Although LEDs do not create as much heat as conventional lights, for some lighting applications they may need to be cooled by passive or active cooling. Passive cooling refers to using a finned heat exchange system made of cast or extruded metal around the LED module to act as a heat sink (heat transfer by conduction). Passive cooling efficiency depends upon the contact between the module and the heat, the material of the heat sink, design of the heat sink (whether casted or extruded), the surface area, and the orientation of the materials used.
Application Specific LEDs have the best heat dissipation because they vertically integrate the heat sink of the LED module with the heat sink of the fixture. Active cooling refers to cooling with water, a conventional fan, or some other method of air cooling (heat transfer by convection or a heat pipe). Using a fan for active cooling is noisy and requires electricity to run.