THE ADVANTAGES OF SMD LED
In the grand scheme of things, LEDs are still a relatively new technology. Having emerged on the market just a few years ago, it’s only natural that things like the construction and efficiency evolve and improve over time.
That’s exactly what has happened with the introduction of SMD LED.
They’re used in a wide range of applications including computer motherboards because they are so much simpler, and therefore quicker and easier to manufacture. But what exactly are they?
SMD stands for Surface Mounted Device. This is where an electrical component is mounted or placed straight onto the surface of a circuit board.
This differs massively from the previous technology, known as ‘through-hole’, where components were connected to the circuit board through wire leads.
This process has a number of advantages. The first is that the components can be a lot smaller, as there are fewer connecting wires. This leads to smaller, more compact products, with sizes as small as 0.4 x 0.2mm for a single component.
Smaller sizes and the need for less holes also means that they’re quicker and easier to make, with many placement machines capable of placing more than 136,000 components per hour.
For LEDs, this means that the diodes themselves are mounted directly onto the board – if you look closely you’ll be able to see them, a series of yellow coloured diodes that will then emit light when switched on. Think of them as a kind of 2nd generation LED light bulb.
The physical size of the bulbs are smaller because of the manufacturing process we discussed earlier, making them versatile and even better for retrofitting.
Crucially, SMD LEDs have a much larger beam angle than regular LEDs – typically 120o rather than 60o or 45o. The reason for this is that they don’t rely on an epoxy covering that focuses their light.
The resultant wider beam angle that SMD LEDs produce is less directional, making it better for a variety of uses, including spotlighting, floodlighting and general illumination.
You’ll also be glad to know that SMD LEDs are even more energy efficient and long lasting than normal LED bulbs. Take our Dimmable 4W GU10 LED and our 3.3W 80 SMD GU10 LED for example.
Our 4W standard GU10 uses 4W of power and shines with 315 lumens, whereas our 3.3W 80 SMD LED uses just 3.3W and generates 400 lumens of light – making it less power hungry and better in terms of performance too.
Generally speaking, SMD LEDs use approximately 20% less energy than standard LEDs to achieve the same brightness.
This affects lifespan too. Our standard LEDs usually last up to 30,000 hours. While this is impressive anyway, our SMD LEDs have an estimated lifespan of up to 50,000 hours – giving you even more savings in maintenance costs.
There’s no big secret about SMD LED – they’re just LED mark II if you will, doing everything standard LEDs do, but just a little better.