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    Resources — led lights

    The Ultimate Guide To 4Runner LED Lighting: Headlights, Light Bars & Others

    The Ultimate Guide To 4Runner LED Lighting: Headlights, Light Bars & Others

    Toyota did an incredible job designing the 4Runner. It’s durable, reliable, and full of options from the factory. If we have to be picky, there is a big part that the 4Runner is lacking in from the factory, and that is lighting.

    If you do any type of off-roading, live in a place where street lights are forigen, or maybe you just want better or unique looks, there are options for you! With this ultimate lighting guide for Toyota 4Runners, hopefully we can shine some light on your lighting needs and questions! Hopefully you were bright enough to catch that pun. Okay… I’ll dim the puns down.

    What are LED Lights & How Are They Different Than Halogen?

    Let’s first get some basics out of the way. What exactly makes these two types of lights different, what are the benefits, and so on… First off, a “light-emitting diode” (or LED) is a semiconductor in an enclosure that emits light when electricity passes through it. Sounds fancy, but in most basic terms, power passes through a small chip or electronic material, and it lights up when it does.

    Sounds great, but what’s the difference? Basically we are talking about analog and digital forms of light, so to speak. A halogen is an updated version of the classic incandescent bulb first designed in 1879. While halogen bulbs are using much higher grade material compared to their historic counterparts, the operation is the same: electricity heats up a filament that interacts with the gas in the bulb, and you have light.

    In the case of a halogen, we’re talking about a heated tungsten filament interacting with halogen gas. This will make a much brighter light compared to the bulb in your grandpa’s attic, but all analog mediums have a shelf light. The filaments can degrade over time, they can physically break, and the heat emitted can cause premature failure if the glass of the bulb was contaminated by something such as oily fingers during installation. This will have them fail before LEDs will. Since we’re talking about one type of metal and one type of gas interacting, you’re going to get one color and brightness of light.

    While the invention of the LED is a bit dated too coming into light in 1962, when we think of it in terms of a “digital” device, we can definitely imagine how much it has improved since then! An LED light is going to give you an instant on/off light stream, better control of the color, and different brightness levels that halogens simply cannot do.

    One easy way to imagine this is to think about buying a phone. Every phone these days is going to do the same thing. Some just do them better, and that usually depends on the cost. LED lights are the same: they all light up, but the amount of technology in them will allow them to be different.

    Here’s a quick chart to explain some differences:

    What Kind of LED Lights Are Available For 4Runners?

    I hope you didn’t forget why you’re here: 4Runners! Now that you should be convinced that LED lighting for your 4Runner is the way to go, what is actually available? Thankfully since LEDs and Toyotas are both so popular, the short answer is everything!

    4Runner Headlights

    4Runner headlights are easy to get in either replacement bulbs, and entire housing assemblies. Bulbs are easy plug and play replacements that simply take the place of your factory bulb. Replacing the entire housing with a completely built aftermarket headlight assembly will be more costly, but are still pretty straightforward to install, and don't require any modification. A complete assembly will generally give you a complete style overhaul with new features (such as sequential turn signals) over a standalone bulb.

    4Runner Fog Lights

    Fog lights generally get overlooked, but are easy and inexpensive to replace. In most cases, to get the best performance from your fog lights, you’ll want to replace the whole factory pod with an aftermarket LED one. While it sounds like a daunting task, it’s easy!

    4Runner Ditch Lights

    Ditch lights are not something you get from the factory, so these would have to be aftermarket. These lights mount behind your hood on either side, and when installed properly, cast extra lighting off to the sides of where your headlight’s field of view stops. These are great when you’re off on the trails or off-roading at night as they will generally light up the sides of the road you can’t normally see. They will keep you safe in the dark, and don’t require any permanent modification.

    4Runner Light Bars

    Light bars for the ultimate in off-road looks and low lighting performance, you can’t go wrong with an LED light bar. These generally mount either on your roof, in, on, or behind your front grille, or on your bumper (but for that last one, generally only if you have your bumper modified or replaced). They are simply a robust row (or two) of bright LEDs designed to make sure you see everything in front of you. There are different types, so let’s get into them!

    What are Light Bars Used For?

