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COB LED vs. SMD LED: Which One Shines Brighter?

MItchell Elworthy

You love your LED lights, as they have long lifespans and are more efficient than your old-school fluorescent bulbs. Plus, these bulbs are safer and feature lower maintenance costs.

However, not all LED lights are alike.

The reality is, there are two kinds of LED downlights: the chip on board, or COB, LED and the surface mount diode, or SMD, LED.

Both of these downlight options generate light that is quality. And you can expect both to last a long time and remain highly efficient. However, they also offer unique advantages.

Here's a glimpse at what makes the COB LED and SMD LED different, and which one may work best for your home or business.

Let's get started!


A COB LED light features one mounted LED chip. Because all of the light's LEDs are concentrated in a single area, more cooling capacity is needed.

For this reason, you'll see a big heat sink in the area to dispel the heat. This heat sink is typically made from aluminium.

The large size of the heat sink may cause the COB LED to cost a little more than an SMD LED does.


Although a COB LED is efficient, an SMD LED has an even greater level of efficiency. That's because more lumens are produced per watt.

In other words, you'll receive more light with less wattage.

An SMD LED also produces a broader light beam, which means the light doesn't need as large of a heat sink as a COB LED does. As a result, SMD LEDs may cost less. Also, these lights feature frosted reflectors on them, which enable an even spreading of the light and hide the chip array inside the bulbs.

Why Choose the COB LED?

As a general rule of thumb, COB LED lights are higher-quality light sources. That's because they use reflectors to provide focused and controlled light. In addition, they don't feature the frosted lenses that come with SMD LED lights.

The result? You can expect cleaner and crisp light. This makes COB LED lights especially helpful in high-ceiling rooms.

COB LED's are known as a higher-end LED which gives off more of an architectural look, if you intend on living with your LED downlights long term then look to a COB, if you are installing in an investment property then SMD will do the job. 

Why Choose the SMD LED?

Meanwhile, as mentioned earlier, SMD LED lights are a great option if you're interested in having your light flood over a large area. For instance, you could use them in bathrooms, kitchens or bedrooms. However, these lights do come with greater glare compared with their COB LED counterparts.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of top-tier LED light options, ranging from emergency lights to spike lights and even floodlights and dimmers.

We take pride in providing lights that will help you to decrease your carbon footprint by using 80% less power. In addition, these our lights lifespans are 10 times that of their older counterparts.

Get in touch with us today learn more about our COB LED and SMD LED light options, and start experiencing their unique benefits for yourself this year.

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