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CLD-AP157 REV 0

ApplIcatION NOte

Solder-Point Temperature Measurement of Cree® XLamp® LEDs

Figure 1: Example solder-point temperature measurement

TaBle OF CONteNts
Introduction......................................................... 1 Importance of Tsp ................................................. 2 Using thermocouples for thermal measurement........ 2 Mounting a thermocouple...................................... 4 Measuring the solder‑point temperature.................. 5 Conclusion........................................................... 6

INtROdUctION
One of the most important factors of successful solid‑state lighting (SSL) design is good thermal management of the lamp or luminaire. When the LED junction temperature (Tj) increases, the performance of the LED decreases, resulting in lower light output from the LED. The LED junction temperature cannot be measured directly, however it can be calculated from the solder‑point temperature (Tsp). Therefore accurate Tsp measurements are imperative for proper thermal management and lumen maintenance. This document provides a guideline for measuring Tsp accurately. For Cree XLamp CXA LED arrays, the case temperature (Tc), measured at a point indicated on each LED’s data sheet, is the equivalent of the Tsp and there is no need to calculate the Tj inside a CXA LED package. For more information on LED thermal management, see Cree’s XLamp Thermal Management application note.1

WWW.CREE.COM/XLAMP

1

Thermal Management of Cree XLamp LEDs, Application Note AP05, www.cree.com/xlamp_app_notes/thermal_management

Copyright © 2013 Cree, Inc. All rights reserved. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Cree®, the Cree logo Copyright © 2010 Cree, Inc. All rights reserved. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree, Inc. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a Cree, the Cree logo and XLamp are registered trademarks of Cree, Inc. specification. For product specifications, please see the data sheets available at www.cree.com. For warranty information, please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree.com. Other trademarks, product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement, sponsorship or association.

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and the leads are separated with insulation. often referred to as the Seebeck effect. product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement. sponsorship or association. Each type is color coded according to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) standards. the Cree logo and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree. a large percentage of the input power generates heat rather than light. Cree provides data characterizing how each of its XLamp LEDs performs versus Tj. Heat that is not dissipated will have not only an immediate negative impact on light output but also decrease the LED’s light output over time and could cause premature catastrophic failure.com. please see the data sheets available at www.2 Ptotal Total power input to the LED (W) Ptotal can be calculated by multiplying the input current (If) by the forward voltage (Vf) UsING tHeRmOcOUples FOR tHeRmal measURemeNt Thermocouples are the equipment most commonly used for temperature measurements. Tj = Tsp + θth Ptotal Equation 1: Junction temperature calculation where: T j θth Junction temperature in degrees Celsius (°C) Thermal resistance of the LED in degrees Celsius per watt (°C/W) Tsp Measured solder‑point temperature (°C) Each XLamp LED’s thermal resistance can be found in the LED’s data sheet. For product specifications. As efficient as LEDs currently are. The ends of the wires are welded together. a DC voltage differential is created between the two metals. All rights reserved.com.SOLDER-POINT TEMpERATURE MEAsUREMENT OF CREE XLAMp LEDs ImpORtaNce OF Tsp LEDs produce light when a current is passed across the junction of the chip. Inc.cree. The Tj of an LED cannot be measured directly. as shown in Table 1.pdf Copyright © 2013 Cree. A thermocouple is made of two thin metal wires of two different types of metal. Inc.com/led-components-and-modules/products/xlamp 3 www. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a specification. Other trademarks. For warranty information. it must be calculated using Equation 1 below.cree. please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree. 2 . The information in this document is subject to change without notice. The DC voltage is interpreted by a thermometer to provide a temperature reading.3 2 www. based on the measured Tsp.com/temperature/pdf/tc_colorcodes. the voltage generated is proportional to the temperature of the device under test. Cree®. the total power input to the LED and the thermal resistance of the LED as stated on its data sheet. When the welded end is heated or cooled. Nickel-Chromium Nickel-Aluminum Figure 2: Typical type K thermocouple Thermocouple types are determined according to the metals from which they are made.omega. so that only the welded end is in contact with the device under test.

Inc. sponsorship or association. Cree®. please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree.5 4 5 IES LM-79-08. For product specifications. 3 .SOLDER-POINT TEMpERATURE MEAsUREMENT OF CREE XLAMp LEDs Figure 3: ANSI and IES thermocouple color codes Photometric measurement standards such as IES LM-79-084 recommend that thermocouples be shielded from direct light and other forms of optical radiation. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Inc. Arrange the thermocouple wires to minimize the amount of direct light exposure to them. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a specification. All rights reserved.com. To block any direct light on the thermocouple during testing. the Cree logo and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree. Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid State Lighting Products Dupont™ Teflon®. please see the data sheets available at www.html Copyright © 2013 Cree.dupont. www2. Other trademarks.com. product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement.com/Teflon/en_US/index. For warranty information.cree. Cree recommends using type K thermocouples that are insulated with Teflon® (FEP) or wrapping the thermocouple leads that are on the printed‑circuit board (PCB) with three layers of white Teflon tape.

