Does heat matter in LED lighting design?

News /
17 March 2014
Does heat matter in LED lighting design?
Heat from LED lighting does play a role in its longevity.

LED lighting generates heat when working like any electrical appliance. However, LED lighting generates much less heat than halogens, fluorescent lamps or metal halides, while having the same brightness output.

The heat from LED lighting plays a role in its longevity as too much heat trapped in an LED light can result in abnormal brightness, lumen depreciation and a shorter lifespan.

Heat in an LED light fitting is generated mainly at the PN junction of the LED chip. A rise in temperature triggers the process in the PN junction to work increasingly fast until it reaches a limit, causing the performance of the LED chip to become unstable, and progressively decrease the brightness until it dies out.

One way to avoid this issue is to prevent the PN junction from generating too much heat, and the other is to dissipate heat immediately.

There are many components inside the LED light that can contribute to the prevention of the issue; a better LED chip; a constant current power supply/circuit to stabilize the performance of all LED chips in the LED light; a high quality PCB that wastes less energy on heat generation; an aluminium base plate to transfer heat from the LED chips quickly; a well-designed heat sink to dissipate heat faster.

Product designers therefore have to balance every element well to maximize LED lighting performance, and the temperature rise indicates the performance of heat dissipation. For example, when the LED light is tested and reads 50°C and the ambient temperature is 22°C, the temperature rise is 28°C. Therefore, the standard of temperature rise for LED lighting design is <30°C.

BoscoLighting manages all LED products to be designed within a 30°C temperature rise while maximizing the brightness of LED chips to ensure excellent performance with reasonably long lifespan.


BoscoLighting is one of Australia’s leading lighting manufacturers, specialising in high quality LED lighting solutions.

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