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.
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.