I'd like to have a 5m LED strip lighting directed upwards from around 1m height (would be behind a desk and other furniture). My idea was a simple U shaped aluminium profile (so it can be screwed to the wall and will provide cover preventing directly seeing the strip), but I'm not sure how to put up a profile with screws when you have only 30 mm space between the two parallel sides of the U profile. So now I'm thinking an L shaped aluminium profile like this

profile to hold

with the 'vertical' side 'outside' (so not on the wall) for covering, and holding in place with something like this

thing to hold with

Is an untreated aluminum profile suitable for cooling LEDs? If so, should I get the 2 mm or the 3 mm thick one?

What treatments can they do with aluminium? Should I try to look for some with treatment?

Any ideas how to better solve the problem?


  • 2
    Do your LED strips specify that they require a heatsink? – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 14 '19 at 20:19
  • About the only treatment for aluminum is to anodize it, usually to color it. Because it is a thin layer of aluminum oxide ,anodizing probably slightly slows heat absorption. – blacksmith37 May 14 '19 at 20:24
  • 1
    To see if a material is suitable for a heatsink, touch it. If it feels cold, it's suitable. (Because it's good at transferring heat away from your hand.) – user3757614 May 14 '19 at 23:12
  • The 2 coatings that protect aluminum is anodizing and zinc chromate paint, there paints that etch and are said to work but these are way industrial companies use, as far as a heat sink raw aluminum will work. Most heat sinks in electronic equipment is raw aluminum, unless for milspec work then it is coated to prevent oxidation, when coated heat sinks are usually black as that color absorbs and is best at radiating the heat. In your case raw aluminum will help reflect the light so I would not coat it. – Ed Beal May 15 '19 at 15:02
  • you should not need heatsinking on LED strips, unless they are the cheaper (resistor-based) kind that you feed a constant voltage to, and even then, you only need heat removal if you drive them hard enough to shorten their life. That said, Al is a great heatsink material, probably the most common one used by consumer electronics. As far as 2mm vs 3mm, go with 2mm; it's cheaper, lighter, and has about the same surface area, which is the main factor. Thickness only comes into play with buffering unsustainable heat gen (bursts), but you don't need to worry about that. – dandavis May 16 '19 at 19:40

The way you screw the U is to drill a hole the size your screws need through BOTH sides, then a hole big enough for the screwhead/screwdriver through one side, following/enlarging the first hole, only on one side.

Or just the screw-sized hole through both and screws 30mm longer.

Or angle the mounting holes & screws into the back from the open side of the U.

I doubt you need to "treat" it with anything.


You can create a keyhole shaped hole in the wall side of your channel.

Drill one hole near the bottom of the channel that is the size of the screw head, and another right above it that is just large enough to accommodate the screw threads. Use a saw to create a notch and join the two. Install your mounting screws with just enough gap between the wall and the head to hold your channel.

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