LED applications are thermally challenging because of their small size, high power dissipation, complex environment, and cost restrictions. LEDs are small in size and can be clustered together to produce more/brighter light. Their small size means that the spreading of the heat from the LED into the heat sink is extremely important. To improve the spreading, many LEDs are mounted to metal-clad PCBs. While LEDs are electrically efficient, they are only about 30% efficient from a thermal perspective, which leads to thermal challenges.
LEDs can be used in many applications (household lighting, industrial lighting, automotive lighting, etc.) and each application has its own environmental conditions. LEDs can be used in room temperature, high temperature, high humidity, shock/vibration, forced convection, and natural convection environments. This wide range of conditions means that solutions have to be both thermally and structural robust. Wakefield-Vette partners with a large list of LED vendors to ensure that you have the best thermal solution based on your system's structure and thermal requirements.