More and more people choose LED as their home lighting decoration. From the side of efficiency, brightness, long-lasting, and heat reduction LED lights are overwhelmingly superior to the incandescent and even halogen bulbs. And the Advantage list of LEDs is going on and on. Additionally, the LED light strip is also affordable for both commercial and residential use. Decorating with LED is becoming a popular tendency, and buying LED strip lights seem relatively straight forward.
Back to the topic, you must heard there mainly three common types in today LED market: 3528,5050, and 2835. You may confuse what these digits stand for on earth? Here is a common explanation. These four digits in each code means the package type of the LED. An LED package is a plastic casting that carries an LED chip and phosphor. The first two digits in these codes is standing for the width of these packages and the last two digits mean the length of an LED package. Take 5050 as an example: a 5050 LED package has a width of 5.0mm and a length of 5.0mm. Since 5050 has a more lager package than 3528, it will have more surface to dissipate heat. But the rule is not always hard and fast. Some design has the same surface area, but due to the package material difference(e.g. PPA v Ceramic vs PCT), the application of each is different.
Compared 5050 with 3528. Generally, 3528 contain a single 20mA LED chip, but 5050 can include three 20mA LED chip. It is obvious that 5050 has three times of capacity than 3528. Due to the large capacity, the majority RGB LEDs that require multiple colors package may adopt 5050 as the package method. It is unreasonable to say that we prohibit use 3528 as RGB packages. We do find there are some 3528 RGB LEDs in the current market. You may find some issues after using it, like some shadowing or color shift due to the uneven spacing. While the 3528 can be used in RGB color applications, we concluded that 5050 LEDs is better for RGB and 3528 SMD LEDs in high density better for single color application.
Shop with 5050 SMD LEDs or 3528?
Which one is more suitable is not a hard and fast rule. You need to figure out where it will be installed and what you will be the lighting. SMD 3528 is fantastic for TV backlighting, color splashing walls, accent lighting for crown molding and pictures, under tables and cabinets, bars, etc. While SMD 5050 is great for multiple colors needs area or high levels of ambient light. There are two pictures demonstrating the appearance of two types of LED strips.
Examples of lighting with SMD 5050 light strip
Examples of lighting with SMD 3528 light strip