LED Sidemarkers Compared: Diode Dynamics vs eBay Imports

We’re proud to be one of the only LED sidemarker manufacturers based in the United States. From our St. Louis, Missouri Headquarters, we fully engineer, test, and build every pair of our LED Sidemarkers. Unfortunately, imported copies of our designs are plentiful, with companies often claiming to provide the same quality at a lower cost. 

However, this is almost never the case. In our latest video, we highlight some of the key differences between a genuine Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker, and a generic version that you’re likely to find on Amazon or eBay.


Packing & Installation Guide

LED Sidemarker Packaging

One of the first signs of a lower-quality LED sidemarker is the packaging. Often, cheap imported sidemarkers are shipped without proper protection (bubble wrap, protective film, etc). And because the companies making these “eBay” sidemarkers often don’t actually test-fit them to the actual vehicle, installation guides aren’t always included.

Jeep JL Wrangler LED Sidemarkers

By comparison, Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarkers are fully boxed and secured in a blow-molded insert to ensure there’s no chance of damage in transit. And, installation guides are always included! Long before we release sidemarkers, we thoroughly test-fit them to the vehicle to ensure perfect fitment, and accurate installation steps. There are also step-by-step installation tutorials on the Diode Dynamics YouTube channel!


Build Quality & Reflector Design

Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker Quality

Generic clones of our LED Sidemarkers often look similar in pictures, but can feel very different in your hand. To save money, imported sidemarker manufacturers often use thinner, more brittle plastic. By comparison, our LED Sidemarkers use a thicker, sturdier plastic, just like the OEM ones.

Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker Optics

The reflector design is another area where cheap sidemarkers often fall short. Despite how they look online, most generic options don’t actually use cubic retroreflector optics, which are required for proper light reflection. In the image above, you can see a close-up of the Diode Dynamics retroreflector optic, which is what allows our LED Sidemarkers to reflect light in all directions, just like your factory sidemarkers!


LED Chip Design

Generic LED Sidemarker from eBay

While you might think that using larger LED chips is a good thing, it can actually make sidemarkers look cheap, or even defective. Generic knock-offs of our designs often use these bulkier LED chips to save on cost. Upon close inspection, you can actually spot the individual LEDs, giving the sidemarker the dreaded “braces” effect that’s common with cheap LED lighting.

Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker

Taking a close look at our LED Sidemarkers reveals why smaller LED chips grouped closely together are the best way to achieve clean, even light output. By underdriving a full strip of compact LED chips, our LED Sidemarkers achieve one solid beam of light, as opposed to the “broken” pattern of lesser designs.


Color

JL Wrangler LED Sidemarkers

Especially if you’re looking for smoked or tinted LED sidemarkers, it’s important to purchase from a reputable manufacturer. As you can see in the image above, the “smoked” imported sidemarker (left) isn’t tinted very well, and is actually more of a grayish-clear color. On the right, the Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker is a true smoked color, while still maintaining full sidemarker functionality thanks to the retroreflector optics mentioned above.

Diode Dynamics Camaro LED Sidemarkers

So don’t be fooled by doctored photos online! Whether you prefer clear, red/amber, or smoked sidemarker lights, cheap sidemarkers from overseas may look very different after they’re installed on your ride.


Fitment

Jeep JL Wrangler Clear LED Sidemarkers

Another area that imported LED sidemarkers seem to fall short in is fitment. Unfortunately, some companies still offer sidemarkers that actually require modification to fit properly, despite being listed as “plug-and-play”. This is often caused by a lack of testing, or inexpensive production methods.

Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarker Fitment

At Diode Dynamics, our engineering team invests hundreds of hours using OEM data, 3D modeling, and real-world test fitting to ensure every LED Sidemarker we make fits perfectly right out of the box. There is never any cutting, drilling, or modification needed! Unlike some competitor’s products, our LED Sidemarkers fit exactly like factory.


Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarkers

So, while there will always be knock-offs and generic versions available for less, only genuine Diode Dynamics LED Sidemarkers offer the look, fitment, and reliability you want for your ride. 

Ready for a clean, custom look? We currently offer plug-and-play LED Sidemarkers for the following vehicles: 

As with all our LED lighting upgrades, we proudly stand behind our LED Sidemarkers with a 3-year worry-free warranty! Have questions about our LED lighting? Contact us today

And to see all the lighting mods and LED replacement bulbs we offer for your vehicle, click here!