The Drawback of SMD LED Grow Lights
As advanced as SMD (Surface Mounted Diode) LED technology is compared to older DIP (Dual In-Line Package), the packaging style of SMD still has a few notable flaws. For one, SMD lacks efficient use of space, which is evident by the visible gaps between each chip. Another drawback of SMD is the less-than-ideal heat dissipating features. Fortunately, the latest LED grow light packaging style of COB LED lighting addresses both of these limitations.
Advantage of COB LED Grow Lights
So what is exactly is Chip-on-Board technology? The most notable design advantage of COB packaging is its ability to accommodate nine or more LED diodes on a single chip. LED diodes are bonded directly onto a ceramic, aluminum, or copper substrate to form an array on a single module. When a COB LED grow light is turned on, these diodes emit a controlled light beam with no visible individual light points. Because these lights can pack more chips into the light-emitting area, COB LED lighting maximizes the lumen output per inch and provides a denser array of light vs. other lighting options.
COB LED technology is actually quite simplistic. To operate, COB relies on just one circuit with two contacts – regardless of the number of diodes (single circuit design). This means that there are fewer components per LED needed to operate properly. The elimination of the standard LED chip structure packaging (and having fewer components) diminishes the heat generation from each LED chip. In addition, the ceramic/aluminum/copper substrate acts as a heat transfer (when combined with an external heat sink), further improving heat dissipation and increasing its overall efficiency while also lowering its chances of failure. Since each chip is mounted directly onto the substrate (and spot soldering of the individual LED isn’t required), less welding in the manufacture of COB lighting can also translate into lower failure rates.
Disadvantages of COB LED Grow Lights
A major disadvantage in the COB LED packaging is the lack of color-changing features. Additionally, poorly packaged COB lighting can be susceptible to cramming issues, where too many diodes are placed into the same substrate. Overcrowding the substrate could lead to overheating issues and result in a shorter lifespan, emitting fewer lumens, and having a lower overall efficiency. If the light is well-constructed, these issues may be non-existent. As COB technology advances, we can expect there to be improved functionality to most of the lighting on the market. For now, the COB LED grow lights of today certainly offer a compelling alternative to standard grow light technologies.