# Extremely bright tail lights

I’ve recently added led tail lights and they are really bright. Is there any way to dim them a little?

You could add a resistor to the circuit. But I’m thinking that if you had the skills to do this you wouldn’t have needed to post to begin with.

Did you replace the entire lighting modules or just the bulbs? And what’s the year, make & model of the vehicle anyway?

I thought the whole idea of LED lights was to have them brighter and last longer.

A friend of mine added a rheostat (variable resistor) to his hot rod after he installed a set of LED lights. They were way too bright. I have noticed that the new Dodge Challenger’s have extremely bright tail lights…the brake lights were actually uncomfortable to look at.

It’s a 2006 Chevy 2500HD. I replaced the entire module. I didn’t know if load resistors would work or not. I’ll try them and see.

The tail lights are so bright that you can barely tell a difference when the brake lights and turn signals are on.

Can you get a refund on the modules?

No it’s too late now. I’ll try the load resistors and see if that works.

It’s not a load resistor, it’s a series resistor. If you have the current draw spec on the lights, you can calculate a resistor value. You would need one for each light. But see below, resistors may not work.

Eg, if the lights draw 2 amps, you can pick 4 volts drop for a first try and use a R = E/I = 2 ohms resistor, rated at P = EI = 4*2 = 8 watts (use at least twice that, eg, 15 or 20 watt rating)

But LED modules are usually driven by a driver IC. What is the spec on allowed line voltage? The problem is that it may not operate at 8 volts. And the IC may be designed to keep the brightness constant for any line voltage within specification.

Different brand of LED lamp? There are some on Ebay. Our local WM has some too in both white and red output. If the white one is too bright, then the red one might help.

Are the new tail light lenses still red? If so, red LEDS inside red lenses might dim the light enough.

But LED modules are usually driven by a driver IC. What is the spec on allowed line voltage? The problem is that it may not operate at 8 volts. And the IC may be designed to keep the brightness constant for any line voltage within specification.

When driving behind cars with LED tail lights, it’s obvious that those lights are actually being strobed instead of burning steadily. You notice this when you scan your vision across the car, you see a series of tail lights instead of a blur. The strobe rate is just so fast that you don’t see it, like a movie screen looks like a steady light until you wave your hand in front of it.

Perhaps putting resistance between the driver and the lamps would work.

Have you checked to see that your brake lights aren’t constantly on? Aftermarket lighting modules aren’t always wired exactly right.

I hope you kept your old modules…