In an effort to create a Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting system that is as efficient as possible, the heat dissipation system must be accurately measured for proper design and operation. Because LED lighting technology is new, little optimization has been performed on typical cooling system required for most A19 replacement products. This paper describes the research process for evaluating the thermal performance of over 15 LED lighting products and compares their performance to traditional lighting sources, namely incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL). This process uses radiation and convection to model typical cooling mechanisms for domestic A19 type replacement LED products.

The A19 products selected for this investigation had input wattages ranging between 7 to 60 Watts, with outputs ranging from 450 to 1100 lumens. The average LED tested dissipated 43% (± 5%) of the total heat generated in the lighting product through the heat exchanger. The best thermal performance was observed in an LED product that dissipated approximately 58% of the total product heat through the heat exchanger. Results indicate that significant improvements to the current LED heat exchanger designs are possible, which will help lower the cost of future LED products, improve performance, and reduce the environmental footprint of the products.

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