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Normal LEDs look ancient next to Aerelight’s paper-thin OLED desk lamp

Organic light emitting diodes are no longer just for smartphone screens and high-resolution TV displays — in the not so distant future, all the cool kids will be using OLED fixtures to light their homes and offices. It’s already happening, actually. Forward-thinking players in the lighting game like Philips, LG, and Konica Minolta have been experimenting with the technology for the past few years, and while it definitely looks promising, it still has one big drawback: OLED lights are ridiculously expensive. Of the few that are on the market right now, most will put you back well over $1,000 — just for a single lamp.

But there’s good news on that front. Thanks to some recent advances in the OLED manufacturing process, the price of OLED lighting is coming down fast. Case in point: the Aerelight from OTI Lumionics. Unlike most of its predecessors, this ultra-slim OLED desk lamp will retail for just $240 when it’s released early next near.

aerelight1Related: Best LED light bulbs

That’s not too shabby, especially when you consider all the other tech that this thing has under the hood. In addition to the super-efficient OLED panel (consumes just 7W at full brightness), the Aerelight is also outfitted with a wireless charging dock in its base. Therefore, if you happen to own a Qi compatible smartphone, you’ll be able to juice up your device just by placing it on top of the light’s snazzy wooden baseplate.

Admittedly, $240 is still a fairly hefty pricetag for a desk lamp, but even so, it’s exciting to see OLED light fixtures finally coming within reach of the average consumer. Within a couple more years, it stands to reason that this tech could become even cheaper, potentially kicking off a movement away from traditional light fixtures and helping the industry move “beyond the bulb” so to speak. The versatility of OLEDs affords them a much broader range of potential uses and applications than normal lights, and could lead to some really crazy products in the future.

If you’d rather not wait around for that to happen, however, Aerelight is available for preorder now, and is expected to ship out early 2015. Find out more here.

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