LED PCB – a complete guide in 2023
What is LED PCB?
LED PCB is a reputable printed circuit board that contains light-emitting diodes, a must-have component of this circuit board, on the PCB surface. This PCB is well-known for its energy-saving feature and compatibility with Green technology.
Its operating hours vary from 50k-100k hours, which is vast. Besides its low relative permittivity (3.5-5.0), low loss tangent (0.02), high IK rating, lead-free compatibility, etc, make it a suitable choice for modern electronic appliances.
LED PCB materials
Usually, LED PCB chips that play a pivotal role in producing luminosity get attached via heat sinks and ceramics.
It holds vital data related to PCB design.
A metallic core made of Aluminium or Copper upgrades insulation, electrical, and thermal conductivity.
Types of LED PCBs
PCB boards integrated with Light-emitting Diodes offer a wide range of versatility in terms of their operations, assembly, applications, and so on.
The most noteworthy types of LED circuit boards which have already changed the scenario of the LED-based market are-
Halogen-free LED circuit board
Are you highly concerned about eco-friendly digital electronics? LED circuit boards with Zero Halogen are profoundly supportive of Green Technology.
These LED-based PCBs take care of ecological balance through their low emission of hazardous Chlorine and Bromine. At the same time, Halogen-free LED PCBs last longer than conventional PCBs emitting low halogen. Besides, the cost performance of these PCBs is also suitable for manufacturers.
High power LED circuit board
Nowadays, electric circuits are designed in such a way that they can tolerate high current loads and power. High-power LED PCBs offer tremendous durability and current-carrying capacity in integrated circuits, especially in aerodynamics and robotics.
Aluminum-based LED PCB
Surface mount devices deliver the best output in Aluminium LED PCB.
LED rigid PCB
Are you worried about the robustness of electronic light-dependent circuits?
LED rigid PCBs, consisting of fiberglass epoxy materials, are practical solutions to this issue.
In recent times, professional gaming devices consist of robust circuits. Such high-class rigidity with outstanding lighting becomes possible due to the use of rigid LED circuits.
LED rigid-flex PCB
LED circuits with rigid-flex features are appropriate for robust PCB designs with improved flexibility. These circuit boards offer a combination of rigid and flex circuits in LED-based devices.
Usually, fiberglass Epoxy materials are found in rigid-flex LED circuits that function as a fixative in rigid-flexible circuits. Besides, these PCBs ensure tremendous lighting in modern devices.
LED flexible PCB
LED flex circuit boards are reputable for their improved portability and functionality. You can usually find flex LED PCBs in smart devices and connectors.
Besides, LED strips offer adequate flexibility in flex circuits that upgrade portability to a large extent.
Besides, LED PCB boards allow customization to a great extent. That’s why customized LED circuit boards have a huge demand in the electronic market.
LED-based driver PCBs and LED light PCBs are found in customized versions which offer tremendous durability and premium functionality. In these cases, you can modify the circuit design according to your desired device’s functionality.
Doesn’t it sound amazing? Especially for professional PCB manufacturers, LED PCBA brings out outstanding facilities through its wide variety and customization.
The advantages of LED PCB
- Minimalistic power consumption
- Lead-free compatibility
- Ecologically effective
- High durability
- Adequately conductive, both thermally and electrically
- Long shelf life
- Compatibility with versatile devices
- Supportive of effective thermal management
- Stability and robustness in design
- Sustainable LED PCBA facility
The application of LED PCB
- Medical Industry
- Telecommunication Industry
- Computer products
- Automotive Industry
- Home Appliances
- Smart devices
How to design LED PCB?
LED PCB designing depends on their application to a large extent. But you must follow a basic guideline that remains the same in all use of LED circuit boards.
●Don’t place a PCB component very close to the surface boundary.
It can be dangerous for the circuit board during de-penalization. You must set the components within a specific range (almost 100”) of the board edge.
Using a reference tab location is helpful for the safe positioning of PCB components.
●Never set the PCB vias too close to the SMT (Surface Mount Technology) pad’s edge.
It causes weak solder joints because PCB vias are used to move solder from different pads. So, try to maintain a substantial difference of almost 0.030” between these two.
●Always route the PCB traces along the middle of the pad’s edge.
It is not recommended to route the PCB traces along the pad’s side. Besides, don’t make a gap between the pad and the trace. This helps the etching materials damage the components placed close to the pad.
●Place the PCB traces concerning the gap between SMT pads.
It can amplify the heat sink effect if you intend to set a wide trace in a bit of place. Besides, LED PCB boards may suffer from a scarcity of paste covers.
●Maintain an obtuse angle while routing LED PCB traces.
Acute angle intensifies the concentrating stress. That’s why it is recommended to end the traces at a higher than right angle.
Considerations for designing an LED PCB
You have to give close attention to the following considerations to attain the best outcome from the PCB design during LED PCB assembly-
The setting of the layer count
LED circuit boards come with a wide variety in terms of layer count and side. So, you have to make a choice about how many layers you should apply to your project. Besides, single or double-sided PCBs have different uses. We make these decisions considering the circuit caliber and component density.
Usually, manufacturers use PCB vias and heat sinks to drain excessive heat securely.
