Kaneka revealed that its organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting panels are now ready to be shipped. And if there is a sizable order, the lights can be mass-produced, the company said.

Kaneka announced in April 2008 that it would launch a three-year research project for the commercialization of OLED lighting in collaboration with Osaka University. But the company decided to commercialize the product before the project is finished.

Kaneka will be the second Japanese company to ship OLED lighting panels, following in the steps of Lumiotec, which started shipment in February 2010.

OLEDs consume less energy than LEDs, but the added bonus comes in their form. LEDs are computer chips. They can be embedded in films, but essentially remain small, hard nuggets of semiconductor material. By contrast, OLEDs are flexible sheets that emit lights. Entire walls can be coated in OLED material. Some companies have also fashioned prototype OLED jewelry. Transparent OLEDs can be placed on a window to turn the window into a light source at night.

Unfortunately, cost and durability have been sticking points. For more on the story, please go to Tech On.