4 .SOLDER-POINT TEMpERATURE MEAsUREMENT OF CREE XLAMp LEDs MOUNtING a tHeRmOcOUple A thermocouple junction should be mounted so that it makes direct physical contact with the surface of the LED to be measured. please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree. a thermocouple can be connected to an exposed contact pad as shown in the applicable Soldering and Handling document for each Cree XLamp LED. the thermocouple junction be placed at the desired Tsp location and the lead taped down so that the thermocouple junction does not move.htm Copyright © 2013 Cree.cree.cree. Adhesive Mount Adhesive products are easier to use than solder. 1. With the thermocouple junction flat against the Tsp location. the Cree logo and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a specification. cover the thermocouple junction with a small dab of Arctic Silver. However. Figure 4: Arctic Silver thermal adhesive After mixing. there should be just enough Arctic Silver to completely cover the thermocouple junction and attach it securely to the Tsp location. For warranty information.com/arctic_silver_thermal_adhesive.com. This method offers reliable temperature measurement. on which LEDs are commonly mounted. prior to mixing Arctic Silver. All rights reserved. solder mask. or simply causing a mess. 2. and FR4 boards. please see the data sheets available at www. Arctic Silver™. but the two most common ways are solder mount and adhesive mount.com. as close as possible to the LED’s thermal pad. sponsorship or association. the Arctic Silver adhesive takes about ten minutes to cure at room temperature. This method can be performed with adhesive tape such as Kapton® or a two‑part thermal adhesive such as Arctic Silver™.arcticsilver. however soldering requires a considerable amount of skill and experience to perform properly. Cree recommends that. www. As shown in Figure 5.dupont. such as plastic. and a compatible surface to which to solder. 6 www. www2.com/Kapton/en_US/ Arctic Silver. Cree®. Other trademarks. though they can pose other challenges such as short work life. Solder Mount The solder mount method guarantees secure contact with the thermocouple and good thermal contact with the LED measurement point. Inc.7 Cree has found that using Arctic Silver thermal adhesive to secure the thermocouple provides accurate thermal measurements and is the recommended method for attaching thermocouples.6 Thermocouples can be mounted several different ways.com/led-components-and-modules/document-library 7 Dupont™ Kapton®. Therefore. Inc. For product specifications.. Refer to the XLamp LED’s Soldering and Handling document on Cree’s website to find the specific Tsp location. This method cannot be used to attach a thermocouple to surfaces with which solder cannot bond. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. requiring a post‑attach cure. Inc. product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement.

which can take up to two hours or more. the Cree logo and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree. Inc. Make sure to place the LED under test in a location with a constant ambient temperature. 5 . See Figure 7 for an example measurement of stabilized Tsp. Cree recommends using a thermometer with data logging capabilities such as an OMEGA HH147U8 or Fluke 54-II9 to graph the temperature over time and monitor the temperature stabilization. Set the thermometer to record the temperature at one-minute intervals and apply power to the LED until the temperature stabilizes.cree. please see the data sheets available at www. which can affect the temperature measurement. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. right: the finished result MeasURING tHe sOldeR‑pOINt tempeRatURe After the thermocouple junction is securely attached and shielded from direct light. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a specification.html 9 www.SOLDER-POINT TEMpERATURE MEAsUREMENT OF CREE XLAMp LEDs Figure 5: Applying Arctic Silver thermal adhesive Figure 6 shows an example of a properly mounted thermocouple. sponsorship or association.com.com/pptst/HH147U. please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree.com. Inc. use a calibrated thermometer to measure the temperature.com/fluke/usen/electrical-testers/thermometers/fluke-50-series-ii. Other trademarks. All rights reserved.htm?PID=56085 Copyright © 2013 Cree. For warranty information. Figure 6: Left and center: properly mounting a thermocouple. product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement. For product specifications. The temperature is stable when the temperature reading does not change more than 1% for five minutes. Cree®.fluke.omega. 8 www.

The information in this document is subject to change without notice. sponsorship or association.com. Inc. • • • • • • Use an insulated thermocouple whenever possible.SOLDER-POINT TEMpERATURE MEAsUREMENT OF CREE XLAMp LEDs Figure 7: Tsp stabilizing time CONclUsION Observe the following practices to accurately measure LED Tsp. the temperature not changing by more than 1% for five minutes.com. i.cree. Log the temperature measurement from turn‑on until stable. All rights reserved. product and company names are the property of their respective owners and do not imply specific product and/or vendor endorsement.e. which can take several hours. Ensure that the thermocouple junction is in good mechanical contact with the specified LED Tsp measurement location. Attach the thermocouple junction directly to the Tsp location using thermally conductive epoxy or by soldering. please contact Cree Sales at sales@cree. Photons of light contacting the thermocouple junction will affect the measurement. 6 .. Minimize the amount of direct light exposure on the thermocouple junction. For product specifications. please see the data sheets available at www. Other trademarks. For warranty information. Inc. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not a warranty or a specification. Copyright © 2013 Cree. Cree®. the Cree logo and XLamp® are registered trademarks of Cree. Use tape to hold the thermocouple lead in place and relieve stress on the thermocouple junction.