Aluminized Copper Reflectors as Secondary Heatsinks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Idea! Aluminized Copper Reflectors as Secondary Heatsinks

    Was wondering why aluminized copper reflectors are always thermally isolated from the emitter star, when their composition and construction might so conveniently lend them to use as secondary heatsinks. Yeah the base gasket does help keep the reflector centered correctly around the emitter and isolates it electrically, but the lamp barrel holds it in place anyway and on a large star with + and - solder points nearer to the starís edges risk of contact with the reflector is basically nonexistent. Thinking if the gasket is replaced with a well trimmed thermal pad and the reflector rim is similarly treated with paste, then heat from the emitter could travel unimpeded through the reflector all the way to end of the lamp barrel and into the bezel.

    Anyway as proof-of concept unscrewed the bezel on a Sofrin SP33 V3.0 and removed the reflector and base gasket from the lamp body. Next (because my .5mm thermal pads have not yet arrived) applied some no-name thermal grease to both the base and rim of the reflector, lowered the lamp body back down around it, then flipped everything back up. Before rescrewing the bezel with its O-rings and cover glass, fired up the Sofirn on Turbo to see if I could feel any heat in the reflector this way. And boy did it get hot! So screwed everything back in place and let the flashlight cool down against the window while readying my second SP33 for comparison. Turned both units on in Turbo simultaneously while clasping them in two hands. Thermally modified Sofirn got so hot around the bezel I couldnít hold it long. Unmodified unit got hot too but not as painfully so. Thus I declare the experiment a success.


    Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Reflector as Secondary Heatsink Nylon[?] Emitter Gasket Removed Thermal Paste Applied
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Reflector as Secondary Heatsink Nylon[?] Emitter Gasket Removed Thermal Paste Applied
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Reflector as Secondary Heatsink Nylon[?] Emitter Gasket Removed Thermal Paste Applied
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr


    And none the worse for wear! Sofirn SP33 V3.0 Reflector as Secondary Heatsink Nylon[?] Emitter Gasket Removed Thermal Paste Applied
    by andyXchrist, on Flickr

    Now, none of the reflectorized flashlights or bike lights in my possession have any problem whatsoever with thermal regulation/step down, so this mod is not all that useful to me. Simply was curious as to whether a reflector could double as a heat sink and thought Iíd share the results.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Was wondering why aluminized copper reflectors are always thermally isolated from the emitter star
    Because they are not... They are electrically isolated - you are lucky that in your case there is actually quite a lot of space there and power supply wires are far away from the led emitter. In most of the cases what you have done will cause a short-circuit.

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