What is a Surface Light Emitting Diode?

27 May 2020

When you buy LED bulbs, you will encounter two types of light emitting diodes. One is a conventional LED, and the other is a more advanced LED, called SMD or "surface mount diode". 

"Diode" is a semiconductor device with two terminals, and usually only allows current to flow in one direction. A surface-mounted diode is a type of emitted light, which is mounted and soldered flat on the circuit board. In this respect, it is completely different from standard LEDs, which rely on wires to hold them in place.

Light Emitting Diode

Compared with similar products of "through hole", SMD has many advantages, including reducing the size, improving the beam angle and reducing the cost. For ordinary LEDs, you will find that they also come with many additional accessories, including the above-mentioned wires and additional optical light diffusers. When using SMD, most of this extra material is superfluous, leaving only the part where the LED emits light.

SMDs used for lighting are usually available in two sizes, 3.5mm x 2.8mm (3528) and 5mm x 5mm (5050), but some of them have a minimum size of less than one millimeter. In the lighting environment, this means that the size of the LED bulb can be smaller, but its power and luminosity can be increased.

Light Emitting Diode

The beam angle can be improved without a light diffuser. Ordinary LEDs are limited to a fairly narrow beam angle because the epoxy resin shell can be used as a focusing lens. In contrast, the light emitted by SMD is very diffuse, which makes it suitable for applications requiring a wide beam angle, such as ambient lighting and rooms with low ceilings.

Compared with the traditional but labor-intensive manufacturing process required by through-hole LEDs, SMD can be assembled very quickly and inexpensively, and some machines can place hundreds of thousands of components per hour. This makes the final product cheaper, while still retaining the manufacturing quality and reliability that people expect from traditional LED similar products.

SMD is widely used in light emitting diode products, including GU10 LED bulbs, LED floodlights and LED strip lights, which will provide you with bright, cost-effective and durable lighting in exactly the same way as traditional LEDs. 

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