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3 Factors Determining The Efficiency Of A LED Heat Sink

May 25, 2022

3 Factors Determining The Efficiency Of A LED Heat Sink

LED lights are an integral part of almost all emergency service vehicles. From flashing blue lights of police cruisers to the amber LED lights of utility trucks, these lights are known for their power and longevity. However, it was established in the previous blog that in actuality, LEDs are not very efficient and more than 60 percent of the input energy is dissipated as heat. Hence, to remove this excess internal heat, most LED lights use a heat sink to reduce the junction temperature. Now, it’s time to see the 3 factors that affect the efficiency of a heat sink.

Factors influencing heat sink operation.

Heat Sink Material

First and foremost, the thermal conductivity of the heat sink is paramount in successfully dissipating the heat. Hence, the material of the heat sink needs to be carefully considered. Although copper is the best in this regard, due to economic reasons, most LED lights use aluminum for this purpose. Alternatively, one can also use thermoplastics which are equally effective, not to mention lightweight and robust.

Heat Sink Shape

It is a basic requirement of thermodynamics that in order to successfully dissipate heat, the surface area of the material needs to be quite large. Thus, a heat sink needs to have a large surface area. However, it may not be possible in compact, complex electronic systems. This is where fins come into the picture. Heat sinks with multiple parallel fins ensure that the device is compact without compromising on the surface area. That being said, the gaps between the fins should not be too narrow, or else thermal transfer would be adversely affected.

Heat Sink Finish

The surface finish of a heat sink can also have a net positive impact. For example, a painted or anodized surface will be more adept at reducing junction temperature than an unfinished surface. Similarly, etching can also help in improving thermal conductivity and is a practice used by many.

Set up in 2007, Darta Enterprises is a proud, family-owned custom vehicle outfitting company that primarily handles upfitting of police car parts and other emergency service vehicles. We have formerly worked with The York Regional Police, Vaughn Fire, the City of Brampton and many more prestigious institutions. To know more about our services or to book a consultation, call us today.