COB VS SMD: Which Led is Better & Brighter - gindestarled

COB VS SMD: Which Led is Better & Brighter

Application of COB vs SMD
Led lights are becoming the go-to light solution as more people embrace their versatility and efficiency. These Led lights are more efficient in terms of performance and consumption making them an attractive option.
They come in different types to facilitate and accommodate different needs. They vary in both features and application which is why they continue to evolve with the introduction of new products.
The two main Led types to keep in mind are COB led and SMD led. They are mostly featured in led products like led strips, led lights, and devices that use led. Keep on reading to learn more about these LEDs.

Table of Contents

What is a COB Led?

COB led
COB is also referred to as chip on board and is featured in different devices. It is the latest technology in the Led industry that is meant to fill in for the shortcomings of the SMD led.
This type of led uses 9 or more diodes that are fixed together to create a single light source. It is made to be very compact which means it will take up less space when used on devices.
They are made to provide even light that is multi-directional and can be used in different applications. COB led can be found in various devices including cameras, smartphones, spotlights, and floodlights.

COB Technology

COB Technology
The COB technology features the use of printed circuit boards and COB chips to create reliable devices that produce energy-efficient light. The PCB is found in the COB’s substrate which is made of either aluminum or ceramic.

The COB chips are carefully arranged on the PCB either in a parallel formation or in a specific series depending on the PCB.

The different materials used on the substrate help the LEDs work better. For instance, the ceramic material features a thermal conductive performance that ensures the LED lights work efficiently while maintaining the right temperature.

What is SMD Led?

SMD refers to surface-mounted device Led’s. This type is the most common in the market and caters to a lot of people. The led chip is fused to a printed circuit board (PCB) that is built on a flat rectangular-shaped object.

This is what is referred to as SMD. It is mainly found in filament lights, bulbs, and the notification light on phones. This type of led varies greatly given the fact that it can work with only two contacts.

It, however, can accommodate three diodes with each diode, there has to feature a cathode and anode on each end. It means that it will work with up to 6 contacts. The best thing about these diodes is that they can be in different colors.

Including primary colors like red, green, and blue will give you versatility when it comes to changing your light color. This will give you a great selection of colors that you can easily change by adjusting your output.

SMD Technology

SMD Led technology
SMD technology is also referred to as SMT ( surface mount technology). It came to replace the old technology that used wire leads during assembly. This technology is preferred because it is more efficient and mounting is done on small minute devices.

This enables the technology to fit in more electronics utilizing a very small space. This technology also facilitates the automated assembly of PCB and also the application of soldering.

People have been more inclined toward embracing this technology because it increases device reliability, performance, and leads to great cost savings. It has also affected the design aspects in the development of electronics and electric circuits.

The Difference: COB Led vs SMD Led

Difference between COB and SMD

Knowing the specific things that differentiate these two led technology is important. It will help you decide which option works best for you. The differences include:

Quality of Light Produced

Image demonstrating the quality of light produced
The application of these two technologies will result in a significant difference in the quality of light that is produced. This is mainly because they both feature different numbers of diodes used which affects the brightness and extent of the light.

When it comes to SMD, the light produced features a glare and is best used as a point light. This is mainly because the light is produced as a result of the attachment of multiple light sources.

On the other hand, COB will produce an even and glare-free light. It provides a uniform and easy to adjust light beam. This is mainly because it features a large angle beam that makes it a better light source. Given its features, it is best described as surface light.


Bulbs demonstrating light and energy efficiency

When it comes to production efficiency, these two led technologies work at different levels. This is mainly because they are made with different features.

For SMD, the efficiency is significantly lower which makes it a better choice when you’re not too concerned about this.

COB however features a higher production efficiency compared to SMD making it a great option for people with specific lighting performance requirements.

Cost of Manufacturing and Purchasing

Calculator showing the costs and dollar signs

How much it will cost you to get devices made using these different technologies will vary. They highly depend on the manufacturing cost which is different for both.

The manufacturing cost attached to SMD is higher compared to its counterpart. For instance, when it comes to comparing the labor and manufacturing process to the material cost, SMD is higher.

This is because, for SMD, the cost accounts for 15% of the material cost. On the other hand, for COB, labor and manufacturing cost accounts for 10% of the material cost. This goes to show that COB saves you about 5% on manufacturing.

Creation Process

It goes without saying but these LEDs go through a different creation process before they are released as a usable end product. For surface mounted devices (SMD), the chip features the use of insulating glue and conductive glue.

These glues are used to fix the chip onto the pad found in the lamp holder. It is then welded to provide a better and more secure hold. It then undergoes a performance test to ensure that it is in good working condition.

After the test, it is coated with epoxy resin to keep it safe and transported to another section for assembly to screens. COB features an led chip that is directly fixed to the PCB using the two types of glue used for SMD. After performance tests, the chip is then encapsulated in epoxy.

Color and Temperature Choices

different colors of light
When it comes to the color and color temperature, SMD is more flexible and gives a better array of options. Due to the different primary colors used in SMD, achieving a different color is made easier.

It also works when you want to change the color temperature. However, when it comes to the COB, the flexibility to change the colors, and their temperature is not made possible.

The COB led is made to stick to one light color and temperature. This is also contributed highly by the applications related to COB.


COB Led light under shelves
Knowing the best places to apply these types of LEDs is very important. This applies to those included in the lights. For SMD, with the ability to change colors and color temperature, the lights would better serve for signage and lighting business premises like clubs and retail shops.

COB on the other hand works great when applied in the security and industrial sectors. This is mainly due to the brightness and beam they provide.

Seeing something from a far distance with the help of this light is better. With the different applications, you’ll be in a better position to see what works best for you. These LEDs can also be used in many other industries if need be.

Which Led is Better and Brighter?

Image of the brightness of a light

Determining which led is better will require you to look at three determining factors. They include:

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency
Source: Unsplash

In general, when working with Led lights, you can be assured of great energy efficiency. This is why they are gaining popularity and becoming the most preferred sources of light compared to filament bulbs.

With this in mind, you can be sure that both types of led (SMD and COB) will be highly energy efficient. Something to remember is that they will differ depending on the lumens used. The higher the lumens the more the energy efficiency.


Source: Unsplash

Compared to other light sources, led lights are more cost-effective. They are made to last longer and use less energy compared to others.

You’ll have to make an initial investment that may be a bit higher but will be worth every coin. When it comes to manufacturing costs, SMD will take up more money compared to COB LEDs.


The level of brightness is highly dependent on the lumens produced by the chips involved. Generally led lights to illuminate with a brighter light compared to other light sources. This is because they provide a higher lumen.

When it comes to SMD led, a 50 to 100 lumen per watt measure is applied. This means that there’s less energy used even with a high level of the lumen.

COB on the other hand works with a higher lumen compared to that of SMD. The lowest measure that is applied is 80 lumen per watt. This gives COB powered lights brighter and better.


When it comes to led lights, there’s no doubt that they are superior to other light sources in terms of performance and energy efficiency. This is why embracing them is very important to ensure that you get the best out of your choices.

If you’ve found yourself figuring out what COB and SMD are all about, then we hope that this article has answered all your questions. These options are both a great investment and work the same to ensure that the lights are efficient.

When it comes to which one is better, that is a personal preference that is dependent on the application in mind. However, COB does stand out especially when it comes to its features and the amount of brightness it exudes.

Determining your desired light brightness and having a good idea of where you need it will help you choose better. Take your time and experiment with both if you need to.

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