LED Strip Lights are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, because they represent an incredibly versatile and energy-efficient lighting solution for homes and businesses alike. There are, however, one or two little details you’ll need to know before you rush out and buy some, which is where this LED Monkey guide 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. Named SMDs or “Surface-Mounted Diodes”, they come in two sizes 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).

3528 5050

As might be expected, the 5050 SMDs generate more light than their smaller 3528 counterparts, mainly because of their greater surface area. However, just because the 5050 SMDs consume more power and create more light, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should be your first choice when you’re purchasing LED strip lights.

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 SMDs usually contain a higher 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?

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 below. 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 spread light over a wider area which creates a “wash” effect as shown below.


Call An LED Monkey Expert

If you’d like to know more about LED Strip Lights or switching to LED Lighting, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0800 999 7797 or send an e-mail enquiry to: marketing@ledmonkey.com

You’ll also contact us via our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media sites, where you can leave a comment or a query for a very speedy reply.