How do I connect multiple star PCBs together?

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I want to connect some of these in series to create a high-power light system.

Should each of these PCBs have a separate heat sink?

What should be the configuration so that in the end all the PCBs joined together look like a single light unit?

My first idea was to attach all of them to an aluminum sheet (have a heat sink attached to the back of the aluminum) and connect the PCBs in series with soldered wires, but I faced an issue with electricity leaking into the aluminum sheet (the soldering wasn't perfect I guess, what with having very little space on the PCBs to solder the wires to).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If the electricity isn't connected to the aluminium sheet, it won't leak. Did you accidentally drip some solder connecting the pad and the sheet? If not then I don't see how it would leak. Unless these PCBs are designed to connect the pad and the sheet. Wouldn't be able to tell without the datasheet (or you could check it with a multimeter) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2022 at 18:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ not the solder but probably the wires were stripped a little long and were protruding outside the pcb a bit. i am guessing that is where the leakage happened. also, i read somewhere else its not a good idea to attach multiple pcb's directly to a conducting material. but haven't been able to figure out yet what other setup would work. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2022 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think in this case you have to. If they are insulated, they won't leak. Find out where the leak is happening. Your multimeter has a mode where it beeps when the probes are connected together (if it doesn't, then use ohms mode). Pick up a star, hold one probe on the back side and probe the pads to see if the pads are connected to the back side. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2022 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ ”Should each of these PCBs have a separate heat sink?” Not unless the supplier cut some massive corner and replaced MCPCB with something conductive. Use a multimeter and test for continuity between bottom side and any pad on the top. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Sep 20, 2022 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Should each of these PCBs have a separate heat sink?

Wouldn't be necessary as long as you don't need the heatsinks to be isolated from one another. Whatever heatsink you use, make sure that it is rated enough to dissipate the heat form the LED (or LED's)

If you do want to use a big one, you can get thermal pads that can isolate the LED electrically but pass thermal heat through them.


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