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What is a LED?

LED is a Light Emitting Diode which uses lead semiconductor as its light source. Voltage is applied between the two lead semiconductors to emit light. LED’s have revolutionized the lighting sector because it is energy efficient, has long lifetime, and is environment friendly. Let us elaborate and compare the common types of LED technologies-COB LED and SMD LED.

What is COB and SMD LEDs?

COB is the short form of "Chip On Board". Manifold LED chips are packed together as a single lighting module and it looks like a panel when it lights up.

SMD LED chips, or "Surface Module Device" uses SMT technology or Surface Mount Technology to mount LED chips on a PCB board. This act like strip lights or light bulbs and is popular because of its versatility.


Though the architecture is quite similar which uses SMT technology as stated earlier, there are many differences between this two technologies.  The various LED types possess more or less same features. Regarding manufacturing, the process used to make SMD and COB LED is quite similar but the productivity of fluid dispensing, package and color separation is much higher in COB technology than SMD. The production cost for producing SMD is 15% whereas for COB it is 10%. The COB technology being new is much more cost effective.  The intensity of COB is twice that of SMD LED.

In terms of maintenance and heat generation, COB technology being a newer entrant in the market is much better than the SMD LED. COB is almost maintenance free but SMD requires some serious maintenance. The COB LED radiates less heat when compared to SMD technology. SMD LED is usually fixed on a base of PCB board which radiates more heat and is unable to dissipate the heat easily; making the junction temperature higher. COB LED’s on the other hand are fixed on aluminum base PCB which spreads the heat rapidly. 

Strong light affects the human eye, keeping that in mind COB LEDs have anti-glare technology and the light is not too stimulating to the eye. SMD LED is quite stimulating to the human eye and has some glare. Generally SMD emits light in a straight path and COB emits multi-directional light which is much more efficient when used as street lights, flood lights, compared to SMD LED’s. SMD LEDs are much more efficient in high beam lights though. As the production cost for manufacturing the COB LED is much lower than SMD LED, the market price is also cheaper for COB LED.

The Verdict

We get a lot of questions from people asking to declare the clear winner between COB and SMD LED. If you are looking for color-changeable interior or exterior lighting, we recommend you to go with SMD LED’s. If you are looking for maximum lumens per watt, we suggest you check out the available varieties in COB LED’s. The decision depends the users’ choice and requirements.

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