Thermal Management for LEDs
While LEDs are significantly more efficient than all other lighting technologies, they still produce power dissipation that is noticeable in the form of waste heat. Thermal management is a critical factor in the construction of LED plant lamps.
The cooler the LEDs remain, the more efficiently they run. A low temperature also contributes to the LEDs achieving a long service life. Eight years (50,000 hours) and more is no problem with the right cooling.
Cooling FLUXengine with Aluminium Extrusions
We are convinced that passive cooling is always preferable. Noisy fans and the constant worry that the plant lighting could die in the event of a mechanical defect make active cooling at best a second choice.
Passive heat sinks have a decisive disadvantage, however: they are very material-intensive, which is reflected in cost and weight. A solid aluminum heatsink easily can cost more than 50 €, while a small fan is sometimes available for less than 5 €.
We had this problem with the design of the FLUXengine and the APEX engines from the outset. And therefore present a solution that is as simple as it is amazingly practical: standard grooved profiles from mechanical engineering! These are not only available in countless variations, but are also relatively inexpensive thanks to mass production by the metre.
Therefore our custom LED products are optimized for mounting on standard grooved profiles. A nice side effect: The construction with aluminium profiles allows you to let your creativity run free!
Aluminium profiles as heat sink in practice
Heat management study
To give you an overview of which thermal management solution is suitable for your application, we conducted a study with different aluminium profiles as heat sinks.
The best way to find out which heatsinks have reached which temperatures in our practical test is to check our thermal management case study. This can help you to estimate which cooling is suitable for your setup. We have tested without any intermediate media, such as thermal adhesive or thermal paste. Our aluminium profiles were only four cm longer than the FLUXengine itself, 28 cm.
Theoretically you can use the FLUXengine up to approx. 20 W also without heat sink.
Make Cooling Even More Effective
Our tests were carried out with 28 cm long aluminium profiles. No intermediate medium was used; the modules are screwed hand-tight to the profile with sliding blocks. In the test there was only free convection (no wind).
It follows that you can optimize the cooling even further if you
- use longer aluminium profiles
- apply thermal paste
- have a little air movement in your grow area
Share this article if you find it helpful. If you have questions about heat sinks, please contact us.