LED strip lights are convenient, compact, & flexible to fit into tight spaces and light up your ambiance. They don’t need a lot of energy, nor do they emit harmful chemicals or gases.
If you are looking for a popular LED type, you can select from SMD 5050 or SMD 2835. These two strip lights are very popular in the market.
However, they are different from each other. So, let us check out more about the difference between these two.
SMD LED: What is it?
SMD is an acronym for Surface Mount Device. It is a diode that emits light and is shaped like a small cube. SMDs can easily be SMD is attached to the PCB is a printed circuit board, SMD and PCB are part of the LED strip.
Surface Mount design allows the SMD to be placed atop a printed circuit. This helps make the strip light, compact & light in weight.
SMD LEDs are:
- Rectangular or square in shape
- Have a compact size
- Have short leads
- Highly efficient
- Pack in more lumens in a smaller dimension
- Customizable in terms of output power
To get more details about SMD LEDs, you can check out this article.
Decoding the LED Lamp Beads Codes: SMD 5050 vs SMD 2835
You might be wondering what these numbers mean in LED strip lights. It might seem a bit complicated, but it is very simple. For context, these SMD’s vertical length represents length while the Horizontal width represents width. The numbers represent the LED SMD’s size which is added to the strip. For example, SMD 5050 has an SMD dimension of 5.0mm X 5.0mm.
Similarly, SMD 2835 has a chip dimension of 2.8mm X 3.5mm. As is obvious from these SMD sizes, SMD 5050 is bigger than SMD 2835. In both cases, the first dimension represents the length while the second represents the width of the SMD.
LED strips with numbers 5050 and 2835 aren’t very different. It is only the size factor that sets them apart from one another.
Moreover, 5050 belongs to the first-gen surface mount design, while 2835 is from the 2nd gen. With 5050, you might see some color shifts or shadow, given the uneven spacing. However, 2835’s package design shows fewer fringe yellowing issues.
SMD 5050: What is it?
The SMD 5050 is used mostly with strip lights that have 60 LEDs/meter. These strips would be able to pull about 14.4 watts of energy at 12 or 24 volts. They are commonly termed as 15w p/m, or 14.4w p/m LED tapes. The output is about 990 to 1080 lumens/meter, depending on the color. You get an LED strip with a bright and smooth lighting effect on the surface.
If you have SMD 5050, it would mostly have 60 LEDs/m at 24 volts drawing 14.4 watts of energy. This SMD are commonly referred to as 15 w p/m or 14.4 w p/mStrip. The color you choose can decide the lumens, which typically range between 990 and 1080 lumens/meter.
Most 5050 SMD provides a smooth lighting effect with a bright tint. To learn more about lumens & other lighting facts, click here.
SMD 5050 is normally available in colors that include:
- Cool and warm whites (You can request other colors to be custom-made from a manufacturer of your choice)
- Green, red, blue, amber, & yellow (single-color)
- Color-changing variants that are either RGBW or RGB tend to use quad or tri chips (having 3 or 4 LED chips within one)
The SMD 5050 strip light is used for generic light purposes like corridor lighting, homes, restaurants, bars, hotels, & more. This SMD has a “tri” or “triple” chip design. It has three smaller chips within each SMD.
Each of the SMD 5050 white LEDs features three white chips within. These SMDs can be used in LED Strip with the color-changing feature. It houses green, red, & blue chips within each LED. You can link these RGB strip lights with a controller and mix up different shades of colors.
The RGBW light strip tape tends to function in a similar way. However, it uses a “quad” LED chip design with a white chip as an additional one.
Types of RGB 5050 SMD Strips
These LED strips are of two types:
- 30 LEDs/meter variant has a maximum of 500 lumens/meter output. It is perfect for lighting covings, hotels, plinths, restaurants, bars, etc.
- 60 LEDs/meter variant has a maximum of 1000 lumens/meter output. It is perfect for bright lighting such as restaurant back bars, bar frontage, home, or clubs.
You can get SMD 5050 strips of both these variants with an IP20/IP33/IP44/IP65/IP67/IP68 rating from your local manufacturer. To learn more about other waterproof ratings for LEDs, check out this blog.
SMD 2835: What is it?
SMD 2835 is the latest and most popular choice in the LED strip light market. With 2.8mm x 3.5 mm dimensions, this light strip variant is currently only available in white.
The 2835 LED variant is practically more efficient as compared to 5050 SMD. It produces about 20 percent more light while drawing less power. Each of the SMD 2835 LED strips pulls about 0.2 watts of power.
With SMD 2835, you can mount as many as 120 LEDs/meter. As they are smaller, they don’t heat up as much as SMD 5050 LEDs. The 2835 LED strip has a single 0.2W SMD. Yet, the final product only uses 0.1W, which is half the power.
