Being a Green Construction company in Brooklyn, NY we like to recycle, reuse and re-purpose materials. Electronics are no exception. This post is about heat sinks. LEDs like to run at about 25 deg C or 70F. Led manufacturers give guidelines for heat sink size and configuration. With this information you can re-purpose a computer processor heat sink. Most PC processors are equipped with a circular heavy duty heat sink. This is usually more than adequate depending on the power of your LED. Another technique for helping cool the LEDs is through an electronic technique called PWM or Pulse Width Modulation. For example, if the LED was to stay on for say 1 sec. (arbitrary) we can electronically switch the led on and off in rapid succession. Persistence of vision will give you the same effect as a moving picture…..a perceived continuation without interruption. This is typically done in a 1000% power for 10% of the time duty cycle. This allows the heat sink to be working on dissipating heat 90% of the time and only absorbing it during the last 10%. With this in mind you can use High power LEDs in tight configurations while not overheating them. Here are some heat sinks I re-purposed for an air cooled lighting demonstration.
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