Most engineers have been challenged by the trend toward miniaturization and demands for reduced power consumption of virtually all electronic designs. As the pressure to fit as much functionality, and thus circuitry, into the smallest space possible continues to rise, so, too, do the challenges of the associated thermal design.
LEDs are a versatile and compact alternative to the traditional light bulb with versatility to extend to applications where incandescent lighting previously was not possible. Savings in long-term operation and energy costs while utilizing a robust package are just a few of the advantages that have made LEDs popular. However, the importance of temperature and thermal management in providing a reliable LED design, especially in high power LED modules must not be overlooked as this efficient technology becomes more pervasive in lighting designs.
Therefore, it is crucial to find solutions to address thermal issues in high-power LED modules, such as how temperature affects the power, reliability and operational lifespan of these designs. One effective and proven remedy is the integration of current-limiting power resistors. Another method for delivering cost-effective thermal management is the use of constant-current regulators that provide an easy approach to control current in LED modules when compared with other types of regulators.
This article, which previously appeared in EE Times (Europe), addresses these challenges. To read it, click here.