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Graphite Foam Reduces Temperature of LEDs, Making Them Cheaper and Longer-Lasting


LED lights, yet not cutting edge idea for lighting, are in vogue nowadays, as they evolve by the year. Now, a group of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered how to make LEDs last for longer and also lower their price.

They used a graphite foam developed and licensed by ORNL’s James Klett, working at the Material Science and Technology Division. The technology has been licensed to LED America, a private company specialized in LED lighting products.

Every 10 degree decrease in temperature can double the life of the LEDs, so this technology can ultimately offer savings for the final customers. “While this technology will reduce temperatures and increase the life of the LED lighting systems, what it will really do is save municipalities millions of dollars every year in replacement fixture costs as well as maintenance,” Klett said.

The secret of using the graphite foam relies in its internal crystal shape. Having a skeletal structure full of air pockets, the foam is only 25 percent dense and much lighter than normal graphite. The graphite foam‘s ligament network acts as a heat sink, cooling the LED device.

LED America now has been given a laboratory in Tech 2020, a business incubator in Oak Ridge, in order to work closer with the researchers who initially developed the graphite foam.

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