As you know, this blog is dedicated to Tacoma owners! I produce a lot of content around ways to upgrade or mod your Tacoma, in addition to reviewing products and things that I'm doing to my Tacoma.
In today's post, we're going to be looking at upgrading your interior and some of your exterior lighting. Just so I'm fully transparent, Diode Dynamics sent me, at no cost, the SS3 fog light kit to use and review. I purchased the headlights and all interior lighting. Now that's out of the way, let's get to the details!
Low Beam LED Headlights
For the most part, I've been fairly satisfied with the headlights on my 2016 Tacoma. Last year, however, I started to get the itch to upgrade my lights and I started looking at Tacoma Beast and Spyder, but just couldn't stomach the idea of spending several hundred dollars on something like that. When the new 2020's started to hit the road, it really made me want to start looking at them again.
After looking at all of my options, I decided to keep my stock headlights and start replacing the bulbs with the Diode Dynamics LED's. The one thing I really loved over anything else is that their lights were a complete OEM-grade solution. Not only were they plug and play, but they were compact, have optically correct output, flow-simulated cooling and a boost-mode electrical circuit. In short, they are everything an LED replacement bulb should be.
They were also very easy to install. All you have to do is pop the hood, reach down, unscrew and unplug the stock lights and make the swap. Literally took me less than 5 minutes to bang it out. Here are some before, during and after pictures to show the differences.
These fit all 2016 - 2020 models. You can buy them here for $150.
Tacoma SS3 LED Fog Light Kit
Diode's Tacoma fog light kit was the very first of the lighting upgrades that I worked on. Until these, I was a previously running the Cali Raised amber fog pods. I loved them so much, the look, the brackets, etc. The one reason I was most interested in switching is that I wanted a fog that I could run at all times. The Cali Raised pods are not street legal, they are far too bright.
The install would have been a serious breeze, except that I had to remove the Cali Raised brackets in order to get these installed. Once the brackets and lights were removed, the install took about ten minutes.
The output on these is killer. They are just the right amount of bright and coupled with the LED low beam upgrade, I can see so much better at night. No longer am I worried that I'm going to hit someone when driving through my neighborhood. The one thing you need to make sure to do when installing these is making sure that they are pointed down at the road instead of level or up. If they are level or up, they will be too bright for driving and cause issues with oncoming traffic.
Here are some before, during and after pictures.
These fit all 2016 - 2020 models. You can buy them here for $200 (sport) or $320 (pro).
Tacoma LED Map Lights
About a month ago, I did a write up on MESO customs and included their LED map lights as part of the review. After spending some time with them, I decided that they were a little too bright for me and wanted to get something a little less aggressive.
I decide to buy Diode Dynamics HP3 map lights (56 lumens) and I'm very happy with the way they look and the amount of output they have. If I could do it again, I probably would have gone up one more step in brightness, but these are still great and as I said, I'm very happy with them.
Here are a few pictures of what they look like. The first picture is how they were (I put my stock lights back in so you could see the difference) and the second picture is how they are now.
These fit all 2005 - 2020 models. You can buy them here. They start at $8.00 and go up depending on color and brightness.
Tacoma LED Dome Light
As mentioned above, I was running the MESO customs map lights and was waiting for them to get their new dome light finished and on their website so I could buy it and take it for a spin. When I ordered the map lights, I decided to grab a dome light and, again, I couldn't be happier with the result.
I purchased the HP6 (24 lumens) and the light itself is quite a bit brighter than the stock light (when you look at the pictures, it's hard to tell). Even my three-year-old daughter noticed a difference when she first got in and went to put on her seatbelt. She could see a lot better and didn't whine about not being able to do it.
Here are a few pictures of what it looks like. The first picture is how it was and the second picture is how it is now.
Tacoma LED Vanity Lights
I wasn't planning on upgrading the vanity lights in my Tacoma, because the only person who really uses them is my wife when she's doing her makeup when we're on the go. After giving it some thought, I thought, what the heck... it's not a huge expense and it will finish off the interior with LEDs.
Again, super happy with how they turned out. I got the SMF 2 (24 lumens), which are the brightest and they are just the right amount of light.
Here are a few pictures of what they look like. The first picture is the two lights next to each other and the second picture is how they look together.
These fit all 2005 - 2020 models. You can buy them here. They start at $12.00 and go up depending on color and brightness.
To close, if you're looking for a really affordable option to start upgrading both your internal lighting and external lighting, Diode Dynamics is a fantastic choice! I highly recommend them.