Examining The Pros and Cons of COB LED Technology

blue led

The field of LED technology is one that consistently changes. There are so many technology options to be explored these days that users and developers are undoubtedly spoilt for choice. One of the most prominent of these is COB LED technology. 

COB LEDs have become among the most popular forms of LED technology out there. And as COB lighting has continued to grow in prominence, more people have been looking to understand what makes it so popular. This article breaks things down for you.

What Is A COB LED?

dark cob

Now, before we head into the topic of the COB LED lighting pros and cons, let’s first help you understand what this lighting option is. So, what is COB lighting?

Understanding COB LED Technology

The term “COB” is an acronym for “Chip on Board” technology. Here, you have a lighting technology that makes use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 

The difference here, however, is that the LEDs in COB LEDs are mounted directly onto a substrate material. This way, they form a singular module – or what we call the “chip.” As we know, traditional LEDs have their chips mounted and packaged separately. 

Many of the benefits of a COB LED strip light come from this singular characteristic. We’ll look into these benefits in a later section, of course.  

Components of COB LEDs

For a COB LED strip light or a COB grow light to work, several components will need to be combined in a singular place. Some of these major components include: 

The Primary LED Chip

There will be no way for you to have a COB LED light without those diodes that comprise them. Some people call them LED chips, however, so don’t be confused. For the LED COB light, these chips primarily shine light as soon as they come in contact with current.

The Substrate Material 

In an LED COB light, you take different LED chips and add them to this printed circuit board (PCB) material called the substrate. Then, the substrate fires them up with current, and the light is able to shine.

A Coating of Phosphor

If you want your COB light to be white, then you’ll most likely need a phosphor coating. Essentially, the coating will help to handle the conversion from blue to white light, so it is very critical. 

Individual Wire Bonds 

These are pretty much soldering connections that help to keep your chips perfectly grounded on the substrate. For that consistent flow of electricity, these bonds come in very handy.

Lens For Longevity 

A COB LED will most likely come with lenses that cover the LED chips. This will help protect the chips from things like dust and other forms of damage

Proper Heat Sink Features 

Some COB LEDs come with heat sinks to help improve their ability to take out any heat that builds up within the lighting’s operation. Essentially, the heat sink takes any built-up heat from the LED chips, so they don’t burn out.

Why Choose COB LEDs?

led cob

Now that we understand what COB LED technology is, let’s go into the real gist. Why should you actually choose to work with this lighting technology? 

The Density Of The Power Is Incredible

Easily the thing that stands out the most about COB LEDs is that they tend to provide incredible luminous intensity. 

This is mostly because you have the LED chips being packed closely on one substrate. With this arrangement, the lumen output per unit area becomes considerably higher, so COB LEDs are perfect when you need to concentrate powerful light.

They Manage Heat Well 

Every LED generates heat as it operates – it’s pretty much a given. With COB LEDs, however, you have a lighting technology that manages this heat well. Any generated heat can be expelled across the module, and the possible presence of heat sinks also improves thermal management a lot. 

This way, you can significantly improve the lifespan of your LED chips. 

Cut Down On Glare And Ensure Lighting Uniformity 

In most cases, you will find that COB LEDs offer much betterlight quality while reducing the amount of glare you get. They also ensure proper uniformity in lighting, with the closeness of the LED chips’ arrangement making it easy to achieve higher levels of consistency in distribution. 

They Can Maximize Space

COB LED light strips are known to be very compact in their build. This means that if you have issues with space management, you can make use of these lights and rest assured that they’ll be able to fit in pretty well. 

The Energy Efficiency Benefit

If there’s anything you can count on, it’s that COB LEDs will help you to improve energy efficiency levels by a great deal. Once again, this is a benefit that comes from the unique arrangement of the COB LED chips. If you need to save energy, this is a lighting technology that helps you do just that. 

You Have Different Color Temperatures 

Another benefit of these LEDs is that they give you different color temperatures to work with. You have your pick of the litter, from warm lights to those cool, white options. So, whatever lighting design preferences you have, these LEDs work very well with them. 

Control Where The Light Goes

In most cases, you’ll find that COB LEDs provide higher levels of directionality and beam control – especially compared to other LED configurations. This means that they are perfect where you need to properly control the direction of the light. 

Besides this, the presence of disability means that you can also adjust the intensity of the light itself. When you need different levels of light intensity, COB LEDs are perfectly positioned to help you out. 

They Don’t Work Alone

If you have existing lighting fixtures, you won’t have any issues integrating your COB LEDs into them. With their high power and compact size, these LEDs are perfect for applications where you need to achieve the right design aesthetics. 

You Can Use Them For Long

Well, it should come as no surprise that COB LEDs last very long. With the right level of thermal management and a design sequence that is built for efficiency, you can rest assured that the LED chips will last as long as possible.

