What Is a COB LED Light? The FAQs About Chip on Board LEDs

September 14, 2022 5 min read

What Is a COB LED Light? The FAQs About Chip on Board LEDs

LED (light-emitting diode) technology continues to move forward and reinvent itself into more efficient forms. With that, many lighting devices nowadays use COB (chip on board) LED to produce wider and stronger light.

But what exactly is a COB LED?

COB LED lights are made of multiple bare LED chips attached together and directly connected to a substrate such as sapphire, ceramic, aluminum, or silicon carbide. COB LED produces light of high intensity while taking up a smaller space. 

Although it’s relatively new in the market, the use of COB LED became widespread, especially with battery-operated lighting devices.

However, is it truly worth it to go for a COB LED light?

If you have the same question, then you’re on the right page as we explore the use, advantages, disadvantages, and other details about COB LED light.

So, let’s dive right in.   

What Does COB in LED Lights Mean?

COB in LED stands for chip on board. Its name pretty much suggests what it is. COB LED lights are comprised of many tiny LED chips that have direct contact with the substrate.

With COB LED, there are usually 9 or more diodes on a single board or module.

The chips appear to form a single module instead of looking scattered on the circuit. This is due to the close-knit mounting strategy employed on the substrate. As a result, it produces a high-power array of white light similar to a standard lighting panel.

COB chips contain two contacts and a single circuit. It’s a uniform design regardless of the number of diodes. Expertly regarded as a simple yet powerful LED light.

Likewise, due to the same design, COB LED lights are not capable of changing colors. Hence, if you’re more on color-changing lights or lamps, you may have to look for another type of LED.

Nonetheless, COB LED is great for single-color light applications requiring constant light output, such as film and photography.

 

image of two chip on board or COBB LEDs super close up

 

Why Are COB LEDs Yellow?

COB LED lights appear to be yellow because of the color of phosphor.

Phosphor is used to convert the blue light produced by the diodes into a spectrum of colors that comprise visible or white light. It is coated on top of the diode. That’s why it’s physically visible when you examine a COB LED light.

Are COB LED Lights Better?

Yes, COB LED lights are better than standard bulbs. Moreover, it’s highly considered the best form of LED light in the market for single-color applications.  

COB LED lights have plenty of benefits for both residential, commercial, and outdoor lighting. It produces a bright, uniform light that remains consistent during the entire time of its usage.

However, there are also some disadvantages depending on the type of lighting you require.

If you want to know more about the pros and cons of COB LED lights, check out our list below.

Advantages of COB LED

  • Energy efficiency

LED lights are already energy efficient as they are. But COB LED took it a notch higher.

COB chips produce strong lights without spending too much energy. Hence, it pairs perfectly with battery-operated devices. Plus, using COB LED in electrically powered lighting fixtures also decreases your bill.

  • Compactness

An exciting feature of COB LED light is its size. One small chip produces intense white light, taking multiple bulbs for other lighting devices. 

Moreover, its simple design, which only comprises a single circuit with two connections allows more strategic placement of the critical components.

  • Low heat and larger cooling space

Generally, LED lights produce less heat which makes them easier to handle. 

However, with COB LED lights, there’s even less heat. It’s not simply because the diode quickly cools down, but a typical COB chip design has more cooling area given the simplicity of its design.

  • High lumens density

COB LED provides high-intensity lighting packed with lots of lumens. In addition, it produces a uniform bright white light similar to a floodlight.

Brightness is measured by lumens. If you want to know more about lumens, simply click here.

  • Excellent anti-vibration properties

LED lights are not prone to vibration, considering they produce light through diodes. On the other hand, traditional bulbs like incandescent lights will most likely vibrate due to the flow of electricity to the filament.

With COB LED, its anti-vibration is even more upgraded. Hence you can expect a more stable lighting device.

  • Low rate of failure

COB LED provides sufficient light with a guarantee of a low rate of failure. This means you can pretty much use the COB LED light without interruption or breakdowns.

Disadvantages of COB LED

  • Lacks color-switching option

Due to the simple design of the COB LED light, your option for multicolor light becomes limited. As a result, you can only use the light for single-color applications.

  •  Low repairability

Although COB LED is highly sturdy and durable, if by any chance one of its diodes sustains any mechanical damage, the entire chip won’t function anymore. Therefore, repairing the LED light will be trickier and can be more expensive.

  • Decreasing light efficiency based on the size

The small size of the chip was a huge advantage for COB LED as the smaller the chips, the more light it produces. 

With that, if you have a larger COB LED, there’s a high chance that it won’t be as efficient as its smaller counterparts.

Where Are COB LEDs Used?

COB LED lights have plenty of applications. It is used in many industries and areas where light is of utmost importance, like the following.

Mobile Task Light featuring a COBB LED by STKR Concepts

Residential and Commercial

Many homeowners and builders prefer COB LED light due to its string of benefits. LED lights are generally used in all rooms and areas of a typical house.

Hence, it’s not surprising seeing COB LED light used in the kitchen droplights, garage lighting panels, living room lights, and outdoor lamps. Likewise, using a COB LED portable light at home also becomes even more efficient.

For example, the Mobile Task Light produces an intense light that makes any task in an obscure room doable and highly visible.

On the other hand, COB LED lights are also popular in buildings like malls and other facilities.

FLEXIT Headlamp Pro featuring COB LEDs by STKR Concepts

Outdoors

Going hiking can be pretty challenging if you don’t carry around a reliable portable lighting device. And part of its reliability is the type of light source used in the device. 

This is why many manufacturers turn to the COB LED as it’s highly efficient and consistent with its illumination levels.

So, if you’re going camping or night hiking, go for a lighting device with COB LED like the Flexit Headlamp Pro 6.5. This nifty little headlamp is all the light source you need as it provides light at a wider angle than any traditional headlamp.

Media

COB LED lights have also become popular in media. As more people start their own vlogs or do live streams, the need for lighting increases.

Lighting is practically a great filter that makes you more radiant on camera. However, that’s only if you achieve proper lighting.

Fortunately, COB LED lights provide the said lighting level that makes you nothing less than pleasant on screen.

Summary

With how the market demands more COB LED lights, it’s clear as day that they truly are designed with innovation in mind.

COB LED lights are excellent lighting sources knowing they produce light with high intensity while remaining energy efficient. Moreover, COB LED lights have more enhanced features than any regular LED light.

Having said all of those, you can trust that lighting devices that use COB LED lights are highly reliable.

So, if you’re working on a garage project or heading out for a dark outdoor activity, don’t forget to bring along with your either the Mobile Task Light or the Flexit Headlamp Pro 6.5.

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