Lousy backup lights on Honda Odyssey



We have a 2004 Odyssey and the backup lights are nearly useless. You can see them if you’re behind the vehicle and they look bright enough, but if you’re inside you can’t see much of anything.

Is there any way to boost the light output, maybe with a different bulb?



I don’t think back up lights are meant for illumination for the driver, but to warn other people that you are backing up. Actually, I’ve never used, nor tried or wanted to use my back up lights for illumination. You get enough light from the brake lights, which are generally on when you’re reversing.


Yup, they’re not for illumination. If you feel you need more rear illumination while you’re backing up, you could buy some of the floodlight-style backup lights they sometimes use on flatbed trucks.


Shop around, there are more powerful bulbs available. Back-up lights are supposed to illuminate the area into which you are backing, regardless of what the others say, and if you back-up lights are not bright enough, keep experimenting until you find something that works.


A popular mod on larger vehicles is to add as set of auxiliary backup lights. Run a power wire from the front of the car to a relay in the rear, run a wire from one of the existing backup lights to the coil on the relay, ground the whole mess, and you have a nice, bright pair of lights that kick on when you hit reverse. A cheap, $20 pair of white lights can be had at any parts store.


We all get older and night vision is not what it once was. Some cars have more efficient back up lights and others not.

You may be able to find a bulb that is a little brighter that will fit the existing housing and be within power tolerances. However I suspect it will not do much for you.

Frankly most back up lights do not do much to light up the area.