What is the difference between SMD LED and LED?

The invention of LED dates back sometime in the 1960s but their use remained limited until a reasonably long time because of their expensiveness. With the passage of time these light emitting diodes also known as LEDs were well worked out for their cost-effectiveness and their production cost was rationally brought down to a level where it could be affordable for end users. This was the time when conventional visual screens also started to be manufactured with the combination of LEDs instead of LCDs and these screens became popular with their short name LEDs. Introduction of this innovative technology brought compactness and a remarkable reduction in display size with more clarity and much-improved picture quality.


Technological advancement of LED display introduced it with a new arrangement where the combination of various colors of LEDs was mounted on a single device thus making it more compressed in size, cool quality of the display, ultra light in weight and adding elegance into the optical presentation. These devices are known as Surface Mount Devices or in short SMDs.(1) With the introduction of SMDs in the market, it was made possible to miniaturize the big displays by placing three different colored LEDs (RBG – Red, Blue, and Green) on one mount with the provision of the smaller pitch. Actually, it is the pitch or distance among the pixels which defines the resolution and quality of the picture or video. SMDs brought a revolutionary change in imagery science and made it easy to project any size of the image from small SMDs to large digital billboards.

What is a SMD LED?

An SMD is a technologically advanced form or aesthetical combination of LEDs mounted on a single device which is nowadays available in every electronic market of the world. SMD has largely replaced all classic forms of visual displays like conventional devices, LCDs, and LEDs due to its elegance, compactness, comfort, and user-friendliness. SMD is trending in the present era and has probably emerged as one of the biggest inventions of the millennium. A SMD LED started off in form of a simple lighting fixture which is installed directly on the amount of a single electronic device similar to the motherboard or printed circuit board (PCB) with the setting of extremely low heat emission with greater effects of light.(2)The most common uses of SMD LEDs include indication lights in computing devices, smartphones, laptops, etc. An SMD LED is the only solution where the space to place a larger light is not available but the provision of light is unavoidably essential. Precisely these SMD LEDs are used in some remote devices, mouse and keyboard blink, circuit boards, Digital or touch optical panels in household electronics, ATM displays, and many other devices where they serve their purpose at the best. SMD LEDs have many advantages over conventional lighting and simple LEDs. They are much more energy efficient and economically affordable. SMDs emit a very negligible amount of heat while providing an extremely high quality of light. SMD LEDs are very easy and convenient; no special tools or expertise are required to perform such tasks. (3)Once installed, an SMD rarely goes out of order; therefore, they are long-lasting and durable than conventional LED lights. Ongoing researches and studies by various stakeholders and especially by the SMD LED manufacturers will bring their newest usages in future optical devices. SMD LEDs are going to be more compact, lightweight, sophisticated and elegant with every passing day of their development and advancement.


Regular LED

Regular or conventional LEDs are predecessors of SMD LEDs, these are bigger in size as compared with SMD LEDs, heavier in weight due to their numbers and bit complex in maintenance. Yet the era of regular LEDs is not over and they are being used in many applications of daily life.(4) There is no comparison of SMD LED with a regular LED, however, while comparing traditional HIDs or other lighting sources, regular LED also has an edge over those technologies. Regular LEDs are also energy efficient and user-friendly and are extensively usable in those areas where power fluctuation is common Major uses of regular LEDs include lighting products which are solar powered and installed in far away rural areas of developing countries. Conventional LEDs have also proven their mettle in various multistoried projects, entrances, and exits by replacing traditional HIDs and fluorescent bulbs thus saving a huge amount on account of electricity bills. LEDs are an indeed smart choice for large businesses to save a lot of investment in terms of installation, maintenance, replacement, energy consumption, temperature management and many other spheres of day to day routine. In towns and cities, LED displays are a classic example of the use of regular LEDs. These large displays are evidently visible at roadsides, squares, outside shopping malls, transport terminals, and street sides and they have totally replaced classic styles of advertisement like billboards, hoardings, and banners, etc. Compactness and sophistication of such things have not only brought the concept of neat and clean urbanization but also have added colors to daily life. Due to the adoption of low voltage DC Power supply, regular LEDs are very safe to use with minimum safety hazards than any other type of such appliance. Regular LED has made the image very soft and vision-friendly by creating very soft FPC baseboards. With many other benefits, regular LED started exposing human eyes to new horizons of the illumination technologies.

Benefits of SMD LED

As regular LED brought a storm in the world of technology, one step ahead when it was transformed into a more efficient, effective and worldwide acceptable form known as SMD; brought more comfort and luxury to the human life. As a bigger picture, when regular LED was advanced to SMD LED; it was a great success and a big step towards excellence.  It evolved with the time, yet it brought many revolutionary changes in light-emitting technology making it safer, easier and environment-friendly. Presently, SMD LEDs are being used in a wide range of multiple devices and appliances; it will not be an exaggerated statement if we mention that no corner of the world is there without having an LED or an SMD LED device in some format of its use. SMD LED technology is entirely different from its predecessor technology called, ‘through hole’ in which the components used to be connected to a PCB through small wires. The biggest advantage of an SMD LEDF is its compactness in size due to which its assembling is very easy to handle.(5)


The SMD LEDs can be considered as 2nd Generation of LEDs which is being further improved to more sophisticated and luxurious use. SMD LEDs are provided with the capability of a larger beam angle as compared with regular LED, this angle is characteristically about 1200 instead of conventional 450 or 600 angles; it improves the focus of light ultimately improving the image quality. If we compare it with a regular LED, the SMD LED is more energy saving option especially in the bigger projects where lighting sources numbers are much higher. While emitting the same quantum of light as of a regular LED, the SMD LED consumes 20% less energy thus ensuring a reasonably good saving on electric bills. The installation, maintenance and replacement cost of SMD LED are very affordable, therefore these are liked worldwide. The SMD LEDs are durable and long lasting; as the equipment carrying an SMD can be worn out but SMD will remain operational there. Enhanced lumen output makes SMD LEDs stand out of the normal lighting devices. SMD LEDs emit a very minute and unnoticeable amount of heat hence bringing a pleasant feel to the user as well as the environment.  The SMD LED has introduced more creativity in visual arts by adding more colors and improving picture quality to the best as actual.(6) It is also popular due to its wide range of uses in multiple domestic appliances, commercial ventures and at an industry level. People who are aware of its benefits are really enjoying its uses into their office, house or anywhere of their choice.


*1. https://www.techwalla.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-smds-and-leds

*2. https://www.lightrabbit.co.uk/what-are-smd-leds

*3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1UOjhy5zmQ

*4. https://heracolights.com/2014/03/07/led-vs-smd/

*5. http://www.keasyled.com/e/action/ShowInfo.php?classid=55&id=41

*6. https://www.wholesaleledlights.co.uk/blog/2011/11/the-advantages-of-smd-led/