The success of your LED business will largely depend on the proper use of LED PCB. Conversely, choosing the wrong or inappropriate LED PCB manufacturer will put your business in jeopardy. Therefore, it is crucial to choose an LED PCB manufacturer that can provide high-quality PCBs while meeting all your requirements as much as possible. There are thousands of LED PCB manufacturers available in the market today, so how do we pick the best one? Fortunately, this blog details a few key points you should keep in mind when you are confused about choosing the right LED PCB manufacturer for your company, so as to guide you to make the right decision.
What capabilities an LED PCB manufacturer should have
Several major capabilities that a quality manufacturer should possess are mentioned below to help you find your preferred LED PCB manufacturer.
As the inner structure of LED products becomes more and more sophisticated, LED PCB designs also become more and more complex. Design capability is an aspect that cannot be overlooked when you choose a manufacturer to materialize your standard or advanced PCB design. You need to ensure that they have rich experience to live up to your various design requirements such as PCB stack-up, via types and breakout strategies.
Evaluating a manufacturer’s manufacturing capabilities is complex because it often involves many aspects. They can include:
LED PCB types
Here is a list of some of the most popular types of LED PCBs on the market today. You can check if the considered manufacturer offers the types below.
- Rigid LED PCBs
- Flexible LED PCBs
- Rigid-flex LED PCBs
- Single-sided LED PCBs
- Double-sided LED PCBs
- Multi-layer LED PCBs
- Burn-in LED PCBs
- Lead-free LED PCBs
PCB assembly services
Most LED PCB manufacturers typically offer either of the two assembly services:
- Consignment services
Consignment services are a combination of in-house manufacturing and partial outsourcing. You don’t need to worry too much when you hear the word “outsourcing” because you are in charge of manufacturing, which is the core part of the entire production process. Typically, the LED PCB manufacturer retains most of the production in-house, such as system assembly and box build, and chooses to outsource services such as shipping and delivery to other companies.
- Turnkey services
Many LED PCB manufacturers offer turnkey services or one-stop services from material sourcing, PCB manufacturing, assembly, testing, prototyping, mass production, all the way through to delivery and aftermarket services.
It’s critical to match the capabilities of the LED PCB manufacturer to your production needs. The production capabilities among different manufacturers can vary slightly. Some large companies set up for large volume production often do not take up small volume orders, while smaller companies specializing in LED PCB prototyping or small volume production are prone to be easily overwhelmed by large volume orders.
We should try our best to choose the LED PCB manufacturer with advanced production equipment and strong technical capabilities. MOKOLight has invested heavily in technology, including SMT assembly lines, DIP lines, optical and X-ray inspection equipment, component placement machines, reflow soldering machines, wave soldering machines, burn-in test equipment, integrating sphere testers, Ball Grid Array (BGA), etc. We are able to provide PCB prototyping, rigid, flexible, rigid-flex, multi-layer PCBs, aluminum base, copper base and FR4 PCBs, as well as custom and large-volume production.
What to consider when selecting a reliable LED PCB manufacturer
Ability to meet requirements
The first question to consider is whether the manufacturer can produce LED PCB boards according to your requirements. That is to say, can they accept the files in the format provided by the manufacturer and produce boards that meet the specifications you require? Specific requests may include layers, dimensions, tolerances, material selection, lead times, order quantities, and more.
Most companies would give manufacturers deadlines before which they should finish LED PCB production. Therefore, having the capability to meet deadlines is a major factor in selecting an LED PCB manufacturer. Some manufacturers are capable of delivering boards with fast turnaround times, but often at a premium on the cost. Short lead times are great, but not the sooner the better. Too fast turnarounds can lead to increased errors and are not conducive to long-term production.
Make sure the experience and capabilities of the LED PCB manufacturer match your requirements. You can find out experience-related information online and make a list of potential manufacturing partners. Then, make a one-to-one comparison of their experience and capabilities.
At this point, you should focus on the following questions:
- Is the company well-known in the industry or does it have extensive manufacturing experience?
- How long has the company been in business, has it run long enough or does it have enough expertise?
- In addition to manufacturing services, what other services does the company offer?
- Which assembly technology do they deploy, surface-mount, through-hole technology or both?
- What size batches do they typically work with?
- Does the manufacturer have the right equipment to undertake the task? Such as PCB layers, size, assembly technology, coating, AOI, aging test, etc.
- Does the manufacturer outsource the assembly services?
