App note: Pulsed Over-Current Driving of LEDs


App note from CREE on driving LEDs over its specified current capability. Link here (PDF)

The Applications Engineering team at Cree is often asked whether it is safe to operate Cree XLamp® LEDs with pulsed currents above the maximum data-sheet rating. This question is usually asked in the context of legitimate product requirements such as those posed by emergency-vehicle applications, specialized stroboscopic illumination and even pulsed modulation for general-illumination dimming applications.

The short answer is “it depends.” Multiple variables affect both initial and long-term performance and reliability of an LED. These include thermal resistance, pulse duration, as well as current amplitude, frequency and duty cycle.

App note: Optimizing PCB Thermal Performance for LEDs


Application note from CREE on efficiently designing a conventional FR4 PCB to manage thermal heat and as a cheap alternative to metal core pcbs. Link here (PDF)

One of the most critical design parameters for an LED illumination system is the system’s ability to draw heat away from the LED junction. High operating temperatures at the LED junction adversely affect the performance of LEDs, resulting in decreased light output and lifetime. To properly manage this heat, specific practices should be followed in the design, assembly and operation of LEDs in lighting applications.

App note: Avoidance of ceramic-substrate-based LED chip cracking induced by PCB bending or flexing


Application note from CREE on the causes of ceramic-substrate-based failures due to PCB board stresses and how to minimize their occurrence. Link here (PDF)

Printed circuit board (PCB) bending and/or flexing is an unavoidable phenomenon that is known to exist and is easily encountered during electronic board assembly processes. PCB bending and/or flexing is the fundamental source of tensile stress induced on the electronic components on the board assembly. For more brittle components, like ceramic-based electronic components, micro-cracks can be induced, which can eventually lead to a fatal failure of the components. For this reason, many standards organizations throughout the world specify the methods under which electronic board assemblies must be tested to ensure their robustness, sometimes as a precondition to more rigorous environmental tests such as thermal cycling or thermal shock.