IR emitter module low range

I'm trying to use this type of IR Emitter Module to control an existing IR appliance, but it only works at close ranges of about half a meter. Compared to the original remote the light is very dim. I am using an esp8266 and understand that it only outputs 3.3v, but whether I connect it to the esp8266 or an external power source providing 5v the results are the same. I have read up on using transistors etc. to increase current for an IR LED but nothing regarding this type of emitter module which has a data pin, gnd pin, and vcc pin.

Does anyone have a solution for this type of module?

The module has a 220ohm resistor in series with the LED (marked 221). That limits LED current to (5-1.2)/220= ~17mA on a 5volt Arduino, and (3.3-1.2)/220= ~9.5mA on a 3.3volt MCU. Real remote controls pulse several hundred milliamps through the LED. The 220ohm resistor on that board stops you from increasing that current.

That LED current should give you a bit more than 0.5m though. Are you sure you have the base frequency right (could be 36kHz, 38kHz, ?). Leo..

I believe it's 38kHz.

My goal is to get at least 3 meters and not have to point it directly at the appliance, should I just ditch this module?

I would piggy-back a lower value smd resistor (22-33ohm) on top of that 220ohm resistor, power the module from 5volt, and use a 2N2222 with 220ohm base resistor to drive that LED. Up to your skills to solve it in a different way. Leo..

Sounds more complicated, would it be better to just use an IR led with a resistor something like that?

Paul3: Sounds more complicated, would it be better to just use an IR led with a resistor something like that?

Yes, but must use a transistor to switch that current. 2N2222, emitter to ground, 220ohm resistor between pin and base, LED with ~33ohm current limiting resistor between collector and 5volt (USB/V-in/raw of the ESP module). Leo..

There is still the problem of properly modulating (36 or 38 KHz or ? ) the output of the LED. That is part of what the module does.

No, the module is just an IR LED with 220ohm CL resistor, and a visible indicator LED with 1k CL resistor. Nothing else. You have to provide the remote control data, modulated on a HF carrier (usually 38kHz). That's what a remote control (send) library does for you. Leo..