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

If playing an integral role in millions of smartphone displays and (soon) big-screen TVs weren't enough, the folks at Universal Display (NASDAQ: OLED  ) have fixed their eyes on aircraft interiors around the world.

On Monday, Universal Display announced (link opens PDF) that it has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Researce Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, through which it "will partner with and subcontract IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions to evaluate and demonstrate the potential for energy-efficient and cost-effective white OLED lighting panels for aircraft interiors."

I suppose UDC couldn't have found a better partner. IDD Aerospace, for its part, describes itself as "a global leader in the development and supply of state of the art lighting solutions for the aerospace industry," creating "modern and sophisticated lighting solutions that take into account human factors from the comfort of the cabin to the complexity and criticality of flight deck instrumentation." 

The release goes on to highlight the fact that solid-state OLED lighting panels sport a number of advantages over their fluorescent and incandescent counterparts, including "energy savings, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and minimal space requirements."

That said, both UDC and its licensed customers have long remained hard at work continuously improving both the efficiency and utility of OLED lighting solutions, with those lighting-centric customers most notably including electronics giants like Philips (NYSE: PHG  )  and their respective Lumiblade series, design extraordinaire Acuity Brands (NYSE: AYI  ) , and LG Chem, which reportedly plans to begin mass-producing the flexible OLED lighting panels shown in the video below, as soon as September:

Even so, keep in mind this is still an early phase SBIR program and OLED lighting remains in the very early stages of development. As a result, investors should continue to temper their expectations with regard to just how quickly OLED lighting can be introduced to and accepted by the mass market.

After all, UDC and its customers still need to solve remaining technical hurdles for OLED lighting including efficiency improvements, encapsulation techniques, manufacturing costs, and infrastructure for mass production. After that, OLED lighting will still face significant headwinds (in the short term, anyway) unseating traditional LED-based lighting solutions from companies like Cree (NASDAQ: CREE  ) , which is currently enjoying its status as the heir apparent for replacing incandescent and fluorescent lights as they're inevitably phased out.

Now that doesn't mean investors should wait to buy shares of Universal Display until OLED light panels hit your local hardware store. To the contrary, just last week I explained why both Universal Display's current dominant position in mobile and the imminent arrival of large-screen OLED TVs was more than enough to entice me to buy more shares for my personal portfolio.

In the end, then, OLED lighting should serve as yet another reminder of Universal Display's immense potential down the road -- and yet another reason to be excited to own shares of Universal Display over the long term.

More expert advice from The Motley Fool
It's incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" in The Motley Fool's latest free report, which details the knock-down, drag-out battle being waged by the five kings of tech. Click here to keep reading.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 03, 2013, at 10:10 AM, prginww wrote:

    Looks like they'll be able to use the glowing OLEDS to discover the BlackBox when the airplane crashes....

    But seriously....that's a tuff light source...won't "crack" or break since it's flexible and can handle the kicking feet and pounding fists of the most serious sort of tantrum.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2520638, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/29/2016 3:10:51 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 5 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,339.24 110.94 0.61%
S&P 500 2,171.37 11.44 0.53%
NASD 5,318.55 12.84 0.24%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 4:00 PM
OLED $58.49 Down -0.26 -0.44%
Universal Display CAPS Rating: ****