You’re not the first to ask!  As our 2 most popular LED lighting options, customers are often curious as to the similarities and differences between 3528 and 5050 LED light strips.  In this article you’ll find some basic knowledge to ensure that you make the right choice when deciding on the strip for your project.  It should be noted that these technologies are constantly changing, with efficiency and brightness steadily increasing.  The wattages, brightness, etc. in this article are approximations based on the current LED light strips sold by HitLights.



SMD 3528 LED Chips:


SMD 3528 LED Chips include 1 diode, and are available in single colors.

3528 LED light strips are named after the dimensions of each chip: 3.5x2.8mm.  The small size of 3528 chips is important, because it allows the chips to be placed very closely together on LED strips to create a smoother lighting effect in comparison to a 5050 LED strip.  Each chip contains one light-emitting diode, and uses about .08 Watts to produce roughly 4 lumens.  3528’s are great for accent lighting and decorations, but typically aren’t used as a primary light source.   They are commonly used in indoor home applications such as stair lighting, under-cabinet lighting, media lighting, and more!  Since each chip only contains 1 light-emitting diode, 3528’s are single-color light strips.  Our 3528 LED Light Strips are available in Cool White, Warm White, Red, Green, and Blue.

More bang for your buck:  3528 LED’s are our most affordable LED strip solution, and still provide professional quality lighting to any project, business, or home application!


SMD 5050 LED Chips:

SMD 5050 Chips include 3 diodes, and are available in both single colors and multicolored strips.


5050 LED light strips are also named after the dimensions of each chip: 5.0x5.0mm.  The larger chip size of 5050’s mean that they’re spaced farther apart than 3528’s, but actually produce more light per chip.  Each chip contains 3 light-emitting diodes, and uses approximately .24 Watts to produce about 12 lumens.  Because 5050’s include 3 light-emitting diodes, they can come in single or multi colored strip lights.  A single-colored 5050 chip includes 3 diodes of the same color to give more light than a comparable 3528 strip.  Alternatively, a multi-colored 5050 chip includes 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 green diode.  The brightness of individual diodes on a single chip can then be adjusted to produce any color on the spectrum!  Multicolored 5050 LED strips require the use of an RGB LED controller; whereas single-colored LED lights can be connected directly to a DC power source.  As our brighter LED strips, 5050’s are great for more luminous accent lighting, task lighting, sign lighting, and can even be used as the primary light source in some cases.

Show Stoppers: 5050 LED Light Strips are our brightest LED strip solution, and provide extremely versatile color-changing capabilities!  5050’s are great for attracting attention to a business, illuminating a party area, lighting up your car or motorcycle, and much more!

Hopefully this post has made your decision between 3528’s and 5050’s a clear choice, so you can get to what matters:  your LED project! Need to get inspired? Check out our HitLights Customer Projects Pinterest board and blog posts to see ways that our customers use the different SMD LED chip technologies!  If you want a bit more information about specific strips, project help, or general LED knowledge, feel free to email us at for free technical assistance!


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