Black SMD LEDs VS White LED Screen: The Perfect Option For Your LED Display

LED display technology has evolved considerably in the past few years, and it’s easy to see how. There have been so many variations developed in the past few years that it is almost impossible for you to keep track. And, each innovation looks to essentially improve on the previous ones we’ve had, providing an environment where LED displays have truly come into their own. 

Today, you have two especially popular LED screen options and variations available – black SMD LEDs and the white LED screen. And, in more ways than one, these two variants get compared time and again. 

We decided to look into these options to explain the differing lines, as well as any points of convergence that can be noticed between them. 

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Black SMD LEDs VS White LED Screen: What Are These Screens & Why Should I Care?

What are SMD LEDs?

An Overview Of Black SMD LED

Surface-mount device (SMD) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a variant of LED technology that are designed to suit surface-mounting applications. You find most of them being used in displays and electronic devices, where they lend their compact sizes and operational versatility. 

With black SMD LEDs, you have a further classification of this technology that emits ultraviolet light, usually in the uVA or near-UV spectrum. With their dark epoxy resin packaging, these displays help to shut out visible light, while also optimizing performance in the emission of UV radiation. 

How Black SMD LED Technology Works

With SMD black LEDs, you have some of the following general working principles: 

  • Semiconductor Materials: Every black SMD LED works with semiconductor materials. In most cases, you have compounds like gallium nitride (GaN), which forms a major part of the internal LED chip. 
  • Electron-Hole Recombination: Following the application of a forward voltage, the LED’s electrons and holes are combined within the semiconductor, creating the required amount of energy for the display to operate. 
  • Ultraviolet Emission: As explained earlier, these LED variants also generate considerab;e amounts of ultraviolet light. The light itself usually varies between 365 and 405 nanometers (nm), although the particular wavelength will depend mostly on the type of semiconductor applied here. 
  • Blocking Visible Light: With a reliable black epoxy resin packaging, these LED variants essentially shut out visible light, making it possible for mostly UV light to pass though. Remember that the black SMD LEDs are used mostly in applications that require UV emission. So, you need to cut  out on visible light as much as possible here. 

Key Product Specifications 

If you hope to select a black SMD LED screen for your specific applications, then it is critical for you to consider some important product specifications to ensure that the screen you choose is perfectly aligned with your needs. 

Here are a few of those specs:

Wavelength (λ):

First, you have the wavelength. Mostly expressed in nanometers, this metric for black SMD LEDs usually ranges between 365 nm to 405 nm. And as you can imagine, the choice here will depend on your general application. 

Forward Voltage (VF):

This is the amount of voltage needed for the LED to work itself. Measured in volts, it is critical to ensure that you get a screen that operates within a specified range. As expected, the exact metric here will vary based on your LED model. 

Forward Current (IF):

Like the voltage, you also need a forward current, which is required for the screen to operate. The metric is mostly measured in milliamperes (mA), and you need to make sure that your screen operates within the applicable current range. 

Radiant Flux or Luminous Flux (Φv or Φe):

This parameter deals with the total amount of luminous energy that the LED screen gives off. It is a critical measure of the screen’s brightness and capacity. 

Viewing Angle (θ):

You use this metric to consider the angular light spread of the LED screen. Depending on the application, you can make changes to angle metrics where applicable – whether you want a narrow angle (such as 20°) or a wide one (such as 130°)

Operating Temperature Range (Topr):

SMD black LEDs usually come at specific temperature ranges, which allow them to operate. To ensure consistent performance, you want to keep this in mind and work with it. 

Lifetime (MTTF or L70):

This metric indicates the average amount of time needed for the LED screen to reach a specific level of degradation. In most cases, it is specified in hours or as a value of “L70,” which is the point at which the LED’s brightness has lost 70% of its initial value. 

Reverse Voltage (VR):

You want to know how much voltage the LED is able to handle without suffering any form of degradation. And this is what the reverse voltage essentially shows you. 

RoHS Compliance:

To ensure safe operation, you want your SMD black LEDs to be in compliance with Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations. These laws are put together to limit  the general use of specific dangerous materials in electronic products. 

White LED Screens: An Overview

A Look Into White LED Technology 

In many ways than one, a white LED screen kind of works as an antithesis to SMD black LEDs. These ones produce white light by combining different light color emissions, and they’ve become quite popular when working in different lighting applications. 

With optimal lighting efficiency and a long lifespan, white LED has become one of the most prominent forms of LED lighting technology out there. 

