Bright Future for Glowing Wallpaper


As the New Year begins, it's out with the old and in with the new. Top of the list for your home: energy-inefficient incandescent bulbs -- gone! Screw in those newly improved CFLs to save energy and stop global warming.

But just as you're doing that, brace yourself for another technology switcheroo: out with the CFLs and in with LEDs and their new, even smaller and more pliable cousins OLEDs (as in light-emitting diodes and organic light-emitting diodes).

You already see LEDs backlighting cell phones and TVs, and in cars and street lighting, as well as in some residential and office lighting. OLEDs are even better because their surface is a thin layer of organic compounds, which means the emitting thingamajig is tiny, ultra-thin and more pliable. Best of all, it runs on very low voltages.

Which means you'll save more energy and cut carbon emissions, and innovative designers will be able to embed these suckers in, say, bendable flat-panel TV screens, large light wall panels, or perhaps wallpaper.