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Thermal Resistance
Heat Transfer
Thermal Conductivity
Heat Transfer

Basics of Heat Transfer

Fundamentals of Critical Temperature Calculation

Determining critical temperatures is contingent upon a critical understanding of:
  • The electrothermal analogue
  • Thermal conductivity (k)
  • Heat transfer coefficient (h)
  • Thermal resistance Rth

LED Thermal Management

As the LED heat escalates, several key characteristics may become apparent, which deminstrate the importance of LED thermal mangament. The forward voltage will begin to decrease. The decreasing voltage can impose an increased load on related LED driver components causing their temperature to increase as well. In resistor driven circuits, the forward current will increase.

As the LED lights temperature continues to rise, the optical wavelength can shift. The increasing wavelength can cause orange LED lights to appear red or even white LED lights to appear bluish. This color shift typically intensifies with the AlInGaP technologies (red, orange, amber, and yellow).

In addition, a thermally stressed LED lights will loose efficiency and light output will diminish. If the LED thermal management continues to race out of control, the LED junction may break down causing a state of complete thermal runaway. The result is typically catastrophic failure. Other affects of overstressed LEDs may include broken wire bonds, delaminating, internal solder joint detachment, damage to die-bond epoxy, and lens yellowing.

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