The movement to LED lighting systems worldwide is accelerating quickly as energy savings and reduction in hazardous materials increase in importance. Government regulations and rapidly lowering prices help to further this trend. Today’s strong drive is to replace light bulbs of common outputs (60W, 75W and 100W) without resorting to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs containing mercury while maintaining the standard industry bulb size and shape referred to as A19. For many bulb designs, this A19 size and shape restriction forces a small heat sink which is barely capable of dissipating heat for 60W equivalent LED bulbs with natural convection for today’s LED efficacies. 75W and 100W equivalent bulbs require larger sizes, some method of forced cooling, or some unusual liquid cooling system; generally none of these approaches are desirable for light bulbs from a consumer point of view. Thus, there is interest in developing natural convection cooled A19 light bulb designs for LEDs that cool far more effectively than today’s current designs. Current A19 size heat sink designs typically have thermal resistances of 5–7°C/W. This paper presents designs utilizing the effects of chimney cooling, well developed for other fields that reduce heat sink resistances by significant amounts while meeting all other requirements for bulb system design. Numerical studies and test data show performance of 3–4°C/W for various orientations including methods for keeping the chimney partially active in horizontal orientations. Significant parameters are also studied with effects upon performance. The simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data. Such chimney-based designs are shown to enable 75W and 100W equivalent LED light bulb designs critical for faster penetration of LED systems into general lighting applications.

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