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Interior Flash & Style: Tacoma Interior Lighting

Interior Flash & Style: Tacoma Interior Lighting

Your group lights the campfire, signifying that the day running the desert in your Tacoma has come to a close. The sky grows darker, with the only light now coming from the fire at the center of the camp. After hot dog number one, you head to the cab of your truck to find a drink koozie, but the lighting in your truck is too dim to find it. You flip on your cell phone’s flashlight to finish your search. Unfortunately, that’s reality with the OEM fitted lights inside the Tacoma. More often than not, the lighting inside the trusty Taco is too dim, sending you scrambling to find another source to illuminate the cab.

Shop Tacoma Interior Lighting

Generally, when we think of enhancing our Tacoma's light output we think of off-road light bars and the like, but what about your interior? Changing out stock lights for LEDs provide a crisper and brighter light. You can also adorn your show truck in color changing LEDs, and/or customize other light to match your Tacoma's color scheme.

Tacoma Lighting >>

What Does the Tacoma’s OEM Interior Lighting Have to Offer?

What exactly is the issue with the Tacoma’s interior lighting? In its build process, Toyota designers used old-style incandescent light bulbs that struggle to produce enough light to fill the cab at nighttime.

It’s interesting to note that TRD models come equipped with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and LED cargo lights above the bed as standard equipment, yet engineers decided to skip using the same technology inside the cab. It’s as much of a struggle for a passenger needing to catch up on reading as it is for a driver looking for cash as he pulls into a tollbooth.

The majority of the interior lighting comes from the Tacoma’s rear dome lights, vanity lights on the visors, and overhead map lights above the center console. Bulbs of the latter are standard #194, which is used in the majority of cars on the market.

Upgrading the Interior Bulbs with LEDs

Toyota’s use of dim incandescent lighting within the interior of the cab left Tacoma drivers wanting more, which explains a common modification being a swap to LED lighting. This new lighting method proves beneficial for Taco drivers in more ways than one. Instead of the weak, golden lighting common with the incandescent bulbs, the LED bulbs offer a bright, white light that thoroughly illuminates the entire cab. 

LED lighting is also greatly more efficient than incandescent method and will use much more battery power in case you forget to turn them off at night, meaning a better chance your truck will fire up again in the morning.

There are several aftermarket kits available to outfit the inside of your Tacoma with LED lighting. Buying into one of these kits ensures that the bulbs will come ready to fit your light housing, eliminating the chance of getting the wrong size bulbs. They’re easily installable too, with a whole swap to LED lighting taking less than 20 minutes for most drivers.

Aside from just brighter lighting, LED kits offer the opportunity to change the color of lighting inside the cab. We’ve seen everything from standard white lighting to blue, green, or red.

  • A brighter illumination inside your Tacoma’s cab
  • Battery saving efficiency
  • Opens options for adding color to the cab

Lighting Up the Dash – Aftermarket Switches

If you’re really after adding some flare to the dashboard of your Tacoma, there are several aftermarket control switch kits that will help transform the inside cab. Most basic kits come in the form of factory replica switches, but with options in lighting colors. 

There are other kits, however, that add bits of unique style to the switches, often changing the name and symbols of each in a comical way. The only problem is remembering what each switch now means, as you’ll lose the original designation entirely.

Replacing a whole host of switches can sometimes be labor intensive, taking a bit more time than just switching bulbs. And if for some reason you decide you like the factory switches more, you’ll go through the whole process again to swap them back.

  • Adds color and sometimes comic relief inside your Tacoma
  • Can be a tricky and labor-intensive install

Adding Serious Color Tones to Your Tacoma – LED Accent Strips

Maybe you’re not after the rugged off-roader styling or maybe it’s just to better set the mood, but you want to add a deep colorful tone inside your cab. This is where LED accent strip comes in. LED accent strips are a common upgraded under the dashboard and seats on both the driver and passenger sides, but can be placed just about anywhere and offer a mystique glow throughout the cab. These accent strips are offered in a variety of different color options and easily installed with zip ties or double-sided tape and are powered by a simple wiring job to your fuse box or cigarette lighter adapter.

  • An ominous glow that adds to the tone of your cab
  • Easy install with only simple tools and a few minutes needed
Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro