DDM LED Bulb Warning | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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DDM LED Bulb Warning

So a couple months ago I bought some DDM LED bulbs to replace my taillight bulbs. I have been using their HID kits for a while, and for the price they are pretty good. I was excited to get the LED's to see if they improved my light output and response time.

The bulbs went in no problem. The lights reacted immediately rather than the split second delay a halogen bulb takes. However, even with the brightest and most expensive model, the light output had not improved.

Anyway, after about 2 months they became temperamental. I went and ordered a new pair, and got the newer brightest and most expensive model. About 1 month later(yesterday), I noticed they were doing it again. When I would hit the brake light they would come on, but not for the running lights. I took them out today to inspect them.


I took the plastic connector cap off the bottom to inspect the internals. When I removed it, this happened.


One of the wires stayed in the plastic. Now you're probably thinking that the wire broke loose, or I wasn't careful enough when separating the pieces.


It's hard to tell from the picture, but the resistor must have heated up and actually melted into the plastic casing. BTW, this was the positive lead for the running lights. Checked my other bulbs, and they had the exact same issue.

I understand DDM is a cheap brand and I don't expect top quality, but this is straight up dangerous. I'm a firefighter, and to see this in my car scares the hell out of me.

The point of this post is not to discourage you from buying DDM. I will still be running their HID kits in my low beams, fogs, and offroad lights. However, I STRONGLY discourage your from buying their LED bulbs. This happened in 3 of my 4 bulbs I bought from them, and it was two different models. Hopefully nobody has any problems with these in the future.

And on another note, anyone know any reputable LED taillight bulbs? Thanks.


Explorer Addict
December 27, 2009
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City, State
Vermillion, SD
Year, Model & Trim Level
Plug and play LED bulbs are almost entirely crap. The only company I can recommend is ELEF. Their 5 watt LEDs are brighter than standard bulbs, the 3 watt LEDs are around the same brightness as a standard bulb. They also use PWMs for dimming the bulb. They are fairly pricey, around 50 bucks a pop, but worth it when you compare them to other PnP LEDs, and not really much more expensive than those LEDs you bought. http://www.elef-usa.com/

The type of plug and play LED you bought is what most people sell, and the reason they are no good doesn't have anything to do with how cheap the brand is, it is because of heat. LEDs produce very little heat, but they can also tolerate very little heat. Around the best you will see with the good quality LEDs you see out there is around 100 lumens per watt, but usually closer to 50, so if you figure your brake light at around 200 lumens, you are going to figure that the type of LED that they are using is going to need 3-4 watts of power to reach the brightness of a normal bulb. That 3-4 watts means a bunch of heat, and without thermal management, you will ALWAYS have failures like the type you had or failures of the chips.

Someone is bound to enter this thread and recommend you buy from superbrightleds or V-leds or (insert name of another LED seller here who sells the same thing you can buy for next to nothing on EBay for a higher price so you believe the quality is higher), but you don't want to. They all sell the EXACT same thing. Yeah, you could have gotten a pair of that exact LED you bought on Ebay for 12 bucks. The stuff any of those manufacturers sell is no higher quality.

The best option is to create your own array using quality LEDs and components, but this requires a little skill and knowledge.


Elite Explorer
November 6, 2000
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
Right now there aren't any decent LED taillamp replacements.

However, big companies like Sylvania do have some LED replacements out for other sizes, so hopefully it's just a matter of time until we get quality stuff you can buy at the auto parts store.