What is the Best SMD Chip?

16 Nov.,2022


rgb smd led

In this 3 part series we will discuss what makes a great luminaire.


There are various 2 kinds of LED chips, COB and SMD used. In this post, we will discuss the different kind of LED (light emitting diode) SMD (surface mount diode) for your needs.


If you look at the SMD chips you will notice there are different numbers on them. These indicate the size of the LED chip. The following will explain the benefits and usage for these 2 most popular types of chip.



The 3.5mm x 2.8mm chip is one of the most popular, due to its cost effectiveness and the fact that it doesn’t give off much heat. Although these are great benefits, it is not as bright as other chips unless used on a 600 reel, then they can be brighter than a 5050 strip.

You should use these lights for under tables, cabinets, colour splashing walls, TV back-lighting and accent lighting.



5.0mm x 5.0mm are known as having ‘tri-chips’ simply meaning that they have 3 LED diodes in one housing. They are much brighter than 3528 LED unless as previously mentioned, they are on more than a 600 reel.


Due to 5050 LED chips being generally brighter than 3528 chips, they are often used for lighting certain areas that require a greater output of light. However, since they are bigger they have limitations, such as not as many being able to fit onto a PCB which can lead to lighting restraints. These are emit more heat than 3528 led chips, however it is still considerably lower than other lighting solutions.

Although they produce more heat than smaller chips, it is still drastically lower than other lighting options. These types of LEDs require a thicker PCB to draw the heat away from the chips.

Another benefit of 5050 led chips is that they can create millions of colour variations. This is due to being able to insert 3 kinds different chips inside the same housing. Therefore 5050 LED chips are better for RGB and 3528 as used better for the single colour applications.  


These are best used  for general lighting applications including corridor lighting, restaurants, hotels and replacement of fluorescent tube lighting.



Now that LED lighting is evolving at a rapid pace, newer chips are coming on the market which are even more efficient.



A newer led chip on the market named the 2835 led chip and is seen as even more efficient than 5050 led chip for 20% more light with using less wattage. It also has the benefit of not getting as hot because it is smaller.

The best way of checking the same chips by different companies is to look at how many LEDs are on the strip. 3020 and 3014 SMD LEDs are another smaller and more efficient LED chip and many are able to fit on an LED strip.



5630 LED chip have also increased recently become more popular for LED strips. However, there is caution due the amount of heat they can generate as it can reduce the brightness quickly and shorten its lifespan. It is advised to install an aluminium extrusion with a heatsink or alternatively a thicker wider PCB.


Which brand is the best?

Cree if often considered one of the best as well as Epistar is believed to be one of the best quality and emits the most light out of all the brands on the market. Cheaper alternatives can be less reliable and bright often with colour inconsistencies Nichia although others may be cheaper they might be of lower quality.


Overall, the best SMD chip really does depend on your needs as long as your requirements are met. It is advised that reputable branded SMD chips can be the most reliable.


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