The Working Principles Of White LED Screens

Generally, an SMD white LED screen operates using two main methods: 

Phosphor Conversion (Phosphor-Converted White LEDs)

This is most likely the most prominent form of white LED screens. Here, you have screens that combine ultraviolet or blue light with a phosphor material to produce the white light needed. For this variant, you generally have the following steps: 

  • Blue or UV Emission: The LED chip gives off blue light after it is met with an electrical current. It is worth noting, however, that this emission usually has a shorter wavelength than what you get with visible light. 
  • Phosphor Coating: Next, a layer of phosphor material is integrated into the LED package or chip. The material takes in the blue light and emits it again at longer wavelengths, which can be seen in the visible spectrum. 
  • Color Mixing: When the emitted light and the blue light are combined, you get different colors. When viewed with the human eye, this combo only appears as white light. 
  • Color Tuning: You can also select the particular shade of white light produced by the LED and adjust it by changing the composition of the phosphor material. 
RGB Mixing (RGB White LEDs)

These LEDs make use of different LED chips – particularly, red, green,and blue – to produce white light thanks to the principle of additive color mixing. Each of the LED chips is controlled individually, allowing you to enjoy accuracy in intensity and temperature adjustments across the board. 

Here’s how they generally work: 

  • Light Emission: With the use of chips with the primary colors, you can combine those in the LED package. Each chi[p emits its specific color as soon as it is met with an electrical current. 
  • Color Mixing Control: By simply making adjustments to every colored chip, you will be able to mix them and produce a range of white light hues.
  • Color Rendering: We should also mention that RGD white LED screens offer impressive color rendering. This feature makes them perfect when you need to ensure precision in color representation – product displays, stage lighting, and much more.

Components Of White LED Screens 

With a white LED screen or video wall,  you have several critical components that allow it to work as it should and achieve the right visual displays. These components include the following: 

LED Modules

As you can imagine, these modules form the primary developmental components of the screens. Individual LEDs are arranged in a pattern, emitting different lights depending on the screen type. 

LED Panel

A combination of LED modules essentially forms a panel. And with each panel coming together, you get the foundation for the screen’s surface. You want to be especially careful here as a LED panel’s size generally affects the viewing area and screen dimensions. 

Control System

As you ensure full control over the content being shared on the screen, you want to make sure that you have the right control system generally. 

LED Drivers

The LED drivers control the electrical current that moves through the LEDs. Their job is to ensure that the LEDs operate at the right brightness levels, while also maintaining the optimal color accuracy.

Power Supply

As expected, every LED screen requires enough power supply to operate. You want to keep the maximum power rating for your screen in mind to avoid overloading.

Video Processor

Video processors generally help to optimize video content quality as much as possible. They help with tasks such as content upscaling, color correction, and input source management. 

Cooling System

As a LED screen operates, it generates considerable levels of heat. This is especially prominent in high-brightness and outdoor applications. As such, you require cooling systems to help distribute some of this heat and maintain an appropriate operating temperature. 

Front and Rear Service Access

As you hope to facilitate repairs and maintenance, you might need to get a LED that includes both front and rear access. This makes it much easier for technicians to work on any internal components that need repairs or tweaking. 

Remote Control and Monitoring

Finally, some LEDs also come with remote content monitoring and control features. Essentially, you will be able to make adjustments to content, settings, and more without having to actually be in front of the display. For outdoor or event displays, this can be advantageous.

Black SMD LEDs vs. White LED Screens: A Comparative Analysis

When it comes to lighting and displays, a warm white screen and a black SMD LED tend to serve totally different purposes. So, how do you know which to choose among the two of them? Here is a detailed comparison that can help you out: 

Purpose and Technology

To begin with, black SMD LEDs focus more on emitting UV light, making them useful for tasks such as fluorescent lighting and UV curing. They generate UV light through semiconductor materials, blocking visible light and making sure that only UV light is allowed to pass through.  

As for white LEDs, you have screens that use RGB LEDs to create color pixels through phosphor conversion or RGB mixing. For full visual displays, these screens are perfect. 

Emission Characteristics

As stated earlier, black SMD LEDs emit either UV or near-UV light – which the eye can’t see. White LEDs, on the other hand, emit visible light that can operate across different color spectrums. 

Color Contrast 

Black LED SMD screens usually come with contrast ratios of 10,000:1- compared to about 3,000:1 for white LED screens. As such, black LEDs have higher contrast with a more uniform screen background color.

Color Emission

For black SMD LEDs, you get light emission that is monochromatic and invisible. This light is capable of inducing fluorescence in UV-responsible materials. 

White LED screens, on the other hand, generate visible light thanks to a mixture of colors. In the case of full-color screens, you will see different color ranges being produced as some of the screens incorporate pixel blending. 

Power Consumption

LED SMD black screens typically consume around 350/m2 – compared to 410/m2 for white LED screens. 

Operational Lifespan

In terms of longevity, both options are also quite even. However, white LED screens will most likely come out on top as they generally operate for over 50,000 hours of extended use. Compare that to black SMD LEDs, which have lifespans that tend to vary based on the operating conditions. 

Overall Brightness

White LED screens also come out on top here, with brightness of about 2,000 nits – compared to about 1,500 nits in black SMD LEDs. 

Health and Safety

With their emission of UV light, black SMD LEDs aren’t necessarily ideal for the human eye. Prolonged exposure can also damage the skin, so you want to ensure proper safety precautions when working with them. 