    In short, light bars are used for extra illumination. While high-beams can offer better light in darkness, light bars allow for a more customizable line of sight in the dark from the different size and mounting abilities. Light bars are mainly for off-road use and most are generally not allowed to be used on public roads. So keep that in mind when you think about getting one.

    What Are The Different Light Bar Sizes?

    Single Row Light Bars

    For the most part, a single row light bar is going to have a single row of LED lights that produce a more focused beam of light. Think in terms of a spotlight. Generally this is best if you want to light up a longer distance.

    Double Row Light Bars

    A double row light bar is best for more of a floodlight, containing two rows of bright LED lights. If you want to light up a large area, a double could be better. This is just a basic principle, but things could change depending on which LEDs you use, the length of the row, placement, and so on.

    What Are The Different Types of Light Bar Beams?

    While the size portion above talked about what types of beams the number of rows generally produces, there are specific beams of light that you can look for: spot, flood, and combo. What you should get depends on where you plan on using them, and what you plan on using them for.

    Spot Beam

    Spot beams focus a narrow beam of light in a specific area. These are best for distance and a specific line of sight. If you are faced with long open roads without much vegetation, this could be an option for you. On a road like that, you could be going at faster speeds then you would be if you were in the woods. You will want a beam of light that can see obstacles in the road far before you reach them.

    Flood Beam

    Flood beams spread out light over a wider and taller surface area, but not as far as a spot beam. Something like this would be better in thicker vegetation where you need to see more around you, and light can’t travel that far of a distance in that type of an environment anyway (with all the trees). If you use the lights on your truck to light up a work site or something along those lines, this could be a better option too.

    Combo Beam

    What if you need both? Enter the combo light. This has the narrow throw of the spot beam, with a wide spread of a flood beam. This is generally accomplished with two light sources in the same fixture. Keep in mind that some combos may not shoot as far as a standalone spot fixture, but they are very versatile. Can you switch between modes on combo lights? Some bars allow that function, and that could make them the best between all three worlds.

    Here's a nice little graphic to help you visualize the difference.

    What Are The Different Light Bar Colors?

    While there are technically many colors of LEDs you can get, there are laws about what color lighting you are allowed to use on public roads. The safest two options would be white or amber. Basically it comes down to preference. Amber lights have the same patterns as white lights, but are not as bright due to the filtered light. Some LED bars and bulbs offer both options. Shop around and find what’s best for you! Keep in mind your federal and state laws before you get too carried away with other colors.

    Standard Light Bar Mounting Options

    Thanks to the aftermarket world (and the large lower front grille of the 4Runner from Toyota), there are two popular ways to mount LED light bars on your 4Runner. Let’s assume you want them facing forward. While money and creativity can make almost any mounting location a reality, let’s take a look at the two main ways.

    Roof Mounts

    Roof mounts offer good function and style. If you want that off-roading look as well as serious illumination power, roof mounts are the way to go. While you may not be able to see directly in front of your front tires with the bar on the roof, you get a good line of sight, depending on the beam (spot, flood, or combo) that you choose.

    Behind The Grille Mounts

    Have you ever noticed how large the lower front grille on the newer 4Runners are? That allows for a lot of real estate to mount multiple light bars! The advantage of having them here is that your off-road appearance is more subdued. If having extra lighting is important from time to time, but you don’t always want to see a light bar on your roof, this conservative approach could be the option for you.

    To Sum It All Up…

    LED lighting is generally the way to go. They last longer, they are brighter, they are more versatile, and they just look so much better. With LED technology being so inexpensive now, the sky is the limit! Light up the night sky, or simply be the best looking 4Runner in the parking lot. Either way, I hope this guide has answered all of your questions regarding LED lighting for your Toyota 4Runner.

    Image Credits

    Beam Types

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    If you own a Toyota Tacoma, you already know that you're part of a cult... A cult who loves to dump hundreds, even thousands of dollars into cool mods and accessories for their trucks. For many, including myself, one of the first questions we ask ourselves is "how can I make my Tacoma better" or "how can I make my Tacoma look more bad ass", lucky for you, there are hundreds of mods out there for you to make your Tacoma unique to you.

    For many, our mods have to be planned out and budgeted financially, so I polled TacomaWorld.com, TacomaForum.com, and several Facebook groups and pulled together this list of mods for those on a budget (like me).

