Tools required
  • A good 15-25w soldering iron or variable unit
  • .032 lead free solder
  • Tweezers
  • Small stiff brush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tips
  • Patience

Start off by letting your iron come up to temp. Once up to temp, use the tip of the iron to heat and lift the edge of the led.

Next use your tweezers to lift the led while you heat the 2nd contact. The led should lift right off of the board.

Once the led is remove, apply a small amount of solder to each contact. Do NOT go overboard here. A little goes a long ways!

Next, use your tweezers to hold the new led and press it down on the board while heating the edge of the solder. The solder will melt and bond with the metal on the led. If you make a brush like stroke with the iron while the solder is hot, the solder joint will look and be flawless.

Only thing to be VERY careful about here is to NOT overheat the led or melt it.

Once a single side of the led is held in place, use your tweezers to press down on the other side while you heat the solder. Use the same method to solder this side of the led. Keep holding the led down until the solder becomes solid.

This step is VERY important. Once both sides of the led are soldered in place, go back to the first side you soldered and heat the solder back up and you may hear a faint "click" that is taking away stress from the first solder joint that bent slightly while soldering on and pressing down on joint number 2. If you do not perform this step, the led may break itself loose over a long period of time and very hot weather.

Use the stiff brush and alcohol to remove any flux leftover from solder, use a q-tip to help clean it up if needed. A good quality lead free solder & iron at the proper temp should leave little flux on the board.

Below are some random photos of solder work on my customers swaps. If your joints look like this, then you are doing great!

Now all of this sounds easy that you have mastered 1 led. Now go forth and finish the other 50+. You will know why led swappers do not do work for free. Very tedious and very time consuming to do it all right.