This is becoming an issue with the brighter and more powerful LEDs. This looks like it might help, it is a sort of phase-change heatpipe. Th phase change means it should be very much less gravitationally dependent that the current variety with wicks which do work very much better in a fixed orientation. It looks like the current designs are rather larger than any lights we carry just now but hopefully they will shrink them down to a more useful size. Then we just need radiators to lose the heat out of the light body.

There is too much "nanotechnology" labelling in the diagram to make me entirely happy - "nano" all too often seems to mean "woo woo" or "BS"

kinda reminds me of a peltier cooler.

But doesn't require power. Unfortunately Peltiers do need quite a lot of power.

I design tooling and have seen similar products for cooling of difficult areas of injection molds. I believe the type I have seen are water under a vacuum to lower the boiling point so it works at a lower temp. I could be wrong. It has been a while.


Welcome to BLF TDC!

Good to have you here!

Hope you have a good time here. I do...

The difference would appear to be added "nano" woo woo. But it, or something like it, will be necessary soon enough the way LED power consumption is going.

There's definitely a partial vacuum if they want to get phase change happening at a useful temperature - 55-65oC. Most semiconductors stop doing useful stuff around 70-90oC.

.......but definitely non-budget

"One 3 mm diameter, 150 mm long, sintered, powder wick, copper heat pipe.

$76.06 each"

Not sure why thats so expensive, but you can buy a CPU heatsink with a half a doen for less than $50, And although I can’t find a source for them, Im sure a $50 HS doesn’t use $300 worth of heatpipes.

Ultimately, I think we just need to start on basics, thermal pathways and simply having more surface area to start off with.

Real heatsinks incorporated into the head of the torch, coupled with real thermal pathways to these.

Way toooooooooooo many torches currently, especially more budget builds, just don't have real thermal pathways, or in almost all cases, enough surface area. These should come before we start thinking of specialised heat pipes, which should come after we run out of heatsink area with normal aluminium fins.

Regardless... I'd still love to somehow incorporate heat pipes into a build.. hahah! I've actually already considered using a $40 heatpipe based cpu cooler for a SST-50 desk lamp. Super low noise fan, neat radiator assembly, all in a neat package, could work for making a cool looking desk lamp. Only problem would still be the added complexities, and the difficulty in arranging this for a normal torch with current production items.

Hi there TopDeadCenter, welcome to BLF! Thanks for joining.

Aloha and welcome to BLF TopDeadCenter!

Well, thanks for all the welcomes. Can't say you would get that at very many other places.

I agree with okwchin about the idea of sorting out the more traditional heatsinking. I believe it was Antoine de Saint-Exupery that said something along the lines of a perfect design is not what you can add to a design but what you can no longer take away. I did briefly investegate the phase shift cooling tubes for a calibrator for plastic extrusion but realized it could be done with a simple water passage. Less cost and less maintanance.

But it is fun to think of the "what ifs"!


Less cost, less maintenance is what we all ought to aim at.

5mm LEDs with resistors and 3x AAA for $2

Need about 300 of them. Quite a lot to go wrong.

just 1 5mm LED is alot simpler... Cant have everything.. haha

Anyways, back to the idea of cooling.

I had a good look at a friends Catapult V3, and I feel that the torch has significantly less surface area for cooling than my Legion II SST-50 torch. Therefore the catapult has far less thermal performance than the Legion

However comparing the output of both torches, the Catapult has way more throw(throwy reflector design), about the same if not more ceiling bounce, and only consumes 12 watts or something (2.8A at the emitter?? i recall?). My Legion uses 18 watts, 5A to the emitter, so it sucks alot more power, but with no significant increase in output to my eyes.(it does have a neutral emitter..)

So the Catapult uses about 2/3 the power, and even with relatively less surface area for cooling it is Significantly cooler. And after all this, it has comparable output (infact more throw with the more throwy reflector)

Again this reinforces that a more efficient light engine is fundamental to improving outputs and efficiencies.

Agreed entirely - more efficient LEDs and drivers are vital, especially as the power draw goes up. If the waste heat isn't produced in the first place, getting rid of it is less of a problem.