The primary environmental and economic value of LEDs lies in their high-energy efficiency and exceptionally long life – up to 50,000 hours. Heat sinks are critical to both the performance and life span of LEDs. All types of electric lighting experience lumen depreciation with operation. For LEDs, the primary cause of this decrease in lumens is heat generated at the LED junction. The miniaturized and sensitive semiconductors used in LEDs are limited in their tolerance for heat.
++++++ This article was published in the March 2011 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.