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MAKE Flickr pool member Joel Miller (jmillerid) is planning some LED lighting for his house and has been evaluating Luxeon Rebel LEDs. He etched these boards to experiment with different colors, their heat values, etc.

Luxeon Rebels are designed to dissipate heat through a large “no connection” solder pad directly under the chip. There are specific guidelines for the design of the PCB to draw this heat away from the LED which include a multitude of plated vias to increase the copper surface area. I’m unable to create plated vias in my homemade boards, so my intent is to mount the board to an aluminum plate, using an aluminum machine screw to draw the heat through the hole in the middle of the board.

LED lighting, part 1

More:

Circuit Skills: Circuit Board Etching, sponsored by Jameco