COB vs SMD LED Strip Lighting: Your One Stop Guide

By LED Lighthouse

As with most forms of technology, new lines of products can come at you quick and fast! Here we will look at the newest buzz word in LED lighting, COB or Chip On Board. We’ll go through the differences between the SMD, Surface Mounted Diode, and COB LED strip to see which one is right for you.

SMD Surface Mounted Diode

SMD LED lighting strips have been around for many years, they are tried and tested through time and have come on hugely in the last few years. Generally SMD LED strip are available in 30 LEDs per metre, 60 LEDs per metre, 120 LEDs per metre and 180 LEDs per metre. The higher the density of LEDs per metre, the less of the ‘dotting’ effect you can sometimes see. This can be compensated for by using an LED diffuser, which will blend the dotting with out reducing the light output. If the LED strip cannot directly be seen, only the light emitted,  an SMD LED strip will be ideal.

The newer generation of SMD LED strip lights have bulit in heat sinks, meaning you no longer have to worry about heat dissipation when fitting your new LED strip lights.

The range of SMD LED strip lights is vast, RGB (red, green, blue), RGBW (red, green, blue, white), CCT (adjustable white from warm to cool) and single colour, are all readily available.

24V RGB LED Light Strips Colour Variations

RGBW Lights in a garden

COB Chip On Board LED Strip Lights

The COB LED strip lights have gained a lot of traction recently. Professional installers and homeowners alike, are keen on achieving the ‘dotless’ effect when planning their LED lighting requirements. Chip On Board reffers to the method of manufacture used to create this specific type of LED strip. Rather that having traditional resistors mounted to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), this is all combined, hence the name chip on board. This means manufacturers can now produce LED strips with a much higher density of LEDs per metre than that of the SMD LED strips. Our white COB LED strips have 480 LEDs per metre, giving a completely dotless effect when looking directly at the LED strip. Our RGBW COB LED strips have 896 LEDs per metre.

COB LED strips are usually available in the same wattage per metre as their SMD counter parts. We offer our white COB LED strip at 10 watts per metre. This fits in nicely with our current range of LED strip on offer and can be used for task lighting or ambient lighting. As with all of our LED strip, the COB strip are all dimmable via PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). Our white COB LED strips can be dimmed both from the mains supply into the LED driver, and on the low voltage side after the LED driver. Our RGBW COB LED strips can only be dimmed on the low voltage side using one of our controls. This is because the control will dim the individual colours as required rather than the whole LED strip.

Pink Colours of Dotless LED Strips

COB LED Lights for a Dotless Appearance

LED Driver Calculator

By LED Lighthouse

Try our LED Driver calculator to work out the size of the LED power supply required for your LED installation.

More Resources

By LED Lighthouse

Below are a few useful guides to helping you choose the right LED lighting for you project. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

About LED Lighthouse

Specialist supplier of quality LED lighting

Established in 2011, we are dedicated to supplying quality LED lighting at an affordable price. We offer LED Lights and components from some of the best manufacturers including Integral, Samsung, Epistar, Meanwell and Ltech.
Due to customer demand, in recent years we've grown to specialise in LED Strip Lights and associated parts, developing many of our own products.