    These mods work with all 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 models.

    Pop & Lock Power Tailgate Lock ($97)

    This tailgate lock not only prevents thieves from stealing your tailgate, but when coupled with a tonneau cover, will protect your valuables as well. Originally designed for the Tundra, this pop & lock will work on your Tacoma and make it easy to lock with a push of button. This is the very first accessory that I add to my trucks. You can buy it here.

    TRD Pro Style Grille (Starts at $140)

    I've never met a Tacoma owner who doesn't want an aftermarket grille insert for their Tacoma. This is definitely one of the most popular mods we see amongst Tacoma owners, so rip out that old, ugly grille and mount up a TRD pro style grille and give your Tacoma the facelift it deserves. If you're feeling crazy, you can customize the letter color and add one of four different colors of raptor lights. You can buy it here.

    Anytime Front Camera ($79.99)

    When you drive a truck, it's really hard to see what's in front of you on the ground. Adding a front camera helps when pulling into parking spaces or pulling into your garage to make sure you going in straight and not running anything over. You can buy it here.

    Center Console Organizer Tray ($13.99)

    If you're like most Tacoma owners, you feel like your center console is a catch all for the crap you have laying around your truck. This tray allows the bottom of your console to be the catch all for your crap, while having a nice organized section for the things you use most. If you're looking for more organized storage, this is for you! You can buy it here.

    Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover ($259)

    As mentioned in the pop & lock section, if you don't have a tonneau cover, you're missing out. A tonneau will allow you to protect what's in your bed from the harshest weather conditions and when coupled with the tailgate lock, secure them as well. There are so many different kinds of covers, some cheap, some expensive, This one is a good budget option and you can buy it here.

    Cali Raised LED Side Projection Ditch Lights (Starting at $170.99)

    Ditch lights are something I've never really heard of or seen before, but they help off roaders get more light coverage, up to 120 degrees on each side of the vehicle. You can buy them here.

    Scotchgard Fabric Protector Spray ($20.44)

    Scotchgard is a no brainer for anyone who has a car, truck, couches, or other fabric based furniture. Spray on 2-3 coats and watch the juice and soda roll right off your seats to your rubber floor mats. You can buy it here.

    Vinyl Decal Tailgate Inserts ($14.99)

    One quick way to give your truck a facelift is by installing tailgate inserts into the embossed Tacoma logo on the bottom of your tailgate. There are so many different kinds, but I like the ones cut out of vinyl. They are cheap and easy to put on and can be swapped out for different colors in the blink of an eye. You can buy them here.

    Redline Hood Struts/Lifts ($99.95)

    Why most cars and trucks don't come with automatic, gas spring based hood lifts is beyond me. I mean, it's 2021 people! These hood struts make it easy to prop open the hood of your Tacoma when you need to clean or work on your engine. You can buy them here.

    Cali Raised Replacement LED Fog Light Pods (Start at $149.99)

    If you hate your round, non LED fog lights, Cali Raised has the most affordable solution for you. Their LED fog light pods make it quick and easy to install a brighter, more powerful light at half the price of their competitors. You can buy them here.

    Scosche Magnetic Phone Mount ($14.82)

    One of the best phone mounts I've come across is the Scosche mount. It's good looking and mounts just about anywhere to keep your phone front and center while you're out on a drive. I have these in all of our family cars and everyone loves them. I think you will too! You can buy it here.

    Anytime Backup Camera ($59.99)

    Tacoma owners who tow a lot love the anytime backup camera. With a little wiring, you can activate your backup camera at anytime to check out your trailer, boat, or whatever you might be hauling. You can buy it here.

    Tint

    One of the basic mods you can make to any car or truck is adding tint. Tint not only helps keep your Tacoma cool in the summer, but helps keep the inside of your truck private to outside viewers. The tint for my Tacoma cost about $250 and it has held up great for 5 years now. No bubbles, no fading, nothing.

    Matt Gecko Under Bed Rail LED Lights ($85 - $90)

    If you run any sort of a bed cover, you know it's very dark in the bed of your truck, day or night. These sweet bed rail lights provided by Matt Gecko give you the light you need to see anything and everything while your cover is down. You can read about it here.

