List of Everyday Items for Heatsinking LEDs




About: Autistic person who's interests include utility cycling, recreational cycling, cycling safety, electronics, gardening, Arduino, and LEDs.

In this Instructable, you will learn where to find common household items that can be used for heatsinking LEDs. When mounting LEDs, you want a surface that is heat conductive and flat. These items will do the job if they are large enough for a given wattage. Reusing materials is better than recycling and it's fun.

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Step 1: Food Storage

Metal boxes
Where to find them: Chocolate boxes, cookie boxes, Altoids tin, candy boxes, blue boxes, second hand stores

Metal cans
Where to find them: Canned foods, coffee cans, blue boxes, second hand stores

Metal Lids
Where to find them: Glass food and beverage containers (jams, canning jars), blue boxes, second hand stores

Step 2: Hardware

Metal Pipe Ends
Where to find them: Hardware stores (Home Depot, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, Lowe's), broken pipes

Aluminum bars
Where to find them: Hardware stores

Metal Pen and Pencil Boxes

LED Aluminum Baseboard
Where to find them: LED dealers, e-bay, failed LEDs

Metal Screws and Bolts

Metal chassis
Where to find them: Electronic device, electronic stores, enclosure for your electronic projects

Where to find them: Electronic stores, computer shops, e-bay, LED dealers, used electronic device (eg computers), failed LED lamps

Step 3: Non-metallic Surfaces

If your LEDs are strobed like bike and signal lights or driven under low current, you may use wood and plastic just to hold them in place. The aluminum baseboard that comes with your LED provides the necessary heatsinking.

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    3 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    i used the reflectors on my headlights they were built to take the heat of a halogen but im not sure how great they are for sinking but ive ran them for over a year at extended periods without incident


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work one aging great thanks to you I go an old frying pan that Would haven been in the garbage and now have a new 40w led grow light thanks you hanlin_y.

    1 reply