Tag Archives: LED Lighting

Check out the new and improved LED Cooling Resource Kit

ATS, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc, has compiled several expert technical resources for thermally managing LED lighting. The Expert Resource Kit for Better Thermal Management of LED Lighting is compendium of free downloadable information.

The Kit is specifically for thermal management professionals in the LED lighting industry and for engineers who are responsible for ensuring the proper performance of LED designs.

Included in the Resource Kit are:

  • LED Heat Transfer and Cooling Options: Lighting the Way for LED Development
  • Mentor Graphics Webinar (free registration required): Diagnosing and Solving Thermal Challenges in Next Generation LED
  • ATS Case Study: Feasibility Study of an LED-Based Lighting System Using Analytical Modeling
  • ATS Article: How to Cool High Power LEDs
  • Clemens Lasance Lecture on LED Thermal Management: Thermal Management for LED Applications: What is the Role of the PCB?
  • Clemens Lasance, Michael Gay, Norm Berry, Richard A. Wessel on MCPCBs for LED Applications:MCPCBs for LED Applications, Thermal Management Material Specifications
  • Dr. Kaveh Azar Video Interview: LED Heat Sink Types and Applications

The free LED Cooling Resource Kit can be accessed at: http://qats.com/cms/free-thermal-management-led-lighting-resource-kit/


What are LED Heat Sinks and How to Use them: Interview with Dr. Kaveh Azar

Dr. Kaveh Azar, President and CEO of Advanced Thermal Solutions, and John O’Day, Director of Marketing, sat down to discuss what an LED heat sink is, and how to use them. Our 5 minute, informal interview is chock full of information on LED heat sinks.

Copper Heat Sinks? Aluminum Heat Sinks? Does it matter what you make a heat sink from?

True or False?  Heat sink materials make a difference in how efficient a heat sink will be?

Well, like a lot of things in thermal management, it depends on the constraints of your application. Neither copper heat sinks nor aluminum heat sinks are always the default choice.

108K different push pin heat sink assembly configurations featuring 3 different pitch heat sink types, 3 different fin geometries, brass and plastic push pins


Recently, ATS performed a study to provide some clarity to users on how different “standard” materials act as heat sinks. Our study included copper heat sinks, aluminum heat sinks and graphite foam heat sinks. We published our article in ECN under the title, “Comparing the Impact of Different Heat Sink Materials on Cooling Performance“.

The results of our study were quite interesting.  As you can see from the following graph, graphite was a good material but not the best. Copper and Aluminum performed better and similarly.

Comparison of copper, aluminum and graphite foam heat sinks

Our conclusions were:

  • Copper and Aluminum are very close in thermal performance. If weight is an issue or cost, then Aluminum is the way to go. The size of your heat sink or the thermal interface material can often make the difference too.
  • Pure copper has about 2x the conductivity of aluminum but that inherent advantage is only helpful when
  1. Air Flow speeds are 800LFM
  2. The hot spot on the CPU or other semiconductor is small in comparison to the size of the chip itself.
  • When air flow is 400LFM or lower or the hot spot on the CPU or semiconductor is spread throughout the chip, then Aluminum is a better choice.
  • The cost of a copper heatsink is often up to 3x the equivalent sized aluminum heatsink
  • Graphite foam-derived heat sinks show promise in specific applications, but exhibit several drawbacks in mainstream electronics cooling.

You can read the full study at ECN by clicking to “Comparing the Impact of Different Heat Sink Materials on Cooling Performance“. You can also check out our earlier conversations on this topic by clicking to our posts, “Is CPU Cooling best done with a Copper Heatsink or Aluminum Heatsink?” and “Intel’s nano-technology breakthrough for heat sinks has R&D promise but real-world applications are in the future; An ATS thermal management technology analysis

Also, if you are a member of Linked-In, there is a Thermal Management group that is worth joining, plus, there is a sub-group off of that focusing on next generation materials for heat sinks. Well worth joining!

ATS Thermal Management Case Studies show real world thermal problems and solutions

We’ve written a number of case studies on thermal analysis and thermal design for LED Lights, thermally optimizing a PCB, and even liquid cooling. We thought we’d put them in one place up to now to make them easier to find. You can do this yourself as well by clicking on the drop down box “blog article categories” in the right hand column of our blog and choosing the category “case study”.

LED Lights:


Homeland Security


Semiconductor Automatic Test Equipment

System Level Optimization

Computer High Power Boards

Liquid Cooling

ATS Webinar Reminder: LED Thermal Management, 9/23 @ 2PM; Special Sponsor Ellsworth Adhesives

Ellsworth Adhesive Logo We just wanted to take a minute to remind our readers that we’ll be hosting a free webinar on Thursday, September 23 @ 2PM EST: “LED Thermal Management in Commercial and Consumer Lighting Applications”.

We’d also like to thank our new sponsor for this and the next webinar, Ellsworth Adhesives. Ellsworth is a global company that distributes a wide range of adhesives and chemicals and, of most interest to our readers, thermally conductive tape.

You can sign up for our free webinar here at this link: “LED Thermal Management in Commercial and Consumer Lighting Applications