    AC Drain Mod (Less than $15 and ten minutes of your time)

    A lot of Tacoma owners don't realize that where their AC condensation drips out under the truck, hits the frame and causes rust. This handy little mod brought to you by the folks at Tacoma World needs to done this coming spring before you start using your AC again. Better safe than sorry. You can read about it here.

    Floor Mat Anti-Slip Fastener Clips ($4.98)

    Who else hates that the passenger side and second cab mats slide all around? One easy fix is to superglue heavy duty velcro to them, which works some of the time. A better solution is installing these anti-slip fastener clips. They will hold your mats in place for as long as you own your truck. You can buy them here.

    Meso Customs Minimalist Key Fob ($40)

    A simple, but cool mod offered by Meso Customs is a replacement key fob. It's very easy to take apart your current, black fob and put the guts into one of their color-matched, more rugged fobs. You can buy it here.

    Hood Bulge Glare Blocker Sticker ($29.99)

    Many Tacoma owners complain that the bulge on their Sport model casts a wicked glare and makes it hard to see on a sunny day. The solution to this is the hood bulge glare blocker decal. It deadens the rays from the sun and makes it not reflective anymore. Once I added my decal, I could tell right away that it was much easier to see during hot sunny days. You can buy it here.

    Cali Raised Behind Grille LED Light Bar (Starting at $279.99)

    Light bars are all the rage with serious off roaders. Even a lot of mall crawlers put light bars on their rigs. The Cali Raised behind grille light bar mounts right below your Tacoma grille and with a little wizardry, can be wired right to a push button to light it up... but please do so responsibly. You don't want to be one of those douches who blinds people on city roads. You can buy it here.

    Tacoma Raptor Light Kit ($39.99)

    Not sure why Tacoma owners want to make their trucks look like the Ford Raptor, but they do. On the top of the grille, the Raptor has three amber lights. This mod makes any Tacoma grille look like a Raptor when the sun goes down. These raptor lights typically come in four colors, amber, smoked amber, white and smoked white. You can buy them here.

    OEM Bed Mat Short Bed / Long Bed ($115.43 - $121.40)

    A bed mat is pretty self explanatory, but for those who want to keep their stuff from rolling and sliding all around the bed of their truck, the OEM bed mat is the perfect solution. It's thick and kinda grippy and does the job right. You can buy the short bed here and the long bed here.

    N2 Designs Remote Start ($199)

    If you love your Tacoma to always be warm when you jump into it, installing a remote start kit is vital to your comfort. The N2 Designs is affordable and incredibly easy to install. You can buy it here.

    Spidertrax Wheel Spacers ($91.91)

    For those who want their Tacoma's to have a wider, more aggressive stance, but can't afford new wheels, wheel spacers are for you. They allow you to keep your stock wheels, but give you a more beefed up look. Die hards think spacers are an idiotic thing to do to your truck, but guess what, many of us have run them for years with zero problems. If you really want a wider stance with your stock wheels, you can't go wrong. You can buy them here.

    LED Interior Lights ($14.99)

    These days, most of the world is powered by LEDs, so why Toyota didn't equip Tacomas with LEDs all the way around is beyond me. This mod is very easy to complete and gives you more of a daylight look to your lights. You can buy them here.

    Premium Audio Upgrade - Tweeters / Front Speakers / Rear Speakers (Less than $250)

    Many Tacoma owners complain about their sound system and how their music just sounds awful. I don't necessarily agree, but for those who want an inexpensive way to upgrade your system, this upgrade is for you. Here's the install video. You can buy the tweeters here, the front speakers here and the rear speakers here.

    Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tundras

    Top 20 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tundras

    For the last few years we've devoted all of our love to Tacomas here at Emypre Off Road, mostly, because that's what I currently own. However, I've had countless people reach out on forums, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms asking me to start writing about and selling Tundra products.

    Well, 2019 is the year for us to get into that market, so here's the first post of many to come. As you well know, Toyota Tundra trucks are just as popular as Tacomas and like their little brother, Tundra owners love to mod out their trucks. Here is a great list of Toyota Tundra modifications and accessories you can buy and install to give you truck a little flair and personalization. Most of these mods and ideas come from the pros on forums and Facebook groups, some of which are my dear friends. If your Tundra is a 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019, 2020 or 2021 this post is for you!

