Towards the end of 2014, Home Depot started to offer several Acuity Brands OLED luminaries, with prices starting at $199. This was exciting - as these are the cheapest OLED lamps ever, and it is the first time OLEDs are offered at a major retail channel.
The nice guys at Acuity Brands sent me a Chalina 5-panel OLED luminaire (wall-mountable version) for a review here at OLED-Info. So first of all I want to thank Acuity for this. I will post a short review, focusing mostly on my experiences with this lamp, and people's reaction to it.
The Chalina OLED light
The Chalina is an OLED luminaire that uses five OLED lighting panels. Each panel is 4 by 4 inch in size and each outputs 69 lumens (total lumens output is 345 lumens) for 7.4 W (47 lm/W). Color temperature is 3000K, the CRI is 88 and the lifetime is rated at 40,000 hours. These panels are made by LG Chem.
The luminaire itself is simple and nice, made a five-piece die-cast aluminum structural frame that is finished in a brushed nickel paint (there are also champagne paint and semi-gloss white paint versions). It is dimmable (0-10V) and includes a driver. The outer dimensions are 11.84 x 11.84 x 3.02 inch.
The Chalina is now shipping from Home Depot, for $299. It includes free shipping and a 3 year warranty. It's not possible to replace the individual OLED panels, but with a lifetime of 40,000 hours it should last for quite a while (over 20 years if you use it for five hours per day). Update - it turns out that it is actually possible to replace the panels - although panel replacement does require removing the luminaire from its installed location and some disassembly of the luminaire body itself. With the 3-year warranty, replacement parts would be covered over that time period.
Installing the Chalina
The Chalina comes housed in a nice box, with the small wall-mountable piece (complete with driver and cables and all that) and the main lamp body. The lamp was installed at my home, replacing a cheap IKEA wall lamp that was hardly used.
I got help from my nice neighbor who's (almost) an electrician, and we managed to install the lamp quickly. The driver supports 120V-277V, so it fits the Israeli 220V grid, no problem (update: it turns out that high power factor is only achieved at 120V).
The only issue was that the driver is quite large, so it did not fit in the regular hole-in-the-wall (is there a better technical term for that? Update - turns out that there is, it's called a J-box, and indeed the Chalina is designed to a larger one then I had). But we simply unscrewed it and inserted it perpendicular to the wall - no problem. A couple of screws, and the lamp was installed, and even worked. I do not have a dimmer, so that function was not tested.
First of all, maybe I'm not objective, but the Chalina is simply beautiful. The thin OLED panels and metal frame work very well together and the whole lumianire is obviously a high quality item.
When lit, the OLEDs emit a soft white glow. It is actually quite bright, and is my first OLED lamp that is functional and useful. When you check it up close, a very fine grid can be noticed (this is the top electrode of the OLED panel) - but I'm sure no one will ever notice this unless they are looking for it. When off the grid it is really barely visible.
What do people think
So for the past few weeks, all visitors at my home had to check out this new OLED wonder. Most people said it looked beautiful, and every one seems to agree that this is a unique lamp. Several people said they would love to have such a lamp at their home - but not at such a high price.
My two daughters (aged 6 and 4, and quite experienced with OLED reviews) like it a lot, and refer to it as the beautiful new OLED lamp. Although I have to say that they liked LG's OLED TV better (not a fair comparison, really, with its built-in games).
OLED lighting is certainly maturing. Even though the performance is still quite far away from OLED's real promise, and prices are still high - the technology is improving and prices are going down. Being able to pick-up a 5-panel OLED luminaire at $299 in Home Depot is a great step forward.
The Chalina itself is a beautiful and functional lamp that emits soft pleasant light. This is the first luminaire I have that does not feel like a prototype technology-demonstration type of device. But is it worth $299? That depends on how much you love it and your own style. This is not an outrageously expensive luminaire - designer lamps are costly regardless of the lighting technology.
This is a great achievement - from both LG Chem and Acuity Brands. Well done guys, thanks for the review unit and good luck!