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Water Proof Cooling Solutions for High-Performance Lights

outdoor concert

The engineering team of a major OEM of entertainment lighting approached us with a very interesting project. Their marketing department got an initiative put in place to develop water resistant and waterproof versions of their most popular products, which included; flood, spot, wash and, moving headlights. It fell upon their engineering team to overcome the challenge of redesigning the cooling system for those high-intensity lights, going from a system that used forced air convection to dissipate the tremendous amounts of heat that they generated, to a system that would do the same job while running in an airtight shell. Cooling the light while it was submerged was easy since the heat generated by the lights LED was easily transmitted through its casing and efficiently dissipated by the surrounding water. However, providing cooling when the light was out of the water required using fans to blow air through heat sinks mounted on the case. This approach required that the fans move large volumes of air at high pressures without generating much noise. Because these fans were at the heart of the cooling system it was critical that they would work continuously for many years without failure or loss of performance.

They found fans that were rated for Ingress Protection (IP) from dust and water from a few top-tier manufacturers however these IP rated fans were as much as ten times more expensive than the non-IP rated versions.

fans/parts in glass of water

Fortunately, Y.S. Tech has been manufacturing IP rated fans for decades, for use in the automotive sector, and has the know how to make fans that perform flawlessly in the harshest of environments at affordable price points. We performed a detailed thermal analysis of their product designs and identified the precise amount of cooling needed for each of their lights. Using this data, we were able to recommend a small number of fans that replaced many of the fans that they were currently using., which reduced their costs tremendously.

For lights that were expected to work outdoors, exposed to harsh weather our IP 55 rated fans were much more than adequate and added only a couple of dollars to the fans price. For those lights that that in addition, would get occasionally submerged we used a thicker Parylene conformal coating to make our IP 55 rated fan more robust and able to work without a hitch under these conditions. This solution added less than a dollar to our standard IP55 fan price.

For those fans that would routinely be subjected to full immersion for prolonged periods, we recommended our IP X6 rated fan which offered as much protection as an IP68 rated fan at half the price of other manufacturers.

At first their engineering team was skeptical that our fans could perform so well at such modest price points; however, after an extensive battery of accelerated aging tests, their skepticism turned to delight. Not only did they recommend our product to their procurement team they also asked us to develop a fan that could operate in a hot environment, exposed to harsh chemicals. They were absolutely thrilled

when we told them that we already had fans that would thrive in temperatures well above ninety degrees Celsius and exposed to very strong corrosive elements.