DIY LED luminaire- do I really need fans for cooling? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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DIY LED luminaire- do I really need fans for cooling?

Hi all

Building an led luminaire and want to find out if I really need to build in cooling via some PC fans? Don't wanna faff anymore than I have to...

Currently there are 15x 3w led 700ma (powered At 700ma) stuck individually on 3.5mm ram heat sinks and spread equally on the luminaire base( mdf )

Any advice welcome.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 10:29 PM
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Whether or not you need fans depends on the design and rating of the heatsinks. If the heatsinks are designed and rated for 3 watt ram chips, with no fans, they should handle the 3 watt LEDs with no fans. Otherwise, you should have fans.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 04:49 AM
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+1, but 45Watt is not a lot.
Touch-feel the heat sink. If you can't hold it indefinitely, its too hot and you should cool or rather use a bigger heat sink.

Forced cooling is a bit of a pain.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:18 AM
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the touch method will tell you if you need to cool them but the cooler the emitters are the more efficient they will run and the longer they should last. I force cool most of my leds but I try to keep them cool enough when the fans are off so that when the fans fail, and they all do eventually, I don't ruin my emitters.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 05:02 PM
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Something my husband did for our led build was have it be water cooled. I have the Eclipse 2 filter and he drilled a small hole and ran airline sealed with silicone to the top of the heat sink (he angled it slightly), and then created a lip so the water wouldn't run back under to the leds. This cooled the light right down and as an added bonus I don't need to run a heater while the light is on as it maintains the water temp at 78'F.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 05:35 PM
Algae Grower
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I think you should be fine. Similar heatsinks are for sale for the same purpose at [Ebay Link Removed] [Ebay Link Removed] I wouldn't use a fan, instead I would buy a larger heat sink if the leds get too hot.
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