But you must place the vias close to the components that dissipate excessive heat. Heat can’t be transported when there is only air around a hot component. That’s why place the PCB vias considering component placement.
Trade-off between cost and quality
Quality and cost are correlated when you are thinking about LED PCB design. You must ensure premium quality to handle coupling effects, thermal stresses, etc. But to maintain a certain quality, LED PCBA costs will increase. That’s why you must consider how to trade-off between these two to ensure the desired result for your project.
Tracking is essential to ensure that there are no shorts or opens in circuit design and component placement in LED PCB assembly. While tracking the circuit board, you must remember the track width, mounting of PCB holes, symmetry of components, spacing between components, etc.
To maintain all of these considerations properly, you can use dependable design software like Altium Designer. Then, you don’t need to take so much headache to design a LED-based circuit.
How to make an LED PCB board?
A well-made LED PCB board brings extended functionality and durability while maintaining ecological harmony. That’s why you must focus on having well-designed and manufactured LED circuits for your projects.
Step 1: PCB layout design
The very first step of making a LED PCB is to design the PCB layout. You can depend on Altium Designer, Eagle, KiCAD, etc, for this matter. After completing the layout design, print the layout on photo paper by using a reliable PCB printer. Usually, Laser printers are often used in LED PCBA layout printing.
Step 2: Use of copper clad board
Then, use a copper clad board of your required size. Usually, 12” x 12” copper-clad panels are widely used in the case of LED PCB assembly. You can alter the board size according to your design.
Step 3: Placing and pressing of copper clad
In this step, you need to cut the copper-clad and LEd PCB board layout at the exact sizes. Then, place them together and use an electric iron to press these boards for almost 8-10 minutes to connect them tightly. Besides, it improves the ink impression to a great extent.
Then, eliminate the photo paper where the layout is printed very carefully and keep the copper-clad at rest for some time.
Step 4: Etching
This is a crucial part of PCB making. Etching means erasing the unwanted copper from the PCB board through a chemical reaction. Usually, Ferric Chloride, which is a toxic chemical, is primarily used in PCB etching.
Here, you need to keep the board inside the Ferric Chloride solution for around half an hour. This toxic solution eliminates all the excess copper from the board surface. That’s why you must cover the necessary portions before dipping the circuit board into the etching solution.
When you take the board out of the solution, wash it with distilled water and Isopropyl Alcohol. Then, keep it for some moments to get it dry. Thus you will get a new circuit board prepared for the embedment of LED components.
Step 5: Drilling
After the etching process, drill the circuit board as marked on the layout. In this case, manual and automated drillings are used depending on the precision of design and budget constraints.
Automated drilling is a little bit expensive but requires high-class accuracy in PCB making. In contrast to this, manual drilling brings cost-efficiency where it lacks precision.
Step 6: Component placement
In this stage, you need to place other essential PCB components (SMD or THT) concerning the PCB design. Give priority to place Light Emitting Diodes, Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MOSFET), Resistors, and heat-sensitive components.
Step 7: PCB soldering
Now, come to the soldering. This is necessary to place the components accurately and use the solder paste on the PCB surface. Three types of PCB soldering are commonly used in PCB manufacturing. These are-
- Wave soldering
- THR (Through Hole Reflow) soldering
- SMT (Surface Mount Technology)soldering
Step 8: Wiring
Then, wire the PCB components with reliable and durable connecting wires and connect them to the power supply (12V). You can add a female header to LED strips.
Step 9: PCB testing
The last thing is to test the LED PCB. Numerous electrical tests are available to check the functional properties and durability of LED circuit boards. For example,
- AOI (Automated Optical Inspection)
- AXI (Automated X-ray Inspection)
- FPT (Flying Probe Test)
You can rely on any of these while conducting a functional test to detect any kind of flaw in the design, current ratings, soldering, or component placement.
Thus, you can find an almost flawless LED PCB board at an affordable cost.
What are the LED PCB assembly machines?
LED PCB assembly involves mounting PCB components on the PCB surface through different machines. Here, a list of standard LED PCBA machines is given for your convenience.
- Wave solder machine
- AOI machine
- SMT pick and place machine
- SMT mountaineering machine
- LED panel light automated assembly line glue dispensing machine
What is the LED PCB price?
Considering the board size, layer count, customization, materials, etc, LED PCB price varies from $5 to $100. But sometimes, the price can cross this range concerning the circuit design and assembly.
How to choose a good LED PCB manufacturer?
Consider the following factors while choosing a good LED PCB manufacturer-
- Experience in LED technology
- Expert technicians
- Affordable cost
- Custom solutions
- Dependable source of materials
- Equipment and testing facility
1. How to reduce LED PCB temperature?
- Use LED components having premium quality
- Keep the power driver separate from the LEDs
- Expand the areas where the heat dissipates
- Properly implement PCB vias and heat sinks
2. What is the embedded LED PCB and how does it work?
An embedded LED PCB is a circuit board where light-emitting diodes are inserted into the PCB surface to produce light energy.
When a certain amount of ampere passes through the LEDs, these components lighten and produce a small amount of heat. Embedded LED circuit boards allow combining the switch, touch screens, and keypads to make the design stable and compact.