Load Resistor Use With Automotive LED Bulbs

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Load Resistor Use With Automotive LED Bulbs
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A Note on Load Resistors

The low power drain inherent in LED bulbs can often confuse your car into thinking the bulb is out. This will create a “bulb out warning” on your dashboard, cause “fast flashing” of your bulbs, or even just completely shut your LED bulbs off. These situations can be remedied by using load resistors.

Do I Need Load Resistors?

Possibly not. The primary applications that require their use are in tail lights, turn-signals, and sometimes in side-markers and license plates. These cases are also often limited to higher-end vehicles that are more likely to have "bulb-out" warning features. This is a feature also found in, but not limited to, many newer model year German made vehicles.

Due to the large number of vehicle makes, years, models, and lighting applications, we are unable to provide a list of vehicles that will require load resistors. If you are unsure if your vehicle will need these for the light application in which you are interested, we recommend the following:
    * Check your vehicle's owner's manual.
    * Search online user forums.
    * Purchase the bulbs. If you need load resistors, you can always get them later. :)

Types of Load Resistors


Typically used for turn-signal and tail light applications


Typically used for side-markers and license plate applications

You can see various led load resistor kits here.


Installation is very easy. The load resistor wires just need to be spliced into the LED bulb's wiring harness as shown in this illustration. A load resistor will get very hot when the bulb is lit, so it should not be mounted on plastic.

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