App note from OSRAM on thermal resistance for LEDs and IREDs (IR emitting diodes). Link here (PDF)
In order to achieve the expected reliability, lifetime and optimal performance of LEDs, especially for high-power LEDs, appropriate thermal management is of the utmost importance. One of the key parameters for good thermal management is the temperature of the active semiconductor layer designated as the junction temperature. The manufacturer’s recommended maximum junction temperature should therefore not be exceeded during operation, in order to prevent damage to the component. Ideally, the junction temperature should be kept as low as possible for the given application.
Due to the design principle of the LEDs, the junction temperature of the LED can not be measured directly.