The Cons of COB LED Technology

stair lights

There is no doubt that COB LEDs are incredibly versatile and useful. But, when you’re thinking, “What is a COB light?” you also need to keep an eye out for the possible drawbacks because they’re not all the way perfect. 

Here are a few of those demerits you might want to consider:

They Can Be Quite Pricey

Considering the benefits that they bring, it should come as no surprise that you’ll need to pay more money for COB LEDs than the traditional LED options. From the manufacturing to the packaging and more, these LEDs come at a higher markup

The Size Limitations Remain

So when talking about the benefits of a COB LED light beam, we pointed out that they are compact. And to be fair, this is a major advantage. But, there’s a bit of a downside to that. 

In some instances, you might find that COB LEDs might be inadequate. When you need small form factors, then they might not be so ideal. Instead, other LED technology configurations will most likely be better. 

Some Designs Don’t Have The Beam Control

Everyone wants to be able to control the strength and direction of their light beams. But, COB LEDs might not necessarily offer this functionality. In most cases, you would need to get specialized optics and additional components that will make your LEDs more controllable. They are available, but they come at an extra cost – so prepare for that.

Issues With Color Consistency 

Generally, LED operators try their best to make sure that they achieve a consistent show of color across their lighting systems. With a COB LED light array, this is sadly a bit challenging. These lights – especially the ones with lower quality levels – can have differences in both color temperature and rendering. As a result, you want to be especially careful with them. 

Making Them Isn’t The Easiest

In general, the process of making a COB LED light comes with different steps. These lights are very delicate, and that means that you will need to be very careful to ensure that they stand properly. 

Considering the difficulty in making the lights, you can kind of understand why they might come at a pretty upscale price. 

Design Flexibility Is Greatly Impacted

We’ve already pointed out the fact that COB LEDs come with different design advantages. But, because of how the LEDs themselves have been arranged, you might not be able to achieve some design possibilities with them. Plus, the form factor for these LEDs is also a bit rough. 

If you’re looking for a customized lighting build that doesn’t follow the conventional standard, for instance, these LEDs might not be for you.  

Always Watch Out For Overheating

To be fair, COB LEDs do pretty well with removing heat from their internal components. Still, you have to be careful here. If you place the LEDs in a hot and humid environment, you need to be doubly careful to make sure that the heat buildup doesn’t get too excessive. 

Just make sure you’re covered across the board. That’s it. 

Where COB LEDs Work Best

yellow cob

Today, COB LEDs have become among the most popular LED configurations available. They work for different functions, all across several industries. If you have some of the following needs or uses, then the COB LED just might be what you need:

Everyday Lighting Options 

Whether it’s a commercial setting, your home, or an industrial location, COB LEDs can provide adequate lighting to help with proper illumination. You can also integrate them into downlights, bulbs, track lights, and other illumination fixtures. 

Specialized Lighting Fixtures For Locations

If you need a spotlight or a floodlight that will help your project or location, COB LED lighting is a pretty solid option. With their concentrated output, these lights serve.

Lighting Options For Automobiles 

For vehicles, trains, and other transportation materials, COB LEDs can help to provide proper lighting. You can use them for tail lights, headlights, and even in the cabins themselves thanks to their brightness and compact nature. 

Displaying Goods In Retail Stores

Much of today’s retail climate relies on the ability of sellers to showcase what they have. With COB lighting, you will be able to take advantage of optimal color rendering to make your products pop. Plus, with the focused illumination benefit, you will be able to highlight your goods too. 

Lighting For Entertainment Purposes

For those who need lights to handle entertainment events such as stage plays and live performances, there is a lot that COB LED lighting can do. Take advantage of their impressive brightness and ability to ensure focus, and you will be able to enjoy a great deal from them. 

Something to Help Plants Grow 

You can also take advantage of COB grow lights and incorporate them into your horticulture lighting systems. This way, you simply find the right spectrum of light that helps your plants grow and let the COB lighting take it from there. 

Applications In The Medical Space 

Lighting equipment in the medical and dental spaces can also use a lot of COB LEDs. From surgical to examination lights and much more, these lights are very diverse.  

Making Emergency Situations Bearable 

In emergency lighting systems, COB LEDs provide a considerable benefit. They are energy-efficient, and they last very long. So, as they illuminate the way and help people in emergencies, you can count on them to be reliable. 

Custom Lighting Applications

Finally, we should also note that these LED COB light options are also ideal for some customized applications. Their flexibility is impressive, and their compact size means you won’t need to do so much work to incorporate them into your setup.

Conclusion

LEDs are currently the standard in lighting. And at the moment, COB LEDs are among the most intriguing of all.  They are very reliable and effective, and since they last so long, you can rest assured that they will give you a pretty big bang for your buck.

If you’d like to learn more about these lights, feel free to speak to our professionals at NSE LED Cloud.

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