COB LED, GOB LED, SMD LED & DIP LED Display: A Business Guide To Using The Right LED Display For Your Application

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Humans are visual creatures. We rely heavily on visual information for various purposes and activities. As technology continues to advance, the distribution formats of visual information are changing constantly. Thanks to the various digital displays in the era of digitalization, content is now distributed in the form of digital media.

LED display technology is one of the most widely adopted display solutions. Most businesses are now fully aware of the limitations of traditional displays such as static signages, billboards, and banners. They are turning to LED displays or LED screens for better opportunities.

LED display tends to attract more audiences due to the breath-taking viewing experience provided. More businesses are now approaching LED display suppliers for suggestions on incorporating LED displays in their advertising and promotion strategies.

Digital Billboard at New York

While a professional LED display supplier will always provide insightful recommendations, it is always a good approach if a business owner or representative can equip himself with basic knowledge of LED display. This can help the business to make a better purchase decision.

LED displays are highly technical. In this article, we will only look into the most important aspects of the four most common LED package types. We hope that it can help you in making a better business decision.

The four LED package types that are widely used in commercial digital displays are

  1. DIP LED (Dual In-line Package)
  2. SMD LED (Surface Mounted Device)
  3. GOB LED (Glue-on-Board)
  4. COB LED (Chip-on-Board)

DIP LED Display

DIP LED Display

In a DIP LED display, the dual in-line package is used. It is one of the oldest LED packages. The DIP LED Display is manufactured with traditional LED bulbs.

LED or light emitting diode is a tiny component that is used to emit light when current flows through it. It has a noticeable appearance where its epoxy shell has a hemispherical or cylindrical-shaped dome.

If you look at the surface of a DIP LED module, each LED pixel is made of 3 LEDs – a red LED, a green LED and a blue LED. RGB LED shapes the foundation of any colour LED display. Since the three colours (red, green & blue) are the primary colours on the colour wheel, they could potentially produce all possible colours including the white colour.

LED Digital Billboard

DIP LED display is mainly used for outdoor LED screens and digital billboards. Since it has a high brightness level, the display visibility is guaranteed even in bright sunlight.

Besides, DIP LED display is durable. It has a high resistance degree against impacts. The hard LED epoxy shell is an effective encapsulation that protects all internal components from potential collisions. Furthermore, since LEDs are soldered directly onto the surface of the LED display module, the LEDs are sticking out. Without any extra protection, the protruding LEDs increase the risk of damage. Hence, a protection mask is used.

DIP LED Display Protection Mask

The biggest disadvantage of a DIP LED display is that it is expensive. The production of DIP LED is more complicated, and the market demand has been declining for many years. However, if the right balance is achieved, DIP LED display can be a valuable investment. DIP LED display consumes less power than most traditional digital displays. It can potentially save more money over the long term.

Another disadvantage is that the display has a narrow viewing angle. When viewing off-centre, a narrow-angled display will make the image looks inaccurate and the colours will appear dimmer. However, it is not an issue if the DIP LED display is used for outdoor applications since they have a longer viewing distance.

Application of DIP LED Display

SMD LED Display

SMD LED Display Module

In an SMD (surface mounted device) LED display module, the three LED chips (red LED, green LED and blue LED) are regrouped into a single point. The long LED pins or legs are removed, and the LED chips are now directly mounted onto a single encapsulation.

“This innovation is important as the components grew smaller. Engineers can now cram more and more on a single board.”

The biggest advantage of an SMD LED display is that SMD LED has various sizes available in the market. The large SMD LED can go up to 8.5 x 2.0mm, and the small LED can go as low as 1.1 x 0.4mm! It is incredibly small, and small LED size is the revolutionary factor in the LED display industry nowadays.

KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital

Since SMD LEDs are smaller, more LEDs can be mounted onto a single board and higher visual resolution can be achieved easily. More LEDs contribute to a display module with a smaller pixel pitch and a higher pixel density. The SMD LED display is the most popular choice for any indoor application due to its high-quality image and wider viewing angle.

