DDM Tuning SaberLED 50W Pro Series LED Headlight Kit Review
September 22, 2019
RECOMMENDED FOR: Reflector
Style Headlight and Fog Light Styles
RANK*: #3 in Reflector Headlights (tie), #9 in Projector Headlights (tie), #1 in Reflector Fog Lights (tie)
*as of this review, for the latest facts check our recommendations here
DDM Tuning has been around for quite some time and are well known in the aftermarket lighting community. They started with budget HID kits, and now sell very high quality products including HID and LED products. We included their Premium Plus HID model in one of our video reviews, as we were pleasantly surprised by the output and overall high quality. The SaberPro 50W kit follows suite and is a very high construction made from sturdy plastics and metal, as well as top quality diodes. More on this below.
The SaberPro 50W model offers two colors in a few additional sizes, 6000k (white) and 3000k (yellow). The warmer color (3000k) of course recommended for fog lights. They’re available in 6000k across the board, but only offer 3000k in H11/H9/H8/H10, 9005, and 9006/9012. We only tested the 6000k white model, as they don’t offer 3000k in the size we use to test LED currently, but plan to expand to more sizes and applications in the future.
REFLECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
Where they really shine is in reflector applications. They scored a 5.1 based on our tests, only the DeAuto LEDs and Lumibright XT1’s scored higher, but we currently don’t take lumens into consideration with the score. We’ll expand on this in the Lumens section below.
They are nearly 4X brighter (285% additional distance) than your original halogen bulb in terms of distance when installed into the low-beams, and nearly 4X brighter when it comes to overall light (again, more on lumens below).
When installing into high-beams, they provide about 1.5X more light (63% additional). Nothing to write home about, but still a nice upgrade from halogen. Keep in mind too that you’ll again see more overall light due to the extremely high lumen count. Distance is improved, but total light is the biggest upgrade here.
When it comes to glare, the SaberPro’s produce minimal glare in our main headlight housing, is on par with most others. We rated them at a 4.5 stars (objective). Due to the expected extreme output, reflectors housings can typically only handle so much light, and tend to scatter additional light, a common point of consideration when moving to LEDs.
Consider though that they are placed in our mid-tier price range and are #1 in that category. The standard sizes run sub $100, whereas the two products that are brighter are much more costly and may be more limited in sizes. This brings the Saber Pro LED kit to one of the best budget options, if not the best.
PROJECTOR STYLE HEADLIGHT TEST RESULTS
When it comes to halogen projector style headlights, the Saber Pro 50W performed very well at a score of 4.3, however there are other options that are slightly brighter. Again though, we don’t consider the lumens with the score, so they could subjectively be brighter in total light output. In our low-beam projector, they tested at 2900 lux, 231% more light, or 3.3X brighter than halogen. In our high-beam projector though, they were only 10% brighter than halogen, most likely due to the design and light direction.
For projectors, they could be a great choice overall, but if you are looking for maximum distance possible, look at some of the other options available.
REFLECTOR STYLE FOG LIGHT TEST RESULTS
Most people don’t consider their fog lights when upgrading their vehicle’s lighting, but if your vehicle has fog lights, moving to an LED product can be a great way to dramatically increase visibility both in clean and inclement weather. Luckily the DDM Tuning Saber Pro’s come in both white and yellow, 6000k and 3000k respectively. 6000k is best for clear weather, while 3000k works best in inclement weather, such as fog, rain, sleet, snow, and so on.
If you’re looking to upgrade your reflector style fog lights, you’re in luck. They are rated #1 (tie) of all LED products we have tested thus far and spread light around the front of your vehicle like a king! We scored them at 4.5 stars, and produced 2.3X the light over halogen, +135%. This is of course the 6000k white model tested, and while we haven’t tested the 3000k yellow model, we would guess they’d be nearly as bright but with a much warmer color.
One of the most important factors for many people is the color a bulb will put out. LED tends to be on the cooler side (white with a light shade of blue), while halogen bulbs by design are more of a yellow tint (3500k). There are benefits to both colors, and while there is no perfect color, LED bulbs of a higher color temperature prove to add better visibility in clear weather.
We tested the 6000k model of the SaberLED Pro 50W model at 5250k. This proves to be a whiter temperature with less blue tinge than expected. Moving closer to 5000k lets you see better in inclement weather as we described.
We suspect the 3000k model to be around the color as they claim, but we haven’t again tested that model, so we can’t say for sure. Our plan is to pick up a set in the future, so we can at least grab the true color temp.
It’s always refreshing to see a product perform beyond its own claim, and lumens are the biggest inaccuracy we see when it comes to LED kits. The SaberPro 50W kit though claims 10,000 lumens, however we tested the two bulbs at 12,200 stable lumens! Quite incredible for any LED product. We suspect this is possible due to the higher wattage they run at, where almost all LED products we test from Amazon are way below the advertised number, the DDM Tuning kit was closest at 46.3W per bulb. More on power below. Other premium brands are also above their claim, but nothing came close to this number of lumens, and we don’t expect to see anything like it for quite some time.
