LED Strip Lights are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. However, there are one or two little details you’ll need to know before you rush out and buy some. This is where our LED Monkey guide LED Strip Lighting and the Numbers 3528 and 5050 comes in.

What Do the Numbers 3528 and 5050 Mean?

All along the surface of an LED Strip Light you’ll find Light-Emitting Diodes attached. Known as SMDs or “Surface-Mounted Diodes”, they come in two sizes which are as follows:

  • 3528 – measuring 3.5mm x 2.8mm (the smaller chip);
  • 5050 - measuring 5.00mm x 5.00mm (the larger chip).

What’s the Difference?

The size of the two SMDs mean that:

  • They generate different levels of brightness (in Lumens);
  • They consume different amounts of electricity (in Watts).

The two different LED strip light widths

Indeed, each has its strong points and which you choose will depend upon what you want to achieve with them.

For example, LED strip lights equipped with 3528 SMD chips usually contain a greater number of them per metre, whereas those with 5050 SMDs contain less, but those they do have are brighter.

The LED Strip Lights that we supply are equipped as follows:

  • 3528 LED Strip Lights employ 60 or 120 LEDs per metre, giving a lumen output of 400 and 800 respectively.
  • 5050 LED Strip Lights employ 30 or 60 LEDs per metre, giving a lumen output of 510 and 1020 respectively.

LED strips that contain a high number of small, closely-spaced LEDs will generate a more intensely concentrated and penetrative light quality than a strip with large, widely-spaced SMDs.

Which Are The Best Locations For Each Size?

Wall "grazing" LED lighting

Our customers tend to use the strip lights with the smaller, more intense 3528s for installations requiring highly directional, concentrated light.

These include feature illumination and wall grazing as shown to the right.

As such, this type of LED strip is most commonly found in people's living rooms and bedrooms, where decorative lighting is the order of the day.

LED strips equipped with the larger 5050 SMDs work much better as functional, general lighting in bathrooms and kitchens, because they distribute light over a wider area which creates a “wash” effect as shown below.

Wall-washing lighting effect

Call An LED Monkey Expert

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If you’d like to know more about LED Strip Lights or switching to LED Lighting, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 999 7797. Or, you can send an e-mail enquiry to: marketing@ledmonkey.com.

You’ll also contact us via our Facebook, Twitter  & Instagram social media sites, where you can leave a comment or a query for a very speedy reply. And, check out our FAQs page where you'll find solutions to all your LED light-related issues!

We hope to hear from you soon.