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    Resources — interior lights

    Diode Dynamics Toyota Tacoma Exterior & Interior Lighting Upgrade

    Diode Dynamics Toyota Tacoma Exterior & Interior Lighting Upgrade

    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.

    These fit all 2016 - 2020 models. You can buy the 2016 version here and you can buy the 2017-2020 version here. It starts at $5.00 and goes up depending on brightness.

    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.

    MESO Customs Toyota Tacoma Interior Upgrades

    MESO Customs Toyota Tacoma Interior Upgrades

    Over the last few months, I’ve started adding some new interior mods to my Tacoma. One of the companies that I’ve been most interested in as of late is MESO Customs. They are doing a really great job at addressing many issues and gripes that Tacoma owners have about their Tacos.

    One of the big issues they address in the market is the ungodly amount of chrome that Toyota decided to add to the interior (exterior is pretty bad too) of its latest generation Tacoma. I, like most Tacoma owners, hate chrome and the fact that Toyota did this drives us nuts! You can do a quick search in Google for Tacoma World threads related to chrome and there are countless posts about it.

    When I decided to start making some additional cosmetic updates to the interior of my Tacoma, I reached out to MESO to see if they were interested in working with me on getting some product to use and review. Below are the four items they sent me (missing from the picture are the vent rings that arrived a few days later). As I buy or am sent additional pieces, I'll be updating this post with my thoughts.

    MESO Customs Chrome Delete Vent Rings & Trim Pieces

    As many of you know, I sell matte black vent ring decals, which I previously had on my vent rings. They worked just fine and if you're looking for a budget-friendly option, I sell them for $12.99 here. The number one problem with these decals was that it only solved half the chrome problem for me. I wanted a complete chrome delete kit and that's where MESO came in. They not only provide a vent ring chrome delete kit but a kit that deletes the chrome from the start button, 4-wheel drive button, cup holder and shifting knob. It pretty much eliminates all of the chrome except for the door handles. Hopefully they're working on that!

    You can buy the vent rings here.

    You can buy the start button, 4-wheel drive switch, cup holder and shift knob trims here.

    MESO Customs Map Lights

    The map lights the MESO sells are insanely bright, almost too bright. The install took me about five minutes max and was relatively straight forward. The process goes as follows:

    • Grab the console with two hands and pull down from the roof of the truck.
    • Disconnect the console from the power cord on the left-hand side of the unit.
    • Grab a butter knife or a small flat tip screwdriver and push it into the outside gap and pull up. The plastic piece will pull right out. (see picture below)
    • On the backside, disconnect the bulb and push in the cord connected to the back of the MESO light. (see picture below)
    • Install the MESO light by pushing into the vacant slot.
    • Reconnect the console to the power cord.
    • Push the console back into the roof of the truck.

    All in all, if you drive a Tacoma, you need these, regardless of how bright they are. The stock lights that come with your vehicle are straight up garbage and you can't see anything very well.

    You can buy the map lights here.

    MESO Customs Minimalist Keyfob

     I've been very interested in the concept of the minimalist keyfob for a few years now. I loved what AJT did with their fob and I love what MESO did with theirs. I mean, how much smaller can you make these fobs? I honestly don't think you can. They've perfected it.

    The one thing that makes me a little uneasy about their keyfob is the fact that it doesn't house the key to unlock your Tacoma if the battery in the fob dies. I've never had a fob run out of battery, but I can imagine that it happens and not having that key would make me pretty pissed.

    You can buy the keyfob here.

    Future MESO Mods

    Some of the other MESO customers mods that I'm looking at doing this year include the following:

    • Ultimate Turn Signals
    • The Gasshole
    • Stealth Pro Shift Knob - I would love to be able to control the ETC switch and my garage door opener with the side buttons.
    • Climate Control Knobs - I want these to be black!