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Thread: LED strip with less heat

  1. #1

    Default LED strip with less heat

    I got away with using 3 strips (x2 @ 12v) in one of my 3D printed lithophane pictures in a frame. But now I'm trying to use 5 for a more even display. I'm running into an issue of them heating up the enclosure so much that the back is getting soft. Vent holes are not enough to combat this issue. I found that 1/16" thick teflon worked pretty well at diffusing the sharpness of each LED. I've tried to elevate the LED's but that looks really bad when it's that close to the image.
    So my question is there a colder way of illuminating the picture without having to install a cooling fan? And not breaking the bank.
    Pics of what I'm up to:



    https://imgur.com/9NPFioW
    https://imgur.com/7TUyNeg
    https://imgur.com/aVQAVn3

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    You could harvest the backlight/diffuser assembly out of an old LCD monitor for a backlight. It still uses a strip of LEDs for illumination but the efficiency of the diffuser material probably means it needs fewer or lower power LEDs to do the job.
    Last edited by PhotonWrangler; 06-16-2019 at 07:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    You can also buy diffuser material in bulk. It would be much more efficient that the teflon.

    If all you want is more even lighting, use more LEDs but turn down the current for the same total power. That actually pushes up the efficacy of the LEDs a bit.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    When you say the back is getting soft do you mean the back of the frame where the LED strips are mounted or the 3D printed image that's being back-illumimated? Since you've mentioned elevating the LEDs as a fix and I have personal experience with the heat that LED strip transmits through the tape, I imagine you're talking about the frame itself.

    Tried printing in a different, higher-temperature material (I recall ABS being higher temp than PLA)? Or using another material as the back such as aluminum or steel that can sink the heat and convect it to the atmosphere far better than plastic?
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  5. #5

    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    Thanks for the quick responses. I will try idleprocess's idea of turning them down a little and placing them on a heatsink that is spaced just off of the back plastic case. Also, what would you recommend for diffuser material? What would I search for on ebay, and would it be worth stacking for a better effect(trying to figure out how much I would need for a few prints)?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    I just googled 'diffuser film' and got quite a few hits.

  7. #7

    Default Re: LED strip with less heat

    Doing lithopanes myself in the past I have found if you're putting LED's in an environment like that the best thing to do is using some kind of 'heatsink'. With your set-up using an aluminium insert were the LED's are mounted to would help to move the heat away from the chips. Also, sometimes different strips will output different levels of heat but still provide a sufficient amount of light output, so you could investigate into getting a different LED strip too.

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