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LED light strips are by far the most convenient and efficient way to light your homes, offices, factories, and more. They are compact in size, flexible enough to fit tight spaces, and do not require as much energy as traditional sources of lighting. LED light strips leave a smaller carbon footprint because they do not emit heat the same way as traditional bulbs. They also do not emit any harmful gases or chemicals.
In short, LED light strips are the present and future of lighting. But how do you choose which LED strip is the right one for you? First, you can go and browse our LED light strip buying guide. Next, you can look at the characteristics of some popular LED light strips to see which one is right for your projects.
5050 and 3528 are probably the most popular LED light strips in the market right now. You can actually light your entire project using one or both of these strips. But how do you choose between them? The answer depends on a number of factors. Read on to see what these factors are and how you can use them to choose the best LED light strip for your lighting project.
This is the question that plagues most people who are just making the transition to LED lighting. What do the numbers mean? Are they a random set of numbers or do they represent a series? The answer is fairly simple. These numbers actually denote the size of the SMDs (surface mounted diodes) on the LED strip.
For example, 2835 LED strip is basically a strip that has LED chips with the dimensions 28mm × 35mm mounted on it. Here is an image of 2835 vs 5050 LED strip:
All LED light strips are recognized by similar 4-digit numbers that tell you the size of the LEDs mounted on them. This makes it easier for you to spot the LED that is suitable for your project or space.
So, this means the greater the number the brighter the LED light strip, right? Not necessarily. This brings us to the next question.
A bigger sized SMD does produce more light than a smaller one. However, when judging the luminosity of an LED strip there are other factors in play as well. For example, LED strip density. This denotes the number of SMDs on a single strip. This means that a 2835 LED strip with a higher LED density may produce the same amount of light as a 5050 LED strip with lower density.
Another factor that affects luminosity is SMD placement on LED strips. If SMDs are placed closer together, the strip will produce more concentrated light. If they are placed far apart, the light will be diffused. So, a 2216 LEd light strip with SMDs placed closer together will look brighter than a 3014 LED light strip with SMDs placed at greater intervals.
Finally, the length of the strip itself also affects luminosity. A shorter strip might not be able to hold many SMDs, especially larger sized ones. This will make it less luminous than a longer strip, even if it is mounted by smaller SMDs.
This does make buying the right LED light strip a little less straightforward. However, professional LED manufacturers have this information readily available on their websites, so it is easier for you to make an educated buying decision.
3528 is one of the most famous LED light strips out there. That is because it offers just the right luminosity to be used in a number of different kinds of projects. As discussed above, this light strip has 35mm × 28mm SMDs mounted on it. These SMDs can produce 360 to 720 lumens of light per meter of the light strip, depending on the LED density.
This makes these strips very versatile. The lower density 3528 strips can be used for feature lighting like plinth and coving lights in homes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and other locations. Higher density 3528 strips can be used in places where you require a large amount of ambient light like offices, schools, factories, and more.
A great advantage of 3528 is that even though it packs quite a punch, the actual size of the LED strip is really compact. This means the strip can be used to light tight spaces easily and you can use a greater number of strips without worrying about it taking too much space. This strip is also available in a number of colors. Our 3528 LED light strip is fully dimmable as well and you can buy higher density strips to make sure you get the right amount of light for your space.
Another advantage of the smaller size of 3528 LED light strips is that they do not give off a lot of heat and are even safe to touch. This also means you do not need a separate aluminum extrusion to help with the heat sink of the strip. You can see in the image below how we offer double-row 3528 LED light strips.
On to the other most popular LED light strip, the 5050 is one of the first LED strips to house larger SMDs that are actually ‘tri-chips’. This means that each SMD house three separate chips. 5050 can, therefore, produce three different colors of light simultaneously.
Each SMD is 50mm × 50mm in size and it can produce three times the light produces by smaller SMDs like the 3528. This light strip can produce up to a 1000 lumens per meter of light. This makes it perfect for lighting larger spaces like airports, hospitals, warehouses, factories, and more.
5050 LED light strip is thicker and wider than most LED strips. This is because it has to house larger SMDs. This size is great for covering larger areas easily. These LED strips usually produce a little more heat than smaller strips. This is why it is recommended that you use aluminum extrusions to protect the strips and aid them in their heat sink.
5050 LED light strips truly shine in RGB applications. As one of the first strips that help you produce different colors of light with the same strip, 5050 is famously used to light events, stages, stadiums, and more. You can use LED strip controllers to change the color, color temperature, and brightness of these strips easily.
Let’s take a look at how these two strips compare with each other so you can choose the best one for your project.
|SMD Size||35mm × 28mm||50mm × 50mm|
|No. of Chips||Single Chip||Tri-Chip|
|Luminosity||360 to 720 Lumens (per meter)||1000 Lumens and Above (per meter)|
|Colors||Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, White, Warm White||Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, White, Warm White, RGB|
|Heat Dissipation||No Heat Sink Required||Heat Sink Required (Aluminium Profile Preferred)|
|Control||Fully Dimmable, CCT Control||Fully Dimmable, CCT Control, RGB Control|
|Beam Angle||120 Degrees||120 Degrees|
|Recommended Application||Feature Lighting, Task Lighting, High Ambient Lighting, Backlighting, Accent Lighting, Under Table/Cabinet Lighting||Task Lighting, RBG Lighting, High Ambient Lighting, Mood Lighting, Event Lighting, Indirect Lighting, Signage|
If you compare a 3528 LED strip with a 5050 LED strip of the same size and density, then the 5050 will produce three times more light than the 3528. However, the 5050 is larger in size and requires an external heat sink to work so you will need to factor that in your decision as well. Ultimately, the best LED light strip for your project will be the one that fits your space and budget.
LED light strips have made lighting your spaces easier and safer. Also, they are a much more efficient way of lighting your space that is also environment-friendly. The only thing left for you to do is to find the best LED light strip for your project. That is where we can help you. Browse our range of LED light products and choose the one that suits your needs. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, we’ll custom-make LED strips for you to match your exact specifications. We also provide the best one-window operation, order your LED light strips in bulk and light your entire project easily.