LED Chips Explained - differences between 3528s, 5050s and other SMDs 1

What does the number of an LED chip mean?

LED chips (also known as surface mounted diodes or SMDs) are all identified by a four-digit number. This code is less complicated than it looks – it simply indicates the size of the LED chip. For example, the dimensions of SMDs on 5050 LED strip lights are 5.0mm x 5.0mm.

Which is the best LED chip?

LEDs like 3528s, 5050s, 2835s and 5630s aren’t really different types of chip at all – they’re simply different sizes. Each has its own spec: different power requirements and output brightness. The best choice depends on what’s right for your project.

You can find out more about each LED chip below.

The 3528 LED chip explained

Measuring 3.5mm x 2.8mm, the 3528 SMD is a smaller chip than the 5050 LED strip SMD. You will most often find 3528 chips on 12-volt LED strips, drawing 4.8 watts (also known as 4.8w p/m or 5w p/m LED tape) with 60 SMDs per metre.

These strip lights output around 330-360 lumens per metre, depending on colour (equivalent to a 40w halogen) – enough to produce a smooth, bright effect when shining onto any surface.

5-watt 3528 LED chip5-watt 3528 LED chip
InStyle offer red, green, blue, amber, and both warm and cool white 3528 SMDs as standard colours. (We can also supply other white colour temperatures, made to order.)

3528 60 SMD p/m LED strip lights are typically used for feature lighting – such as plinth or coving lights, in homes, bars, restaurants, hotels and other locations.

Though less common than standard 60 SMDs p/m LED tape, 3528 SMDs are also used on LED strip lights with 120 chips per metre. Pulling 9.6 watts (known as 9.6w p/m or 10w p/m LED tape), these tapes are available in the same range of colours. Light output is exactly double that of 60 SMDs p/m tape – they have twice as many LEDs – so that’s around 660-720 lumens per metre, depending on colour.

3528 120 SMD p/m LED strips are used for the same kind of feature-lighting applications as its standard alternative. We recommend them for locations with strong ambient light, where more brightness is needed than the 4.8w p/m can produce.

The cut points for our 60 SMD-per-metre 3528 LED strips are 50mm apart. The 120 SMD p/m strips have cut points at 25mm intervals. Both types are also available in waterproofed versions (IP67-rated).

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