Dive lights’ LEDs: DIP vs. SMD vs. COB

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I'm a Fish!
For dive lights’ LEDs packaging, there are currently three different types: dual in-line package (DIP) surface mounted devices (SMD) and circuit on board (COB). What makes SMD and COB LEDs different from DIP LEDs? You will see more about comparison between these LED package technologies below.

DIP LEDs have been in production for decades, and are highly recognizable by their “pill” or “bullet” shaped design. Although DIPs are still used today, they have a much lower efficiency than other LED technologies, DIPs have been left in the dust by SMDs and, more recently, COBs. You’ll still see some dive lights with DIP technology, but those are quickly being replaced.

SMD LEDs appear more flat, come with a longer lifespan comparing with DIP LEDs, consuming up to 75% less energy. SMD chips are smaller, and can have 3 diodes on each board, even giving the ability for multiple colors on each chip, such as creating red, green, and blue colors. Just check the pic about SMD LEDs on XTAR D30 1600 dive light below. And SMD LEDs are known for low maintenance and production costs. Though, the packaging style isn’t effective for extremely compact lighting systems.

COB LEDs, the most recent advancement in the LED lighting, this packaging style is capable of accommodating nine or more diodes per chip, greatly improving their illuminating qualities. Moreover, this type of LED only relies on one circuit and two contacts, can be more condensed. This unique packaging style is useful for delivering large amounts of lumens at high wattages. The downside to COBs is the spacing between the diodes. With so much light being produced in a small area, efficient heat sinks are key to encouraging longevity of the LED.

So which LED packing method is better for dive lights? COBs are the most efficient for producing lots of light, but they haven’t been adopted much by now. We may expect more developments on it.

D30 1600-LED.jpg


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New Zealand, South Island
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You mentioned maintenance for smd Leds. I wasn't aware that LEDS had any maintenance that the user could do. Could you elaborate on any maintenance we should be doing for our lights?

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