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A warm COB strip light in a roll.

COB LED Strip Lights: Everything You Need to Know

LED strip lights are a reliable and creative way to provide lighting to any space. Light strips are commonly seen in a variety of environments such as homes, businesses, and commercial properties. The COB LED strip, also called a dotless LED strip, is particularly interesting because of its continuous illumination line without hot spots. Let’s take a deep dive into what COB LED strips are and how you can use them.

What is a COB LED strip?

In a Chip on Board strip, better known as a COB LED strip, the individual diodes are printed directly onto the circuit board. These diodes are placed close together and covered with a phosphor gel. The tight placement combined with the phosphor coating creates a continuous illumination effect. 

Some COB lighting strips come with tunable CCT and RGB color technology. This means with the help of a remote or app, you can easily change the correlated color temperature (CCT) and RGB color of your lights.

You can also bend COB lights to fit different spaces and shapes. COB lights are very flexible since their diodes are smaller and placed closer together, so they can curve into tight areas or fit around corners. 

Comparison of a COB strip light vs a SMD strip light, shows the difference in distance between chips.Comparison of a COB strip light vs a SMD strip light, shows the difference in distance between chips.

What is the difference between COB and SMD LED strips?

The main differences between a COB LED strip and an SMD (Surface Mounted Device) LED strip are the distance between chips and the level of light density the strips give off. In an SMD LED light strip, the chips are soldered onto the circuit board and placed with space in between them. This space between chips means that SMD strips have a lower light density, while a COB strip light is considered to have a higher light density. For a deeper explanation of the different types of strip lights, check out our flexible LED strip lights page.

Our video below shows the difference between COB and SMD strips.

What can you use a COB LED strip for?

COB LED strips eliminate hot spots due to their seamless illumination. Therefore, they are best suited for cases where you cannot hide the LED strip behind anything and do not want to see the individual chips. For this reason, COB strips are commonly used in situations where the light strip is placed close to a reflective surface since it will not show any hotspots in the reflection. Other popular applications include under-cabinet lighting, jewelry/display case lighting, and toe kick lighting. 

 

View popular products from our COB Strip Light Series here.

A hotel lobby featuring a main desk with toe kick lighting below and cove lighting above.A hotel lobby featuring a main desk with toe kick lighting below and cove lighting above.

Do COB LEDs get hot?

All strip lights, including COBs, are designed to prevent excessive heat from damaging the lighting strips. The circuit board functions as a heatsink to take heat from the individual LEDs and transfer it to the surface that the strip is attached. Therefore, COB light strips are safe to use in temperature-sensitive locations because of their effective heat dissipation. For some higher-power LED strip lights, it is recommended to attach an additional heatsink, such as an aluminum channel, to make the most efficient heat transfer.


We offer a wide range of Klus Extrusions accessories such as channels and lenses that can help you better customize your strip lights to fit whatever environment or application that you need. Browse our whole section of LED strip light accessories here!

How can you use COB LED strips to customize your space?

COB strip lights can be cut at indicated cutting marks and therefore can be shortened to reach any length needed. For further customization, you can easily connect strip segments together by soldering or using one of the many solderless connectors we offer. For longer strip runs, additional power supplies may be required, or choose one of our 24V strips. We offer complete LED light kits for COB lights that give you everything you need to customize the length of your strips.

View our collection of strip lighting or browse our COB Strip Light Series. For more help choosing the best LED strip light for you, check out our ultimate LED strip lighting guide. Or, shop our various LED strip lights and bars!

February 16, 2023
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