Confirm that the selected manufacturer does not outsource LED PCB assembly services. There is no problem with outsourcing the circuit board itself, but it is prone to problems during the assembly process.
The quality of the circuit board is an important factor in affecting PCB manufacturing. Therefore, when choosing a LED PCB manufacturer, you should check whether it has taken strict quality control measures during the manufacturing process. The proper manufacturer should be able to offer LED PCBs at competitive prices with fast turnaround times without compromising on quality. MOKOLight is one of the greatest examples of them. Here are several important metrics for evaluating the quality control of a manufacturer:
Production equipment is one of the important indicators of a manufacturer’s quality control. State-of-the-art equipment is more inclined to result in high-quality LED PCBs. Conversely, outdated machinery is prone to a series of production problems and defective products.
The manufacturer with the quality standards and certifications indicates that they are capable of producing high-end PCBs that conform to the regulations. Hence, you need to assure that your manufacturer partner can provide all the standards that meet the requirements of your industry and products. MOKOLight has acquired various well-known certifications in the LED lighting industry, such as ISO9001, UL and IPC, as well as restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS). This means that it can produce high-quality LED PCBs that meet the required requirements.
- Client feedback
Client feedback is another important indicator for evaluating quality. You will get a rough idea of the quality of LED PCBs, as long as you have a deeper understanding of the company’s previous projects. Browse customer reviews online or get in touch with previous and current customers directly to find out how satisfied they are with the manufacturer’s business.
Cost is always a major concern when choosing an LED PCB manufacturer. Cutting down the cost is an integral part of the success of your products. To maximize your bottom line, you definitely want to be able to consistently provide your clients with quality LED PCBs at affordable prices. LED PCB production costs vary depending on the following factors:
- Order Quantity: Generally speaking, the larger the order quantity, the more it will cost. Hence, you can purchase LED PCBs in bulk to obtain a better price. It is a cost-effective way to lower the average cost of each unit.
- Services requested: The type of service you require can also make a difference to the cost. Choosing different LED PCB manufacturing technologies such as through-hole assembly and surface mount technology will vary in cost. In addition, the increased cost involves extra testing, design services, component sourcing, and more.
- Labor costs: In general, projects involving complex designs and advanced LED PCB manufacturing require more labor and result in higher labor costs.
- Shipping costs: The shipping costs of LED PCBs are largely influenced by factors such as the distance between the manufacturer and you, the quantity ordered, and the shipping method selected by the manufacturer.
Material sourcing is a key issue that many companies consider when looking for the right manufacturer. To keep costs down, some manufacturers prefer to source materials from suppliers who provide low-cost materials, which results in inconsistent quality from batch to batch. Therefore, you should choose a manufacturer who produces LED PCB boards that meet the required UL standards.
RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances): This regulation limits the amount of hazardous substances that are allowed to be used in LED PCB manufacturing. Since the regulation came into force, it has been recognized by electronics manufacturers worldwide.
REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals): This European standard specifies the chemicals used in LED PCB manufacturing and reveals their impact on the environment and population.
Conflict Materials: This special regulation is of significant importance for companies sited in the US or supplying the US market. This regulation is designed to help you clearly know the supply chain of raw materials, especially when those raw materials may come from conflict areas.
Remember to inquire about their testing options before making a partnership with a manufacturer. It’s necessary to perform adequate quality testing because it will help save your cost in the long run. Make sure the company you look for has comprehensive testing procedures and strict quality control processes. Testing options provided by manufacturers typically include automated optical inspection, component inspection, in-circuit verification, integrating sphere testing, burn-in testing, and visual inspection. In addition, custom testing options to meet extra testing requirements would be a huge plus for manufacturers.
Time to choose your LED PCB manufacturer – recommend MOKOLight
Selecting the right LED PCB manufacturer is not always a walk in the park and it involves many tasks. Keeping the above tips in mind will make the process much simpler for you. In brief, you need to consider the PCB quality, cost, material sourcing and capabilities of the LED PCB manufacturer. There are many LED PCB manufacturing service providers in China, so remember to verify their credibility before making a decision.
As one of the leading LED PCB manufacturers in China, MOKOLight has served countless clients across the globe for over a decade and has won a good reputation. We are able to provide a one-stop service for LED PCB prototyping, assembly and manufacturing, as well as provide free custom design services to suit your needs, which are often not available from other companies. If you are interested in us, you can pay a visit to our company in Shenzhen. Or you can just contact us online and we will work with you to start your LED PCB manufacturing project according to your timeline.