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Light Reading— LED Thermal Management & Longevity - Palindrome

January 27, 2015

LEDs are often described in marketing materials as "cool" lighting, and in fact LEDs are cooler than halogen or incandescent.  On the other hand, LEDs do in fact generate heat!   Consequently, luminaire designers must be conscious of potential heat dissipation challenges and how those challenges may affect LED performance, longevity, and even lamp safety.

Without good heat sinking, the junction temperature of the LED rises, and this causes the LED characteristics to change. Heat sinks seek to transfer heat from the LED to the air, which as a more fluid medium, may naturally move the heat away from the LED, helping to keep the junction temperature lower.

High temperatures can both shorten the life and impact the brightness of LEDs. Studies have shown that decreasing the operating temperature by 10 degrees can double the lifetime of LEDs. As a result, virtually all luminaries require some type of heat-sink or other thermal management technology.

With the Palindrome RBW has worked with an advanced computer modeling software to design a Cast Aluminum heat sink to reduce the operating temperature of the LED boards.  Shown below are 3D models and thermal images of the 8.5W LED board operating in our lab.