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On my 2007 A6 the reversing lights are very feeble, enough to make it quite difficult to reverse in my own driveway in the dark. I understand that I can't simply use higher-wattage bulbs or LED replacements because of the car's fault detection system. My local dealer says that nothing can be done; he may be right, but it's a little difficult to believe. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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If you're a competent with EE and soldering you could make an LED driver that uses that draws the same current as the factory lights and then use a Cree SR90 or such as the actual emitter. – Sponge Bob Jan 7 '13 at 1:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I checked the Bosch,Phillips and Sylvania websites they all list highoutput or premium lamps. I can't give you a specif reccomendation because they list many options depending on which country you are in and what it came with stock. The lamps you have may already be the brightest available. I would check these sites, input the information and compare them to the bulb you have. The performance lamps may not be readible available at the local autostore but they should be able to order them. Also be aware that the added light comes at the cost of shorter bulb life.

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The bigger potential issue is that the added light also tends to come at the expense of more heat. Wouldn't be the first time that a reflector melted because someone stuck a higher wattage bulb in there. – Timo Geusch Dec 26 '12 at 19:53
If you check the bulb manufacturers sites they are designed as exact replacements. They provide more light by more efficient design and at a higher cost. They don't necessarilly do this by increased wattage,but by more lumens ouput. – mikes Dec 26 '12 at 20:01
That's true, but some of the additional light output is achieved by running the filament hotter, thus giving off more light. This may increase the heat output from the bulb, hence the melted reflectors. Obviously the problem is much worse when you also up the wattage. – Timo Geusch Dec 26 '12 at 20:06
Thank you for the suggestion. The Bosch site offers LED bulbs that would fit the car and resistors that would avoid the "error" problem, but also warns (as mentioned by others in this thread) that the resistors would get hot enough to cause other problems. But the site also mentions a "can-bus" type of bulb which is said to be designed to avoid the "error" problem, with no mention of heat. Does anyone know whether these work as claimed? – abacus Jan 8 '13 at 9:25

Slightly alternative solution-

Use PIR lights along your drive so that you get the drive lit up from outside, rather than from your car lights.

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Excellent suggestion. I am in the process of doing that. But I have decided that I want to be able to reverse in other people's driveways also, so I am still pursuing the bulbs. – abacus Jan 8 '13 at 9:31

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