What Is a LED Chip and Why Does It Matter?

By shakir_williams

LED light bulbs led chip header

What is a LED Chip?

Did you know that millions of people are switching to LED lighting? And for good reason, because there are a ton of benefits to LED technology. If energy-efficiency doesn’t put a spark in you, perhaps saving a ton of money will! With all this talk about LED’s, I bet you’re wondering how exactly they work. Hopefully this blog finds you well! So, let’s get started!

T8 fluorescent tubeWhat Components Make Up an LED Light Bulb?

The most essential component of an LED light bulb is the chip. Think of a computer chip that holds all the data and knowledge of the computer. This is where all the action happens! If you didn’t know already, LED stands for light emitting diode. A diode is a two-way electronic component that emits light by allowing an electrical current to flow throughout the light bulb.

diode diagram

LED Chips are made up of semi-conductor layers that allow the protons and electrons to flow freely. Learn more about the electrical components of LED technology!

led chipWhy Do LED Chips Matter?

You can find these LED chips in every LED light fixture, from bulbs to tubes. Due to their fundamental components, LED chips play a huge role in determining light quality. They are manufactured with various brightness, voltage, and wavelengths. They are manufactured through a process called MOCVD or metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. During this process, semi-conductor layers are built to allow the electricity to flow.

If you want to learn more about LED technology, check out The Only LED Guide You Will Ever Need

led chip light fixture

What are the Different Types of LED Chips?

SMD (Surface Mounted Diode)

smd led chip

This kind of LED chip has a ceramic base and can be integrated in the following commercial applications: Linear LED Strips or Downlights

COB (Chip on Board)

cob led chip

This high-powered LED chip comes with a printed circuit board. This circuit board controls the thermal components of the bulb and makes sure it doesn’t overheat.  

MCOB (Multiple Chips on Board)

mcob led chip

These are multiple chips that are generally integrated in LED bulbs and LED tubes

MCCOB (Multiple Chips and Cups on Board)

mccob led chip

These are multiple chips held together with a cup that supports them. These chips are generally found in high bay fixtures and floodlights

shop led lighting button

If you like this blog you may also like: What Is a LED Driver and Why Do I Need It?

How Do LED Chips Work?

When an LED chip is connected to a source of power, an electrical current will run through the chip. When this happens, light (of a certain color) is emitted. Generally, the light that is emitted is a blue colored light with a wavelength of 450-460 nanometers (Using about 3 volts of power).

You may have learned in science class that white light is the combination of all the colors on the spectrum. Unfortunately, LED chip technology has not figured out how to directly produce white light. 

color spectrum

 

…So how do we turn this blue colored light into the bright white light that were used to

 

wavelengthWavelength

This process is done through something called LED phosphors. LED phosphors are chemical powders that converts the blue light into the bright white light that we are used to seeing every day. The process is known as phosphor down-conversion because it essentially converts a higher energy blue light into a lower energy wavelength. Check out Our Color Temperature Guide!

 

voltageVoltage

During the manufacturing process, an LED chip is given a voltage range. This range of power is what determines a bulb’s light output. This is why LED light bulbs offer various light outputs; they are in control of an LED light bulb’s electrical efficiency. 
 

 

brightnessBrightness

An LED chip is also in control of a light bulb’s light output, or brightness as well.  

 

 

 

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What Is a LED Chip and Why Does It Matter?