According to the LED Packaging Market Forecast Report (2021), SMD LED has the largest market share in 2020. It is widely used in various devices such as indoor LED screens, TVs, smartphones, and industrial lighting systems. Due to mass production, SMD LED display is generally cheaper.

SMD LED has some disadvantages too. SMD LED display is more prone to damage because the LEDs are smaller. Besides, the SDM LED has a poorer heat transmission rate. This can result in high maintenance costs over the long term.

Application of SMD LED Display

GOB LED Display

GOB LED Display

Image by Litestar. Source: https://www.szlitestar.net/

The introduction of the GOB LED technology years ago has created hype in the market. But is the hype overrated or real? Many industry players agree that the GOB or glue-on-board LED display is just merely an upgraded version of the SMD LED display.

The GOB LED display uses the almost same packaging technology as the SMD LED technology. What makes it different is the application of transparent glue protection. The transparent glue on the surface of the LED display module provides a durable protection shield. The GOB LED display is waterproof, dust-proof and anti-collision. Some researchers even reveal that the transparent glue can contribute to better heat dissipation, and thus increasing the shelf life of the LED display.

While many think that the extra protection feature does not offer a great benefit, we have a different opinion. Depending on the application, GOB LED display can be a “life-saving” investment. 

Some of the common applications of GOB LED displays are transparent LED displays, fine-pitch LED displays, and LED screen rentals. Both transparent LED displays and fine-pitch LED displays have very small LEDs to achieve higher resolutions. Smaller LEDs are fragile and more prone to damage. The GOB technology can provide a higher degree of protection to these displays.

Extra protection is also important for the rental of LED screens. LED screens which are used for rental events require frequent installations and disassembly. These LED screens also need to be transported and moved many times. Minor collisions are unavoidable most of the time. The application of GOB LED packaging can help to reduce the maintenance cost spent by the rental service providers.

Application of GOB LED Display

COB LED Display

COB LED Package

The COB LED display is one of the most recent LED innovations. While SMD LED can have up to 3 diodes within a single chip, COB LED can have 9 or more diodes. Regardless of how many diodes are soldered on an LED substrate, a single COB LED chip has only two contacts and a circuit. This has greatly reduced the failure rate.

“Within a 10 x 10mm array, COB LED results in 8.5 times more LEDs than the SMD LED package, and 38 times more LEDs than the DIP LED package.”

One of the biggest advantages of the COB LED technology is that it can produce more lights or higher brightness with lower power consumption per square inch when compared to the DIP and SMD LED technologies. This is made possible because COB LED chips take up fewer spaces.

Another reason that COB LED chips can be mounted closely together is that it has superior performance in heat dissipation. The aluminium or ceramic substrate of the COB LED chip is a great medium that contributes to higher efficiency in heat conductivity.

In addition, COB LED display has a high level of reliability thanks to its coating technology. The technology can protect the LED screen against moisture, liquid, ultra-violet sunrays, and minor impact.

COB LED display has an obvious disadvantage compared to SMD LED display. It has a lower colour uniformity, and it can result in a poorer viewing experience. Besides, COB LED display is also more expensive than SMD LED display.

COB LED technology is used commonly in fine-pitch LED screens with pixel pitches that are lower than 1.5mm. Its applications also cover both mini LED screens and micro LED screens. COB LEDs are smaller than DIP and SMD LEDs. Higher video resolution can be achieved, and it can deliver an extraordinary viewing experience to the audience.

Application of COB LED Display

Comparison of DIP, SMD, COB, and GOB LED

Conclusion

LED screen technology has been evolving at a rapid pace over the past few years. The technology has introduced various models of the LED display to the market. These innovations benefit both the businesses and the consumers.

While we strongly believe that COB LED display is going to be the next biggest thing in the industry, every packaging type of LED display has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no such thing as “The Best” LED display. The best LED  display will be the one that fits your applications and requirements perfectly.

We hope that this article can help you in making your decision. If you still have question, feel free to let us know!

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