Types of LEDs

There are two types of LEDs: surface mount and chip-on-board. 

Surface-mount LEDs are a single semiconductor diode, or multiple semiconductor diodes, that are soldered to a surface. They are commonly referred to as LED chips. These are typically put together along an electrical circuit and soldered onto a metal board in order to create a full LED fixture. There are three different types of surface-mount LEDs: 

  • Low-power – not generally useful for grow lighting. Used for indicators and other low power applications.
  • Mid-power – cost-effective, average life, low intensity, power range typically less than 1W
  • High-power – high cost, long life, medium intensity, power range typically 3-5W

Chip-on-board (COB) LEDs are essentially multiple LED chips adhered directly to a substrate, creating a single unit. Most often these are more than 10 LED chips.

LEDs Used in Grow Lighting

There are three main diode types used in LED grow lighting: mid-power, high-power and chip-on-board (COB). All three can be found in LED grow light systems, though mid-power is the most common due to their low cost and high efficacy.