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Thread: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

  1. #1

    Default Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    I am making my own daylight equivalent LED light that uses around 30 watts. I have simply got an aluminium panel that is 250 x 250mm and put 12 LED strips each with 12 LEDs on them. This does get to the point where it is just a little to warm to touch on the back. I will eventually be fixing this on an old lamp that used to have a 300w halogen lamp in it. I have converted it inside and will now just be using the correct 12v power needed. I will also be using a diffuser to make the individual LEDs appear merged together for a softer effect. But as this diffuser will mean less heat will escape, I am just wanting to know a good way of attaching a heat sync to the back of the Aluminium panel.


    This heat sync is pretty much exactly the size of the area that the LED strips cover, so should be ideal. I just don't have much knowledge about the methods of attaching it. Are there any particular thermal compounds i should use? I'm not sure if these act like glue and your hold the heat sync in place without needing screws or i would need to drill holes and screw it into the panel?

    It might even be the case that the LEDs don't need any of this extra cooling at all and it is just overkill. But I would just like to know how to do this as other LED strips don't get this warm so I feel i should do something to cool these down to extend their life. The LED strip was quite expensive and they are much brighter than others i have got and the colour temperature is far more accurate as well as the CRI. So I want to do what is best to make them last.

    Any advice?


  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LedTed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    What ever you use, read and follow the directions. Whether itís solder or heat sink compound, Iíve seen that most use them incorrectly; including manufacturers.
    Enjoy the light show - LedTed

  3. #3

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    I have seen a fair few comments on amazon from reviewers who bought the different types of pastes and that they were surprised with the quantity they reviewer used. I will try to follow what is advised, but I am not totally sure what I am after. I would ideally like what is effectively thermal glue to hold the heat sync to the back of the aluminium plate so it won't need screwing in place. Or would a normal paste compound work if the heat sync got some holes drilled in to attach it by a few screws to the plate? I could do either of these, I just don't know which would be best. And I seem to be finding it hard to come across thermal glue as i don't really know about the stuff.


    I am guessing something like this would do the job. What I have yet to understand is how much is to be used over what size area and weather this is enough or not. As it isn't just a tiny component in a PC - the board my LEDs are on is 250mm x 250mm and the heat sync I am wanting is 200mm x 195mm. If this would easily be more than enough quantity wise, then I may as well get it and follow the instructions there. As this isn't glue, do you think it would be ok to hold it on the panel by a screw in each corner if i make the holes?


  4. #4
    skillet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Green Co. , Bluegrass State

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    Iíve always used this for attaching LEDís to heatsinks with great results

    I DO NOT HAVE...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    This one above does look good as it is effectively glue. I'm just not sure if it would cover the whole area i need. It says there is 5g. I have yet to understand the quantity needed depending on the area you cover. The other thing i am now wondering is thermal tape. This came up in the suggestions on amazon based on what i was viewing. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SG416...v_ov_lig_dp_it I am using 12v 5630 LED strips on an aluminium plate. Normally, if the strip was just 1 strip, it wouldn't get the surface so hot, but i have 12 by 12 LEDs on an aluminium panel in a square and and they get it pretty warm. But as they probably won't get anywhere near the temperature of the individual high power LED chips, I wouldn't have thought I would need that much. So would this tape do the job do you think if i cover the area of the heat sync and stick it on with this? Hopefully it will pass the heat through and not get the panel quite as warm and extend the life of the LEDs.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    i use arctic silver

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    You actually want as thin a layer as possible. Even the best thermal compounds are like 100 times less conductive than aluminum. Some are much worse than that. The thermal compound is only there to fill the tiny gaps, as it's way better than air.

    From the picture you linked, it looks like that heatsink is far from flat on the back. Even small ripples would be a big problem.

    I would think that with such a large area, you'd need to be pretty careful not to get large bubbles trapped between the plates. I'm thinking lots of screws, tightening first in the middle, then working outward, to force any air out. That would make it unnecessary to use a glue.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    I think I will buy the heat sync and see how flat the back is. As I said, these LEDs don't usually need a heat sync as they are often used for under cupboard lighting with no heat sync involved. So I still am wondering if such a thorough job needs to be done. It only gets a bit warmer because i have lots of strips in a square on aluminium. I even tried simply sitting an old computer fan heat sync on it that was round and about 12mm x 12mm and that got a lot of the heat through to the heat sync of it without any compound. I don't know how to attach pictures on this forum, but showing the panel I have the LEDs on would give a better idea of the sort of thing that would be ideal. The reason why i thought the thermal tape may be ideal is because it is quite thick. If I use this and some screws, it would likely fill in the small gaps if the back of the heat sync wasn't totally flat. In the description, it also says this: "Professional thermal adhesive tape for mounting heatsinks, chipsets, graphics cards, processors, high power LEDs" If I very neatly cover the entire area of the heat sync, plus use some screws too, do you think this would do the job? https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SG416...v_ov_lig_dp_it I just feel i wouldn't do a great job with the paste as am not at all familiar with this stuff and how it needs to be applied.
    Last edited by TheGiantHogweed; 11-02-2019 at 05:37 AM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Stillwater, America

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    *sink (it's not synchronizing anything)

    Also, be very careful with electrically-conductive heat sink compound, so as not to cause electrical shorts.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    Haha yes i first looked it up in ebay and spelt it wrong and must have assumed it was right as i saw some being sold spelt like that. I will try to remember it correct now! I have been careful when sticking the LED strips to it and connecting the wires to them. The panel doesn't have either the positive or negative wire contacting it so the heat sink on the back should cause no problems. I will wait until i receive the heat sink and then think about weather compound or thermal tape would be better. I would use screws too with whatever I use but I certainly think I would find it easier to neatly apply the double sided thermal tape than the paste. The tape I have looked at does actually mention it can be used with high power LEDs. So hopefully these strips (just standard 5630) will get cooled down enough using this method.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    thermal tape heat conductivity is much lower than thermal glues or pastes, highest one (available and reasonably priced) is arctic silver paste , has almost 9, tapes will get you between 1 and 2.
    if you talking about led strips, espasially encapsulated in silicone, do not even bother, it will make little difference, even the surfice you apply it to, dosn't matter much, there is so much thermal resistance inside, they will degrade pretty much same way, no matter what you do, the only thing you can do, is drop voltage to about 10, and it will make much less heat, and it wont be an issue

  12. #12

    Default Re: Heat sync thermal compound for Alumilium panel with LEDs?

    Thanks for this info. I think I will avoid using tape then. They are LED strips without silicone and they do seem to get the aluminium panel pretty hot. Hot enough that when i had an old PC fan heat sink on it without any compound, it certainly did warm up. I am now thinking the best thing to do will be to use this arctic compound and use plenty of screws to evenly stick the heat sink on. I ordered the heat sink a while ago but it is yet to arrive.

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