LED in the cold…

Perth, 25th February 2011

I am learning more and more about LED’s every day. First I shared with you my experience in regards to dimming, now I need to share with you about temperature and how it affects LED’s. In the old days of fluorescent lighting (well technically it is still applicable) the optimal operating temperatures for fluorescent lighting is so called room temperature, around 25 degrees Celsius. With LED’s this is apparently different.

The main challenge for high brightness LED’s has been and is as far as I know the cooling. When we apply strip lighting we have to make sure the LED’s have a “heat sink” as backing allowing the generated heat to easily dissipate. So it is actually not surprising to learn that LED’s specifically the high brightness types perform better in lower temperatures. It was highlighted to me when we were doing the lighting calculations for a warehousing project with chillers and coolers.

While designing generally against some specific maintenance factors to get maintained values over time, designing an LED installation in this “cool” environment actually increases (according to the manufacturer) the LED’s performance with 10 to 20%, which is quite significant. It is likely also positively influencing the life span of the LED…interesting!

LED technology is moving so fast that we are actually playing catch up all the time. By the time we have completed the design some new factors have come to light. The point is that the LED’s have not been around long enough to really be aware of all its characteristics. We basically discover as we go…  🙂

The last few days (and weeks) have been very hot in Perth. It seems we are on our way to break some summer heat records. La Nina brings flooding and cyclones in the eats but lots of dry hot weather over here! In Light Watch today the beautiful sunsets we get at times. Right now we look forward to the coolness of the nights!


Light Watch 40: Sunset in Perth, Western Australia

25. February 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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