If you are looking for a high total amount of light (in addition to upgraded distance), this is the product for you. It’s a win-win in terms of distance and ambient lighting output.
LED CHIPS, POWER/CANBUS, TEMPERATURE, & NOISE
Starting with the very important diodes are made by HML, a not so popular LED maker. We are not too familiar with the brand, but they are incredibly bright, brighter than anything we have seen so far from an LED product yet.
The kit describes clearly in the model name they are rated at 50W, and while we never expect the actual wattage to be close, the Saber Pro 50W’s were 46.3W per bulb. Why does this matter? Many new vehicles use a system that detects burnt out bulbs, and when moving to an LED, this normally poses a problem, as the system thinks the original bulb is burnt out. With the SaberPro 50W model, they are identical to the wattage of a 55W halogen bulb (we tested 55W halogen bulbs which run at and around 47W), so for most low-beam applications, they don’t need decoders, resistors, or any add-on that must trick the computer like other products tend to require.
People tend to ask about heat, and if an LED bulb enclosed inside of a headlight will build a lot of heat. Will the fan keep it cool enough? The simple answer is absolutely. We have run many tests, and the fan that comes in many LED bulbs sole purpose is to keep the diodes as cool as possible. LEDs run much cooler than a halogen bulb, (160°F vs 120°F for this kit). So, you can see there should be no concern about heat.
When an LED kit sports a fan for cooling, we always ensure we test the noise level, as it could be distracting or just plain annoying to some people. The SaberLED Pro 50W produces about 68db (about 1” away), which is very respectable, and mildly quiet. It’s about the same as most other LED products with a fan for active cooling, and nothing to worry about.
DIMMABILITY & DRL
The SaberPro 50Ws are fully dimmable on the popular PWM circuit most vehicles use nowadays, and on a standard line, they dim all the way down to 6.0v. Can you run them with your vehicle’s DRL low or high beams? Most likely yes!
CLOCKING/ROTATABILITY & SIZE
Unfortunately, the SaberPro’s do not rotate or clock, which can pose a problem for some applications. In most cases though, they should seat in a position which is respectable to the aim from the halogen bulb. The diodes are in the correct position which mimics the halogen bulb’s filament, and this allow for an accurate beam and great output.
When adding an aftermarket LED product to your vehicle, you need to consider the amount of room available for the larger size which includes the construction of bulb itself, the large fan, and the external driver. The Saber Pro’s are an average size compared to other full size LEDs and are certainly not a slim kit. When you want a high-powered product though, size comes along with it. Typically, the worst case scenario is that you need to purchase an extended dust cover cap, but in most cases they should fit without a problem. Check inside of your headlight and be sure you have some additional room for the fan, and somewhere to place the small external driver.
For the SaberPros, in terms of length from the base to the rear, they measured at 37mm. Maximum width of the fan/heat-sink is about 39mm, and the length of the diode base is about 40mm. The external driver measures 59x35x21mm.
Peace of mind is always nice when you are spending close to $100 for headlight bulbs for your car, and DDM Tuning offers 2 years on the SaberLED Pro 50W model. Above average for the industry.
CONCLUSION & COST
The SaberPro 50W LEDs are a great option for somebody looking to get the maximum amount of light. They truly run near 50W, and spit out over 12,000 actual lumens, almost double any other LED product we have tested thus far! The color is preferred at 5250k (the same color as most OEM LED headlights), won’t throw errors on newer vehicles, and will keep you and your passengers safe out on the road, a top recommendation from the BulbFacts test team!
Full Test Details & Facts
- Low beam Reflector Lux (per): 6200
- High beam Reflector Lux (per): 5700
- Low beam Projector Lux Hotspot (per): 2900
- High beam Projector Lux (per): 3290
- Fog Light Reflector Lux (per): 712
- Fog Light Projector Lux (per): N/A
- Lumens per Kit: 12,200
- Low Beam Refl. Pattern Rating: 4.5 stars
- Low Beam Reflector Glare Lux: N/A
- Tested Kelvin: 5250k
- Running Temp: 120°F (49°C)
- Rotatable?: No
- Bulb Dimensions: 39mm, 37mm, 40mm (Max Width, Base to Rear, Diode Handle)
- Heat sink Size: 59x35x21mm (WxLxD)
- Noise: 69db
- LEDs/bulb: 6/ea color (12 total)
- Direction: Flat
- Driver Type: External, non-removable
- Wattage (per): 46.3
- Cooling Type: Fan
- DRL/High-beam Dimmable: Yes
- CANBUS Compatible: Yes
- Radio Frequency Interfearance: N/A
- Warranty: 2 years
As always, our tests are unbiased and true. We are not like other sites with paid reviews or fake information. We always DECLINE paid or sponsored reviews and offers. Our goal is to provide you with our lab test details and let you decide what product may work best for your application. We simply ask that if you are going to buy a product we have reviewed, please use our affiliate link, as it allows us to further enhance our tests and of course test new products! -Blaise @ BulbFacts Team
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