COB LED strips: what are they and when should you use them?

2024/04led strip light source

Do you want to highlight a corner of the room? LED strips are famous for their ability to frame spaces and follow specific shapes, to give them a special prominence. In fact, when used correctly, they can completely transform a space to create very attractive effects. 

However, there are some cases where conventional LED strips do not achieve the desired effect, as the points that make up the strip can be seen on a surface where it is reflected, even if a diffuser is used. For these cases, COB LED strips are an ideal option.

What is COB LED strip
A COB LED strip is very similar to the classic strip, but has one crucial difference: it is made up of many small chips. 

In fact, "COB" stands for Chip On Board, meaning that it has several chips built into the strip. They are usually LED lights grouped together and coated in yellow phosphor, in order to give this feeling of uniformity without the "seams" of the different light sources being visible. 

Main advantages and disadvantages of COB LED strips
In which cases is it advisable to use COB LED strips? Similar to LED strips, this format allows to have a continuous light and an enveloping aesthetic in the space where it is used. 

There are occasions when we want to illuminate a surface where the light is reflected. If we choose a conventional LED strip, we will see the points that are marked on the strip. To avoid this irregularity and to achieve a uniform space, it is advisable to use COB LED strips, in which these dots are not detected.
Another advantage of COB LED strips is that they can simultaneously reduce consumption by approximately 30-40%, or with the same consumption they can achieve a luminous contribution of more than 30%. 

In addition, one of the main advantages of continuous light is that it can be used more frequently with a transparent diffuser. Standard LED strips, on the other hand, are usually used with opal diffusers to avoid marking spots. 

In summary, these are the main differences compared to other types of light: 

LED continuous line.
They usually have a lower consumption and higher light contribution.
Their useful life is longer.
They are more environmentally friendly, as they do not contain mercury. 
Can be used more frequently with a transparent diffuser.
On the other hand, its main disadvantage is that as it is made up of more chips per metre, its cost tends to be higher. It is up to you to decide whether you want to achieve a totally enveloping ambience, in case you work with reflective surfaces. 

Frequently asked questions about COB LED strips
At this point, we are sure that you have some questions related to COB LED strips, to finish evaluating if it is the best option for your project. Let's answer them!
Which is better, the LED strip with or without COB?
The answer will depend on the final aesthetic result you want to achieve: with COB LED strips, you will achieve a wraparound effect without the points of light being visible (ideal if you are working with reflective surfaces).
However, whatever you decide, you will need to check the quality of the material, as there are LED strips of all kinds. If you opt for a lower quality strip, you run the risk of it breaking when it has to be twisted to fit the space.

How can I tell if a COB LED strip is of good quality?

You should look at three main characteristics: 

The thickness of the strip. It should be at least two layers, and preferably three. This is because you can be sure that it will have more copper, and that it will not overheat.
On the tape. To make sure that it will be well secured and that it will not break on impact, you should check that the tape is of a recognised brand and quality.
The quality of the chips. They should also be encapsulated in good condition.
How much power does a COB LED strip consume?
To find out how much power it consumes, you should look at its power. The fact that it is COB will have no impact on its consumption.
How can I install it?
COB LED strips are usually more delicate, as they contain a large number of chips. For this reason, we recommend that you have them installed by a qualified professional who is used to handling them with care.
What is the lifetime of COB LED strips?
Again, it will depend on the quality of the strip... However, remember that LED lights generally have a longer lifespan. In fact, our strips have a lifespan of over 40,000 hours (and after this period, they still maintain 80% of their brightness).

As you can see, COB LED strips are ideal for meticulous professionals who want to go for an enveloping atmosphere, without sacrificing the combination of reflective materials.

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