Different types of LED diodes

By: Secom
25 de April, 2023
Reading time: 5 min

One of the areas of LED technology we need to understand is the range of diodes that are available, their characteristics and when each of them came onto the market. This knowledge can give us an idea of how these lighting products work and the advantages of each one. The fact that this aspect of lighting has progressed quite so much means we can now make huge energy savings without having to compromise on features.

In this article we will talk about...

  • What are diodes and how do they work?
  • The technical characteristics of diodes
  • New generations of diodes
  • SECOM LED lighting

What are diodes and how do they work?

The letters LED stand for ‘light emitting diode’ and they refer to a system that is based on very small and fine semiconductors. These elements are the diodes themselves and they are the component that determines what type of LED the device is. They are U-shaped and emit electromagnetic radiation. The two ends are called the anode (positive pole) and cathode (negative pole).

The mechanism is based on a current connected to the top semiconductor and the result can be monochromatic or an infinite range of colours.

The design of these devices mean they make optimum use of energy. Low consumption levels are among their advantages and this makes them more efficient than conventional alternatives. This is precisely one of the reasons why they are so widely used both in homes and in large-scale projects such as the ones commissioned by large companies or government bodies. Indeed, their vast adaptability is another of their advantages. We can use them in many items, from the lights in home appliances to the lights we have on our bedside tables.

Furthermore, they also have a long useful life that goes from 35,000 to 100,000 hours. On top of this, they reproduce colours very faithfully. While they may be more expensive to buy than conventional products, we can recoup this extra expenditure in no time.

The technical characteristics of diodes

There are many types of diodes on the market and the quality and features of these products have improved over the years. It is a good idea to familiarise ourselves with the characteristics of diodes before making a purchase. There are many different types of LED diodes.


These are dual in-line package diodes. They are the most basic type of LED with the simplest voltage. They are commonly used in the letters on electronic signs. They were the first type of LED diode to come onto the market and the technology has progressed a great deal since then. We can also find them in the lights on home appliances and in traffic lights. They are easy to recognise because they have a hard, transparent cover.

High power

These diodes came next. Their luminous output is far greater than the previous type and this means they consume far more electricity. When use of these devices became widespread, they were used primarily in lights and spotlights. Although they do consume more than other types, they do not use as much electricity as conventional devices.


SMD stands for ‘surface-mounted diode’. SMDs are used in all sorts of devices in homes and offices, sales premises and pretty much any kind of building. This means they are readily available on the market. Their unidirectional luminous flux is very good. They have a very resistant cover made from semi-rigid resin which is fitted around the diode. This makes these devices very resistant to impacts and to liquids or solids.

All of the above means the colour spectrum in these products can be vast. They are available with a colour rendering index (CRI) of up to 98%.

We can also find 3014, 4014, 5630, 2835 and 3030 options. The last two are the most widely available on the market.

COB and multi-COB

COBs are used primarily in devices such as rail-mounted spotlights. The diodes are set up in rows or parallel to each other and they have a protective cover. In terms of their ability to dissipate heat and generate more light, they are a step up from the model mentioned above. As such, their luminosity is greater but the temperature in the device is lower.

These devices also generally exceed a CRI of 90 and are similar to the previous devices in that they create little glare and are multi-directional.

In multi-COBs, the individual chip is made of several small chips. They are more flexible than COBs and manage heat better. They distribute the spectrum more effectively and are around 15% more efficient. Their maximum performance and minimal consumption indices are also better. On the downside, they are expensive and this has meant that they have traditionally been less widely used than the other types of diodes.

New generations of diodes

Diodes have progressed from the models that initially came onto the market and now new-generation options are available.

OLED or organic light-emitting diodes

These diodes are still under development and a specific feature of these products is that they no longer contain silicon. Now they contain carbon. We can purchase them in whatever colour we prefer and some of their best characteristics include their slim and lightweight composition, in addition to being bright and flexible. They are also very adaptable and can be customised to suit our needs.

The TOLED, or transparent OLED, is a by-product and, since it is transparent, it projects light from all sides. There are also others such as the SM-OLED, PLED or LEP and SOLED.

SECOM LED lighting

SECOM has lighting solutions for homes and businesses and is present worldwide. The product catalogue includes an astounding range of devices and project customisation is always an option.

The company has been running for many years and we have long-standing relationships with experts in the construction, design and architecture sectors. We also have a great deal of experience thanks to the work put in by engineers, installers and distributors.

The range of lighting solutions in our catalogue is vast. We work on urban planning projects, monuments, residential buildings and much more. Our products are manufactured using the latest technology and this helps us make savings and ensure our products are durable.

The team of experts at SECOM is available to advise you on which type of diode to buy and how to install it. In fact, experience and specialisation are two of our hallmarks. Our customer service is top quality.

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