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Our Story

Our Story

Thanks for taking a moment to see what we have to offer at Diode Dynamics.

I started this company in 2006, after exploring automotive lighting for my own vehicle. I found that LED lighting was a guessing game. Dozens of importers and dropshippers. No one really knew what they were selling, or even where it was made. I experienced poor quality, hit-or-miss fitment, and bad service. There had to be a better way.

From the start, it has been our goal to provide only the highest-quality products. Unfortunately, the aftermarket lighting industry was, and still is, plagued with low-quality parts, made at the lowest cost possible, all from small shops in Southeast Asia. All sellers of LED lighting in the US simply import and rebrand similar products. As a college student in a dorm room, I also started Diode Dynamics by importing products, but I took the time to test and see which ones worked and fit well, and made some slight tweaks. A more durable connector, or change in the power level to prevent overheating, could go a long way. By offering these higher-quality options, and backing it up with a solid warranty, excellent service, and instructional videos, we made a name for ourselves. Most of our competitors still operate this way, but I knew we could do even better.

We began researching semiconductor manufacturing, electronics assembly, and automotive lighting design. We purchased an integrating sphere, which measures exact light output and color, and started testing all of our products. We bought dozens of OEM lamps and LEDs, tore them down, and saw how they were designed at the highest levels of quality. What we found was shocking. The level of quality found in OEM lamps was on a whole different level than what we were used to in imported aftermarket LEDs. I realized that we would never get that level of quality from overseas suppliers, who are always looking to cut costs. If we could control every step of the process, it would be possible for us deliver truly OEM-grade products, with innovative, exciting aftermarket features.

So in 2013, we began engineering and manufacturing products in-house. It has not been an easy journey. First, we watched video tutorials on how to design circuit boards, and when we were confident enough, we designed our first one, and bought a small tabletop assembly machine. We set it up in a corner of our small test room, which we ambitiously called the "Lab." Our first product was the Tail as Turn, a small power control module to make use of existing LEDs in factory tail lamps. We were happy if we could make 20 sets in one day on this tiny machine. By pairing this small power module with plug-and-play connectors, we had our first successful product, proudly Made in USA. In 2014, we were able to move to a new 16,000 sqft location, and purchased a high-volume production line for electronics assembly.

While we had our start, we were still limited to making circuit boards. So in 2014, we launched a line of replacement LED Boards, designed to provide more functionality in existing LED applications. If there was just a white LED, we designed a new board with both white and amber, or even full multicolor. Starting with the Dodge Ram, we quickly expanded the lineup, and perfected it once we were able to power them with our own switching power supplies. In late 2015, we launched a unique style of LED known as a "halo," a circuit board designed to act as a standalone lighting fixture. They are populated with a high number of midpower LEDs, and coated with a proprietary silicone to create a solid appearance of light, with no individual dots. Our first offering, for the Subaru WRX, offered functionality never before seen in the aftermarket world, including PWM-controlled dimming and a bright amber.

In early 2016, we launched our first full-housing LED lamp, a replacement sidemarker for the Ford Mustang. Unlike other options on the market, this was designed to meet OEM specifications for reflectivity and durability, right down to the type of plastics used. To ensure these full lamps meet regulatory standards, we made a large investment in mid-2016, purchasing a full array of test equipment. These machines put the lamp through extreme temperatures, humdity, corrosion, and vibration. For photometry, we continue to use our integrating sphere, but we also added a goniophotometer, which allows us to collect a precise measurement of the beam patterns emitted from a lamp. Additionally, we invested in a full suite of software solutions, enabling world-class optical design. All of these tools have come together for our first advanced lamp designs, such as the Front Turn Signal Housing for the Ford Mustang, which offers increased performance from OEM, and an integrated sequencing turn signal, again, with an OEM-grade build quality. We are building these products in a new 24,000 sqft production and engineering facility, which our amazing team completely refurbished themselves before moving in August 2016.

Simply put, our goal is to continually improve. In addition to production and engineering, we also strive to constantly improve our service standards, marketing and product support, product availability, and the overall experience for our customers. We value convenience. We have a three-year warranty that you can actually use. Just give us a call or send an email if you have any problem at all. Often, we'll send a replacement with a return label so you don't have to wait around. We also offer a satisfaction guarantee, zero return or restocking fees, and trained, knowledgeable customer service. We are always looking for ways to better the experience for our customers and dealers.

We are invested for the long-term, backed by many incredible customers who share our vision: performance lighting products, made in USA. I sincerely thank you for your support.

 

Paul Signature

Paul McCain
General Manager, Diode Dynamics

 

Company Milestones

Company Timeline