How Many Parts Does An LED Light Include?
Nowadays, most people have been very familiar with LED lights. We can see various kinds of LED lights everywhere including homes, companies, roads, etc. But many people only know that LED light is a new type of light that is energy-saving, and there are some benefits to use them. How many parts does an LED light include? If you are engaged in this field, there is a necessary to learn it.
Most common LED lights we see in our life usually consist of three parts: LED chips, LED driver and housing.
LED stands for light emitting diode. LED chip is the most difference between LED lights and traditional lights. LED chips have very high brightness so LED lights are much brighter than traditional lights when they are in the same power. Actually the LED chips we normally mention have been processed and packed. Raw LED chips can’t be used to assemble LED lights directly. They should be packed, adjusted for colors and led out with electrodes. Then they can be soldered onto PCBs.
LED chips are mainly separated into two types by their designs: SMD LED chips and COB LED chips.
SMD is "Surface Mounted Devices", which refers to surface-mounted devices, which are one of the surface-mount technology components. The normal types of SMD LED chips include 2835, 5730, 5050, 3030 and 3535, etc.
COB is "chip on board", which refers to chip on board packaging and is one of the bare chip mounting technologies. We often see that COB LED chips are used on GU10 or MR16 spotlights.
The advantage of COB LED chips is that they are easy to use, and their color temperatures are easy to customize as well. But they will cause more heat and their prices are also higher than SMD LED chips. So in recent years SMD LED chips are adopted on most of LED lights.
Generally speaking, every type of LED chips has its own working voltage and working current. They can’t work under the voltage of city electricity directly, such as 110V/120V, 220V/230V/240V. They usually work under low voltages. LED drivers are used to covert city electricity to the suitable voltages and currents that the LED chips require. It acts as a transformer.
There are also several types of LED driver: RC LED driver, Constant Current IC LED driver and Linear IC LED driver. There are also some lights without drivers, such as low voltage LED lights.
RC LED driver
RC LED driver normally consists of only several resistances and capacitances. Its structure is quite simple and its price is very low. But it is not stable enough and easy to burn. In the early period of the development of LED lights, it was often used. But in recent years, it has been out of date due to its low quality. But even so, there are still some manufacturers using it to make cheap LED lights.
Constant Current IC LED driver
Constant Current IC driver is the best quality driver. It consists of a PCB, some resistances, capacitances and ICs. It can provide stable current to the LED chips. In this condition, the LED chips will have the longest lifespan. Constant current IC LED driver has isolated type and non-isolated type. The isolated type is safer and with better quality. There is no electric leakage when you touch it. But its price is also higher than non-isolated type.
Except for constant current IC LED driver, there is also constant voltage IC LED driver which provide constant voltage instead.
Linear IC LED driver
Linear IC LED driver is similar to constant current IC driver, but it doesn’t have independent PCB. It is integrated with the LED PCB. So there are limitations for this type of driver for it shares the space of the LED PCB. This will increase the difficulty of the design of the LED PCB and will cause more heat, so linear IC LED driver is not stable as constant current IC type. But it has an economic price.
You might see some LED lights without drivers, such as 12V/24V low voltage LED lights. They don’t carry any drivers themselves so they were considered having no drivers. Actually, on their LED PCBs, there are also some electronic components will convert 12V/24V to the voltages or currents that the LED chips need.
The housing/light body is used to protect the light and as a heat sink. It is important because if it doesn’t have a good ability for heat dissipation it will influence the lifespan of the whole light.
We classify housings by their materials. There are plastic housing, ceramic housing, aluminum housing, plastic-coated aluminum housing and stainless steel housing.
Plastic housing is the lightest and cheapest among all kinds of housings. But it is very bad for heat dissipation, so it is usually used to make low power LED lights. There are several kinds of plastic material such as PP, PC, PS and ABS, etc.
Ceramic housing has good performance for heat dissipation and it was once used for some LED lights. But it is expensive, heavy and easy to damage. Nowadays it has been out of use.
Aluminum housing also has very good performance for heat dissipation. It is anti-impact, anti-oxidative and corrosion resistant, and has moderate price. So aluminum is the best material for housings of LED lights.
Plastic-coated aluminum housing
In order to reduce the cost of LED lights and make their appearances more attractive, plastic-coated aluminum housings are used for some LED lights, especially for indoor LED lights. The outside layer of this kind of housing is plastic while the inside layer is aluminum.
Stain steel housing
As we know, stainless steel doesn’t rust forever. It is normally used underwater or in very humid environments. This material is excellent, but too expensive.
Some LED lights don’t have housings, such as LED strip light. It reduces heat by the LED PCB, not heat sink.
We have introduced the above 3 parts that common LED lights consist of. You might want to say, the LED lights I sometimes see have one or two more components, so what they are for? You are right, for a few LED lights indeed have different or more extra components. Such as solar LED lights and DMX LED lights. A solar LED light consists of LED chips, housing, solar panel, battery and controller. A DMX LED light includes a decoder besides LED chips, LED driver and housing.
If you have interest, you can make a deeper study by yourself. And also welcome to discuss it with us.