    So, let's dive right in...

    TRD Pro Style Grille ($219.99)

    It’s the first thing everyone sees, so why have a factory one like everyone else? I don’t make ones for Tundras yet, but there are dozens of options out there. Find one that fits your style. One of our favorites is the TRD Pro style grille that you can find right here at Empyre Off Road.

    Cali Raised LED Side Projection Ditch Lights (About $115)

    Ditch lights are a great way to help you turn day into night for that serious off roading, or just driving down the driveway of your ranch at night. There are multiple options you can select, but a basic kit is around $115.

    Cali Raised Replacement LED Fog Light Pods ($120) 

    The factory fog lights are garbage compared to the substantially brighter, more durable, and longer lasting LED options that Cali offers. More subtle than ditch lights, these LEDs will make certain you see what’s in front of you.

    Cali Raised Lower Bumper LED Light ($270) 

    If you simply need more light, this stealthy bar is perfect. It gives a sleek factory look when you don’t need it, and light-up-the-night performance when you do with a choice of spot or combo beam options.

    Vinyl Tailgate Inserts ($15)

    For very little, you can make your Tundra pop by adding some colored vinyl inserts to the letters on your tailgate. I offer a lifetime warranty on mine. 

    Pop & Lock Power Tailgate Lock ($94)

    Forget about remembering to use your key to lock your tailgate. Match this with a tonneau cover, and your cargo is safe or accessible with just the press of a button.

    Spidertrax Wheel Spacers ($130)

    When size matters on a budget, these spacers give an excellent and cost effective way to widen your ride. The extra width gives an impressive stance over the factory setup, but you get to keep your factory wheels.

    OEM Bed Mat ($100) 

    Bed mats are an easy way to keep your stuff from rolling around. There are plenty of options, but you can’t go wrong with OEM for something like this.

    Gator Tri Fold Tonneau ($219)

    I have covered all the basics about different types of covers for your trucks, and here is one that I recommend. It’s inexpensive, effective, and looks good. What more could you want?

    Husky Floor Liners ($179)

    Keep your feet planted and the mess off your carpet with quality mats. Husky offers multiple options depending on your budget and style.

    Deck Rail System ($208)

    These are a lifesaver if you use your bed frequently for different utilities. It’s the perfect companion for storage assistance and accessory mounting.

    Black-Out Badges ($140)

    If you don’t want decals, these solid emblems will replace your factory ones with a set of sleek black ones. If you like dark, these are for you.

    Rear Sway Bar ($233) 

    Visual stuff is great, but performance is better. Enhance your factory handling characteristics with an easy to install sway bar to help beef things up.

    Escort Passport 8500X50 ($129)

    Trucks a great off road, but a top speed of around 110 mils per hour can get you into trouble. This is a highly reviewed average detector. It may give you some false readings, but it's better than breaking the bank. Be safe.

    Door Sill Protectors ($34)

    You want to protect your truck inside and out, and these help prevent scuffs and scraps that happen daily. Of course, you’ll remember what you’re driving, because “TUNDRA” is molded into each one!

    Door Sill Protector Decals ($11)

    If you find the letters in your door sills are hard to read, these will give it an extra pop. Match your paint, or get a color that compliments your exterior.

    Center Console Organizer ($29)

    I don’t remember how half the stuff in my console got there, but with one of these, I’ll at least be able to keep it all organized. You’ll be shocked at the world of difference this simple tray makes.

    Under Seat Storage ($225)

    If your console isn’t enough, make use of the storage room under your seat with these compartments. It’s a great place to hide what you don’t want wandering eyes to see.

    Tyger Nerf Bars ($289)

    Jump into your Tundra in style with these textured side step rails that not only give you a leg up on your friend’s trucks, but they help protect the underside when you’re rock crawling. 

    Pioneer Stereo Upgrade With Apple Car Play ($290)

    In a previous post, I covered all types of stereo options. A good one for your Tundra is this Pioneer unit with almost every app and option you can think of, including Apple CarPlay.

    Your truck, your style. There are tons of inexpensive options to make your truck stand out from purely cosmetic, to function and performance as well. You don’t need to break the bank to stand apart, and these are some great ways for you to get started.

    Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.