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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

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • jeff-o

    Soldering parts like this by hand (with what appears to be a soldering iron that isn’t quite hot enough) may lead to voids between the solder pads and the PCB. This will result in a less than optimal heat transfer. Just a heads up. ;)

    Great design though, I like it.

  • atif khair

    I like the review of LED sign boards that different colors of bulbs make one light lamp awesome work.
    LED Sign