DIP (Dual In-Line Package) LED technology has been around for more than 50 years, and they are used extensively today for large signs and displays. The widespread use of DIP LEDs came about due to their long life-span and intense brightness. DIP LEDs are highly recognizable by their “bullet” shaped design (≤5mm wide), and the long contacts that extend from the bottom of the LED which can be easily soldered or inserted into a circuit board. The LED’s plastic and epoxy casing actually serves as a lens that can focus the light coming from the diode.
The SMD (Surface Mounted Device) chips, have become very popular due to their versatility. SMD LEDs can be mounted to printed circuit board (PCB) using SMT technology, these chips are much smaller in comparison to the DIP technology, which tends to give them the added versatility over DIP diodes. SMD technology also supports chips with more complicated designsthat have RGB capabilities on a single chip. This is very powerful for color combinations, as opposed to the DIP technology, which can only display one color per device. SMD chips also can have more than just two contacts (one anode and one cathode). SMD chips can have 2, 4 or 6 contacts, depending on the number of diodes on the chip. With the SMD design, there is an individual circuit for each diode.