I've never modified a light before, but I'm jumping in the deep end. Looking for advice.

Hey all, so like the title says, I’ve never reflowed an emitter before, and I’m looking to do some modding on an accessory light I got for my car.
I was looking for any input you guys can offer. The emitters I want to upgrade are the four in the middle(no idea what kind they are, but the output is garbage, and they are 2.75*3.3mm) that are for a supplemental reverse light, and I have three questions:

  1. Based on the reflector(stepped and scalloped, also plastic with a 5.6mm opening), what emitter would you recommend for a decent mix of throw and flood? Given the plastic construction, ideally something fairy low heat.
  2. I cannot make heads or tails of the back side. The white wire leading to the “D+” is the one that powers those LEDs. Is there any indication here of what kind of current/voltage the LEDs will see?
  3. Arguably the most important. How on earth can I remove and replace these LEDs? There is about a .2*2.5mm spot on the LED that is soldered, and I don’t even know where to begin with desoldering that.
    I know I’m basically being asked to be spoon fed this info, so anyone who doesn’t mind helping out a total noob would be greatly appreciated.
    Or, if someone in the western PA area doesn’t mind a bit of in-person mentoring, I can offer a case of your choice of drink for the experience.
    Thank you in advance!

So these are SMD LEDs, and they’re low power and low output. Swapping them out is going to be difficult since you can’t really drive them any harder than they already are without frying them or giving them the ‘blues.’ The main way you’d get them off is with a hot air soldering iron. The footprint really limits the type and output of LED, so unless you can find some suitable replacements it’s going to be tough.

The driver looks to be FET, some transistors, and a couple 7135 or similar regulators. Basically it’s meant to take 12v from your car and turn it into something the LEDs can use. Either way, getting more output of those is going to be difficult since you carefully overdrive those.

Thank you for the insight! So just for my lack of understanding, I want to avoid messing with how much power is driving them. I know I have 12v in, and I’m assuming it’s being reduced to somewhere between 3-6v. Would fitting something smaller like an Osram CULPM1.TG work? Or is this just a situation where I deal with it being as dull as it is?

The Osram LED will not fit that foodprint. Although the Osram cslnm1 is a small SMD led, it’s designed completely different, with a different electrical layout and an isolated thermal pad. It’s capable of much higher output and need to be properly cooled unless run a very low output. Short of a custom mcpcb for the 3030 or 3535 footprint that will fit that reflector and housing, you’re stuck with the current leds.

Well, that’s about the answer I was expecting. Thanks for the knowledge, I’m just gonna pack it up and install as is.

Glad to help. I hope that doesn’t discourage you from.modding adventures though. It’s rewarding and fun

The beam shape is mostly defined by the reflector, the brightness by the driver. Swapping the LEDs won’t help you (also it might be illegal).

In my region, it’s not illegal in this case. There are no output regulations on reverse lights. As for the beam profile, I’m aware the shape is mostly defined by the reflector. The problem is, each of these LEDs is outputting 200 lumens at best. I’m not very well versed in emitter options, but was thinking there is probably something more efficient than whatever bargain bin one was chosen to get the product out the door.