Tips from Budmaster


What is a C.O.B LED?

A C.O.B (Chip on board) led is basically a small light engine comprising of led chips and a phosphor coating.  Incredible pieces of kit when produced by the right people, they truly are a marvel of led technology and were invented by Citizen LED.

C.O.B is the latest and most efficient incarnation of led for the home and industry and is primarily designed to save energy and give more lumens per watt, the overall design also helps eliminate led striping when the user looks at the led making them ideal for commercial and domestic use

C.O.B leds when they come from a tier 1 led company such as Osram, Nichea, Citizen, Samsung etc are extremely high quality and efficient in consumption and output.  For example any one of these above companies can tailor a C.O.B led for particular instances and installations to provide an overall better light source for domestic and commercial applications.

Now high quality C.O.B do have a good place in horticulture as the output can be up to 60% more efficient for plant growth than a traditional white light source and of course in some instances pink light that is produced by traditional led grow lights may not be acceptable.

Unfortunately some Chinese factories in their ultimate wisdom thought it would be a good idea to place a phosphor coating over their integrated led and call them C.O.B leds, this seemed to solve the problem of not having white in an integrated led!!!  No unfortunately all this has done is milk down the existing colours so the chlorophyll absorption peaks are not being targeted as efficiently and therefore oil production is very low.

So beware of cheap C.O.B’s they will cost you dear in the long run.

What is an integrated LED?

What is an Integrated LED?

An Integrated led is basically a matrix of led wafers connected to each other, these generally come in a chessboard pattern.

Integrated led has its place in the horticultural world but alas it fails in many aspects to perform as well as traditional SMD LED

  • Integrated led are missing their primary silicon lens and therefore the light has less penetration.  This primary silicon lens is essential to channel the light in the required direction efficiently.  This is of particular importance in plant growth.
  • As integrated led get extremely hot it is impossible to put an effective secondary lens close enough to the led to catch and channel the light to give the required spread and penetration mix that is required for horticulture.

  • As integrated led is less efficient that smd you would generally use at least 100w – 150w of integrated per cluster to achieve half the result as our osram 30w clusters.  This of course then becomes extremely inefficient and expensive as to reproduce effects close to that of a 600w hps with integrated led you would need 900w of integrated led as opposed to our 300w of osram led.

  • Integrated led over 50w are notorious for breaking down due to overheating issues, the leds the Chinese use are very low bin (the edge of the wafer) and beside that they are not designed to be used in an integrated led matrix and this is why the overheating issues persist.

  • Integrated led cant have white in the mix, this again makes them less efficient for your plant growth as our plants require small amounts of white to hit those small chlorophyll absorption peaks that the plants requires.  Of course you can accomplish this in integrated led by putting more colours in the mix but it is a less efficient way of tackling the problem, and in our considerable experience plants react better to the white led than to making up the small chlorophyll absorption peaks manually.

    So to sum it up integrated led are pretty much a waste of time, money and energy.

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