CNN reports that General Electric has created a giant OLED panel printer to be specifically used for lighting. The "semi-trailer" sized machine prints out thin layers of flexible plastic, covers them with chemicals, and seals them with foil, so they'll glow a frosty blue-white if an electrical current is applied. But these OLED sheets aren't exactly lightbulb substitutes.
Our current incandescent and CFL bulbs are super bright and super small, which is why we have to artfully cover them with lampshades or, in my case, a purple silk scarf, because I know what the ladies like. These new OLEDs are substantially dimmer, so they'd be used in large panels to create a softer light. Imagine a windowshade of the new lights, so when lowered at night, light still seems to be filtering in from outside. Or hell, just wallpaper your bedroom in the stuff, since no fixture is required. The caveats: they do, of course, still need a power source, their lifespan isn't up to par, and they're incredibly expensive right now. GE hopes to get the kinks worked out and the panels into production by 2010. [CNN]