An SMD 2835 in cool white color with 60 LEDs/m would give you about 1300 lumens/m drawing about 7.2watts/meter energy. Similarly, 2835 SMD of the same color with 120 LEDs would give you 2600 lumens/m drawing about 14.4watts/meter.
In comparison, the 5050 SMD with 60 LEDs would take up 14.4watts/meter energy while delivering 1080 lumens/meter. This is a higher energy consumption compared to the 2835, 60-LED variant.
Does SMD’s size in the LED matter?
Yes, the SMD size does matter when selecting the right LED for your lighting needs. The SMD size impacts the diode’s size that can be held within. This means a large diode would be brighter.
However, the same isn’t always true. In an SMD 5050, you get a brighter output with more power consumption.
Alternatively, the SMD 2835 is efficient and draws less power to produce the same brightness level.
SMD 2835 uses a diode that uses the space within the chip in a better way. It uses the complete surface within the chip. However, SMD 5050 has a circular diode. It leaves a lot of unused space, thereby limiting the brightness produced.
Another advantage of using SMD 2835 is its design for better heat dissipation. Automatically, the SMD would experience a long lifespan compared to SMD 5050. Here is an article explaining more about thermal management in White LEDs such as 2835 SMD.
However, if you are looking for color customization in your LED strip, SMD 5050 would be preferable. With 5050, you can go for RGB or RGBW color customizing. It is possible because the 5050s can combine 3 different chips inside its housing. They can produce more than 16 million combinations of colors. However, they do struggle when creating a bright white light.
If you plan on creating a white light space, opting for dedicated 2835 strips is ideal.
Does a big LED chip use up more electricity?
Technically, bigger & brighter LED chips use more power. However, the factors can vary depending on its design.
SMD 2835 with 0.2 watts power draw/chip would average about 720 to 1300 lumens. Alternatively, SMD 5050 with 0.24 watts power draw/chip would average about 1000 lumens.
The luminous flux of a single 2835 SMD 0.2 W is 22 to 28lm. But, the luminous flux of SMD 5050 of 0.18 W is 18 to 22lm. This describes its brightness in comparison to 5050.
Moreover, a single 2835 bare SMD of 0.2W and 60mA uses only half, which is 0.1W and 30mA. But, the 5050 single bare lamp bead of 0.2W and 60mA uses 0.15W and 50mA.
Single 2835SMD has a luminous flux from 22 to30lm, Single 5050SMD has a luminous flux from 21 to23lm.
For a meter length of the strip, SMD 5050 would draw higher power when compared to 2835. But, the SMD 2835 would often be brighter. Technically, 2835 has 4 powers that include 0.1W, 0.2W, 0.5W, and 1W. The 5050 SMD has only one, which is 0.2W power.
Are higher-density SMDs better than bigger SMDs?
Simply put, the density of an LED strip is the number of diodes arranged per meter. Apart from the size, you also need to consider the SMD’s density.
Standard LEDs tend to have about 30 LEDs per meter. However, there are strips that have 60, 120, & even more chips per meter. However, this isn’t possible with every type of SMD size.
For example, an SMD 5050 chip is 5mm x 5mm across. So, the SMD must not touch each other or be too crowded. There should be proper spacing between each SMD for proper wiring & heat dissipation.
Most SMD 5050 strips feature a maximum of 30 to 60 LED/meter. This is the maximum possible space available in the LED strips. The 5050 SMDs can achieve up to 120LED/m.
With smaller LED SMDs such as SMD 2835, one can comfortably fit about 120 LEDs/meter. So, you get access to a brighter strip that goes about 2600 lumens/meter. The 2835 SMD can achieve up to 240 LED/m.
The concept is about much more than brightness. A known benefit of using a high-density light strip is getting access to uniform lighting. With closely-packed LEDs, the light seems more uniform with a continuous light source.
This doesn’t mean one needs to purchase high-density LED strips for uniform lighting needs. The location where you attach your strip light can help you achieve a similar effect.
If the light can be diffused behind a surface to be illuminated, it can give you uniform lighting. You can place your light inside a coving or facing upwards to create a diffused/uniform effect.
As seen in this article, the obvious difference between SMD 5050 and SMD 2835 is the SMD’s size. Although other factors do matter, the size has a major impact. It can alter the power efficiency, brightness, & heat dissipation.
If you are seeking an efficient design, you can opt to shop for SMD 2835 strips. But, if you need a color customization choice, you can go for SMD 5050 strips. Bear in mind that a 2835 strip might be a tad expensive as compared to 5050.