The answer is simple, really. Those numbers refer to the surface area of the SMD (Surface Mount Diode). But of course there is much more to it. In this article you will find the following:

  • Specifications for 3528, 5050 and 5630 LEDs including lumens, amp/wattage draw and diode size.
  • Photos of the actual illumination characteristics of each diode type
  • Conclusion that answers which diode type is suitable for different purposes and projects

Difference between 3528, 5050 and 5630 LEDs

3528 LED 5050 LED and 5630 (5730) LED are the 3 most commonly used surface mount diodes for flex strip lighting. They are traditionally used in mono-lights or RGB flex LED strip lighting.(aff.) As LED technology advances, these 3 types of LED chip are now used for home and commercial lighting to replace compact fluorescent and other incandescent lighting.

Once you see the 3 types of diodes, you can easily tell that the 3528 LED is smaller in size than the 5050 LED. But what most people do not know is this , a 5050 LED actually contains 3 sets of 3528 LED chips inside. So a 5050 LED is actual a combination of 3x 3528 chips in 1.

The 5630 (5730) LED is basically a stretched 5050 LED with a much wider viewing angle. Making the 5630 (5730) LED the brightest of all 3 with the lowest power consumption per watts. The wider angle makes it easy to emit a brighter output with the same wattage.

A 3528 LED will illuminate brightness equivalent to approximately 6 Lumen

A 5050 LED diode will illuminate brightness equivalent to approximately 18 Lumen

A 5630 (5730) LED diode will illuminate brightness equivalent to approximately 50 Lumen

Epistar LED Specifications (3528 vs 5050 vs 5630)

LEDDimensionsChip Surface AreaLumen FluxPower Consumption
3528 LED3.5 mm x 2.8 mm9.8 mm²6-8 lumens20-30 mA @ 2.8-3.4 Volts
5050 LED5.0 mm x 5.0 mm25 mm²16-22 lumens60 mA @ 2.8-3.4 Volts
5630 LED5.6 mm x 3.0 mm16.8 mm²45-50 lumens150 mA @ 2.8-3.4 Volts


  • Lumens: A unit equal to the amount of light emitted per second
  • Power Consumption: This is per LED. Most LED strips such as the ones we offer group LEDs into 3’s, achieving an operating voltage of 12
  • Diode & Chip: Used interchangeably to refer to a semiconductor device with two terminals. The term is somewhat arbitrary when speaking of electrical boards in general, but in this context we’re using them to refer specifically to LED chips designed for surface-mounting.

Are 5630 LEDs brighter than 5050 and 3528 LEDs? What is the brightest LED type?

Yes, as you can see by the table above, 5630 LEDs are by far the brightest, but it is not due simply to a larger lighting surface. There are other factors that go into the output of an LED diode (measured in luminous flux/lumens). The reasons are to do with the design of the chip and the amount of power that they draw.

Controlled Test of 3528, 5050 and 5630 LED Lumen Output

We can talk specifications all day long, but in this case seeing is believing. To further demonstrate the lumen output differences between the three diodes, we setup a test in our facilities, and as you can see, there are huge differences between the three sizes.

Illumination test comparison of 3528, 5050 and 5630 led light diodes
GIF comparison of 3528, 5050 and 5630 LED diodes illumination test

Animated GIF comparison of 3528, 5050 and 5630 LED diodes

How was this test conducted?

3528 vs 5050 vs 5630 led lumens test

3 LEDs were used for each diode size and mounted to a solid surface. Each was placed in front of a white panel. The same power supply was used for all three LED sizes. The camera and illumination panel were unmoved and unaltered during these tests which all took place within a 5 minute period. The only difference from one photo to the next was the diode set used. In short, every attempt was made to create a 100% consistent and controlled environment to accurately demonstrate the luminosity of the LEDs.

Nikon D5100Manual1″ SecondF/22100

** All settings were consistent and unchanged throughout tests

 So what’s the conclusion? What should you use for your project?

The results of these tests are fairly straight forward. If you need the highest possible luminosity, 5630 is the way to go. One of the greatest advantages to the 5630 LEDs we carry is their adaptability. If you have a project that does not require the full output of the 5630’s, you could simply dim them down to the appropriate level using one of our inline dimmers. Even if this new level is near the output lumens of 5050 or 3528, you’ll be running your 5630 LEDs well below their maximum settings, prolonging their life significantly.

When it comes to 5630 LEDs, we use genuine Epistar LED diodes exclusively. The quality, reliability, output and value are above and beyond other chip manufacturers, enough so that we confidently offer a two-year warranty on all our products. If you’re in the market for 5630 LEDs, take a look around our shop and drop us a line if you need any help, we’re happy to offer advice.


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