LEDSupply offers many high power LEDs from the likes of top manufacturers such as Cree and Luxeon. These surface mount LEDs are not finished products, rather the light source for whatever lamp or light emitting product you plan to build. These component LEDs are mounted on a 20mm star board—a small aluminum based circuit board (MCPCB). In order to illuminate these LEDs and keep them running safely there are multiple components needed: LED drivers, power supplies, optics, and heatsinks…just to name a few. With multiple working parts, not to mention all the wiring, comes the need to put it all together into a finished product without it looking like a crazy science experiment. That is where dynamic LED housings can come in handy, making for a sleek LED module with multiple purposes. Continue reading
High Power LEDs are driven at higher drive currents and have high light output. LEDs may be cool on the outside, but because of this increase in power running through them, their internal (junction) temperature will increase with use. We have talked about finding an adequate heatsink for your LED set up which helps to transfer the heat from the LED to an outside surface. This will lower the junction temperature of the LED, keeping it running bright and degrading at a much lower rate, for much longer LED run time. However, in order to make this transfer of heat more efficient, it is a very good idea to use a thermally conductive epoxy or compound in between your LED and heatsink. This will create a thermal path in which the heat can easily move away from the precious diode, to your heatsink, which then will be passively cooled by the surrounding elements or actively cooled by a fan.
Now in the world of thermal compounds and adhesives it is pretty easy to get trapped into buying a low-quality product. Here at LEDSupply, we realize the importance of these thermal materials which is why we carry Arctic Silver thermal compounds and adhesives. These quality products have great thermal conductivity and I would recommend using in any LED project, especially if you are running the LEDs at 1 Amp (1000mA) or more. Let me tell you this, the couple bucks extra that you spend on this will more than make up for this in the long run as it will result in better LED performance and much longer lifetime. Continue reading
So now that they’re in house and ready to go it’s time to officially introduce the MakersSLIM heatsink kit! This is made by our good friends over at MakersLED, the designer and manufacturer of the original MakersLED Heatsink kit. They have kept the same technology that made the original such a hit but have slimmed it down and added some key features that will aid in thermal control, making for an even better LED lighting fixture! Continue reading
Do LEDs produce heat?
A frequently listed advantage of LEDs is that they do not produce heat. In a way, this is true, LEDs are cool to the touch because they usually do not produce heat in the form of infrared (IR) radiation. This obviously doesn’t go for IR specific LEDs.
IR radiation is what actually heats incandescent bulbs and other light sources, making them hot to the touch. Without IR radiation, LEDs are able to be placed in spots where the heat from other sources would cause a problem (grow lights, reef tank lights, illuminating food, etc.).
Although LEDs are cool to the touch, within the devices themselves, there is plenty of unwanted heat. This heat comes from the inefficiency of the semiconductors that generate the light. The radiant efficiency (total optical output power divided by total electrical input power) of LEDs is typically between 5 and 40%, meaning that 60-95% of the input power is lost as heat. So what do you do with all this excess internal heat?! Continue reading
The fun began in 2007 when calls started rolling in about using high-brightness LEDs for reef tank lighting – the buzz was real. Given the ‘newness’ of LEDs at that time and the expense, in both time and money, required to build a custom tank, there weren’t many willing to be guinea pigs. The break through was the build by Soundwave. Soundwave (Reef-Central Forum Username), a loyal customer, who believed in LED technology and was willing to learn and construct a completely custom 4-foot reef tank light, called us and took on the project. Long story short, Continue reading