As for white LED screens, you get visible light that is generally safe for human exposure. However, prolonged exposure to this light is also not recommended as it could cause considerable strain on the eyes. 


It’s understandable that you would want to save money on your screen option. And in most cases, white LED screens tend to be more affordable than black SMD LEDs. With that in mind, we recommend that you consider what you’re trying to achieve before making a choice based on price. The last thing you want is to compromise on display quality just because you’re looking to save money on your display option. 

Black SMD LEDs vs. White LED Screens: Applications & Common Usage Scenarios

Like we said, you get very distinct purposes when you consider a warm white screen and black LEDs. Let’s look into how the SMD white LED screen debate goes in terms of application:

Black SMD LEDs

  • UV Curing: Easily the most prominent application of these LEDs has to be for UV curing. Essentially, the LEDs give off UV light that can activate initiators in products like inks and adhesives. As such, the lights facilitate effective curing.
  • Fluorescence Detection: You also see black SMD LEDs being used for fluorescence detection purposes. Here, they give off samples containing fluorescent dyes, causing them to emit light that can be detected. 
  • Counterfeit Detection: For security and detection services, black SMD LEDs also work. They can detect counterfeits in products like ID cards, passports, and other documents. 
  • Scientific Instruments: Then, there is the use of these products in scientific tools like spectrometers and fluorometers, where they ensure accuracy in measurements and analytics. 

White LED Screens

  • Digital Signage: White LEDs mostly find application in everyday digital signage. Whether it’s for retail services, public spaces, or more, these LEDs help to provide proper visibility for information, ads, etc. 
  • Entertainment and Events: When converted to video walls, white LEDs can also optimize things like event promotion, venues, and more. Here,. They help to display feeds, dynamic visual content, etc. 
  • Outdoor Advertising: Since most of their work is done outdoors, white LED screens can also help in optimizing the use of billboards, outdoor ads, and more, where they deliver high-quality visuals to catch attention.
  • Architectural Lighting: Through proper integration, you can have these displays work in architectural lighting designs, where they illuminate buildings, public spaces, and specific architectural features. 
  • Medical Imaging and Simulations: In the medical and healthcare space, these LED screens also help to provide imaging for equipment, patient monitoring, and medical simulations.

Black SMD LEDs vs. White LED Screens: Product Benefits & Demerits

Considering that they serve distinct purposes, black SMD LEDs and white lED screens generally also offer several merits and demerits based on their functionalities. Let’s take a quick look at those:

Advantages of Black SMD LEDs

  • UV Emission: Thanks to their ability to emit UV light, these LEDs work perfectly in applications that require particular UV wavelengths. 
  • Energy Efficiency: They are also considered to be energy-efficient, thanks to their ability to convert a lot of electrical energy into direct UV light. 
  • Compact Size: You can get a black SMD LED in small sizes, making them perfect for incorporation into instruments and devices. 
  • Counterfeit Detection: These lights have been especially useful in detecting counterfeit products such as identification documents and more. 

Disadvantages of Black SMD LEDs

  • Health and Safety Concerns: We can’t stress this enough – protect yourself when working with black SMD LEDs. Remember that the light they emit is dangerous to both your eyes and your skin, so it is important that you protect yourself. 
  • Limited Visibility: You also won’t be able to see the light that these LEDs emit. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they don’t work. 
  • Specialized Use: Generally, the field of use that these LEDs provide is limited as it focuses only on UV-based processes.

Advantages of White LED Screens

  • Versatility: White LED screens don’t have an issue with displaying content in different formats. As such, they work for different purposes without any issues. 
  • Energy Efficiency: The screens are known to be very energy-efficient – especially when compared to traditional display options.
  • Brightness: High brightness levels mean that you can use these screens even in lit environments and outdoor spaces. 
  • Longevity: Rest assured that you can make use of these screens for long – just remember to maintain them well. 

Disadvantages of White LED Screens

  • Initial Cost: To be fair, the upfront cost of buying a white LED screen and having it installed can be considerable. 
  • Complex Maintenance: You can also find it challenging to maintain these screens over time, and you’d need considerable technical expertise to get this done.
  • Heat Generation: Like other options, white LED screens are prone to generating heat as they operate. This means that you also need to worry about implementing a cooling system as the screen operates.
  • Eye Strain: There are health concerns with the warm white screen as well since prolonged exposure to it can cause a strain to your eyes. To wit, focus more on implementing the right settings and ambient light conditions. 

All in all, an understanding of where both options shine and where they might need a little bit of work is key here. Depending on the application, you want to make sure that you choose a LED option that works for you and can offer the long-term benefits you seek.


All in all, black SMD LEDs and white LED screens are impressive innovations that have helped improve the field of adoption that LED technology has received. And, when making a choice, you want to focus mostly on your required application. 

Whatever you choose, rest assured that we at NSE LED Cloud can help you with getting the right option and optimizing your selection. Give us a call today and let us know what you need – whether a product or a further consultation.

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