The Importance of Proper Heat Sinks and Quality Components in LED Lighting

Being a Landscape Lighting Designer requires knowledge beyond the scope of the design itself. You need to know what equipment is going to be best for each job, and how to select the best lighting design components to satisfy the customers lighting project to attract 5 star reviews for years ahead. With this in mind, it’s always best to install and source LED lights with an improved thermal design and high quality components, so your lighting jobs always provide your clients with an increased longevity of lighting output, while also offering a better quality lighting fixture design that offers reliable and consistent color temps for all of your lighting design projects.

Does LED lighting generate heat?

We’re told that a big advantage of LEDs is that they don’t produce as much heat or operational costs. In a way, that’s true, because they usually don’t produce as much heat in the form of infrared (IR) radiation, so LED lights can feel cooler to the human touch. All LEDs will get hot to some point though, but if you use high quality designed LED lights that offer greater thermal reduction, that also consist of quality CNC machined solid components, you will find that they will provide the advantage of dissipating heat more efficiently to ensure your lighting designs look great for much longer.

IR radiation is what makes incandescent bulbs and other light sources hot to the touch. IR radiation causes the heat so without IR radiation, LEDs can be used where heat from other sources would cause a problem for example, pools, ponds, around foliage and trees and of course anywhere that human beings, especially children might come in direct contact with them. Think of how hot an incandescent light bulb gets. To replace one, you have to let it cool down enough to be able to touch it.

Even though LEDs are cool to the touch, there is still unwanted heat generating from the devices themselves. This heat comes from the inefficiency of the semiconductors that generate the light. The radiant efficiency (total optical output power divided by total electrical input power) of LEDs is typically between 5 and 40%, meaning that 60-95% of the input power is lost as heat.

Managing thermal temperature for LED lighting

With high-power LEDs, it is crucial that you remove heat through efficient thermal management. Without good heat sinking, the junction (internal) temperature of the LED rises which will cause the characteristics of the LED to change for the worse.

As the junction temperature of an LED lighting fixture increases, both the forward voltage and the lumen output of the LED decreases. This undesired situation often causes a decrease in the brightness and efficiency as well as shortens the overall lifetime output of the LED lights you have installed. LEDs don’t typically suffer catastrophic failure, although it’s possible if they over heat; rather, the lumen output of the LED will decrease over time. Higher junction temperatures lead to faster deterioration. This is why it is crucial to keep your LED junction temperature low. Also take note that if you are over driving your LED (putting more current to it than what it is rated) this will drive temperatures up so high that permanent damage can occur.

The ambient temperature and the drive current both affect the junction temperature of LEDs. Other influences are the nature of the light, and most importantly, the LED wattage per unit area of heat sink (surface that dissipates heat).

The most important part of LED cooling is the thermal path from the LED junction to the outside of the light fixture. Heat needs to be conducted away from the LED in an efficient manner, and then removed from the area by some sort of cooling or dissipation.

LED Flood Lighting Spot Lights

LED Flood style spot lights


One example of the way Garden Light LED products conquer the issues of thermal management

The X5 High Power LED Outdoor Landscape Lighting Spotlight is the best LED Flood Light style option with a modern well-designed spotlight body that features compression lens technology; along with an overdesigned heat sink and thermal management capabilities for longevity and consistency. This dedicated LED fixture is a machined metal ingot, not cast material and utilizes a Proprietary design-enhanced with a robust lighting driver technology.

The Garden Light LED Difference – American Built Components

Heat sink is simply thermal management and thermal management is as important as the quality of chip and optics you use. It requires an orchestrated balance to create the best quality LED components and we have spent many years perfecting that balance. Garden Light LED fixtures are made of strong, durable, machined aluminum with their own venting. Our fixtures are built to reduce heat internally thus they last longer and don’t lose their potency the way other fixtures do.
When you choose to install Garden Light LED lighting fixtures over lesser quality fixtures, you are doing a 20-Year installation for your customers. Our fixtures carry a 20-year guarantee and the transformer we use, our wiring and equipment, when installed our way, make the system built to last. LED fixtures are sensitive to heat and humidity. They aren’t built to last. Our fixtures are 70% cooler with surge protectors on all fixtures. There are surge protectors on our transformers primary and secondary. All of our equipment is specifically made for LED with arching and heat and humidity prevention.

Garden Light LED systems will run a lifetime if installed properly. 80% of the time, failure is due to improper installations and bad wiring splices. When you buy our products, we’re here to help you through the entire installation process so you experience total success.

Garden Light LED high-quality LED stands the test of time and temperatures. LEDs are more sensitive than our cell phones. Heat and humidity are deadly to the LED’s. Most manufacturers still haven’t figured it out. What is it they say? If you do almost anything for 10,000 hours, you become an expert at it? We have put in our 10,000 hours.

Most other lighting companies import their products, both fixtures and electronics, while ours are built here in the U.S. Even our electrical components are made stateside and are reliable.

Our fixtures give off consistent and powerful true light output, unlike the competitors that leak and flicker. When we say, “a fixture for life,” we also mean one that is adaptable to the future and is environmentally-conscious.

In our LED lighting factory in Tampa, Florida we have a clean room, production room, engineering department, and Haas C and C and mill machines. We turn our own metal, do rabid prototyping, CAD, solid works, and 3-d printing. We even create our own light engines and drivers and have a full testing and warranty facility.

Even the highest quality and best designed technology can go wrong sometimes. That’s why Garden Light LED offers one of the best warranties in the industry. Our transformers and fixtures all have a lifetime warranty and our high-performance LEDs carry a 20-year warranty.

Experience the difference with Garden Light LED. We’re here to help.

To learn more Contact Garden Light LED to discover the many advantages that our LED lights provide and how our lighting assembly designs and testing processes build high-quality low voltage lighting fixtures that operate better and longer than your average run of the mill die-cast imported LEDs that are made with who knows what mixture of weak and heat holding metals.