Free Shipping on Orders Over $75. Details

Talk to an Enthusiast
1-877-870-8556
M-F 8:30A-11P, Sat-Sun 8:30A-9P
Win $4,000 In Upgrades!!! Enter Now

Push Back the Night with Tacoma Light Bars & Other Lights

Written By:

Shop Tacoma Lighting

Upgrading your Tacoma's lighting system is not only a good safety measure but also a great way to extend your off-road fun into the darker hours. Light bars, while not necessarily legal on-road, are a perfect solution for spotting obstacles further than your headlights can see. There's also the option to upgrade the headlights themselves.

Tacoma Lights >>

Whether it’s off-roading or just taking a cruise down the moonlit country roads at night, you need headlights can help you get to where you’re going without sacrificing visibility. Headlights are arguably the most important safety feature of any vehicle. Unfortunately, many mid-size vehicle and truck manufacturers sacrifice headlight quality in favor of price, and Toyota is not excluded. Augmenting your Tacoma with a top-of-the-line LED light bar and/or an HID kit can significantly increase your headlights brightness and depth of field. Choose from sturdy light bars in a variety of colors and trims that give your Tacoma some much needed visibility, as well as that aggressive off-roading look. Here, we’d like to detail how Tacoma owners can take back the night.

Differences Between Aftermarket Lighting

Off-road and aftermarket light can make a significant difference to your vehicle’s visibility on the road. But different aftermarket lighting can serve different purposes for your vehicle. Let’s go over a few aftermarket options to see which lighting is best for your Tacoma.

Spot lights: Designed to deliver an intense long-distance light, spotlights allow you to see further ahead while navigating at high speeds. Spotlights can usually be attached to side mirrors or the top of your Tacoma in a round lens piece.

Unfortunately, spot lights are not the most ideal for off-roaders who require a large field of view to navigate around obstacles and winding turns. While rotating spotlights are available for your Tacoma, they are not the most responsive aftermarket option for purchase.

Flood lights: LED and HID flood lights can come as a single attachment piece or full bar that stretches across the top of your Tacoma. Flood lights offer the most visible brightness for objects across your field of view when your driving or even parked. Flood lights and light bars can be perfect for providing your campground with a little light or even spotting a deer before it crosses the road. Unfortunately, flood lights don’t provide great depth when driving and can be significantly blinding to oncoming cars. They also require a high initial investment, especially if you purchase an LED or HID kit.

Fog lights: Fog lights are a standard feature of every car, but most halogen bulbs provide minimal performance. In fact, studies have found that most people use fog lamps more in good weather than bad weather. This is because factory fog lights on most vehicles don’t provide much additional visibility in falling precipitation.

With a pair of aftermarket LED fog lights, your Tacoma can see more quickly without the reflection of the snow or other falling precipitation. Perfect to use as work lights, fog lights can offer a large vertical and horizontal light pattern.

Spread lights: Spread beams are designed to augment your high beams by offering a wider, higher, and longer field of visibility for your Tacoma. In fact, they offer arguably higher and wider light patterns than driving lights because they don’t follow either SCE or SAE safety standards.

Euro Beam: The Euro beam offers a mid-size auxiliary light pattern with a wide field of view to see pedestrians and road signs at night. Not as intense as spot lights or as wide as flood lights, euro beams come in a number of customizable attachments to your Tacoma, while offering a good middle of the road performance.

Different Bulb Types

Halogen: Halogen bulbs are activated by an electrical charge that ignites a tungsten filament filled with argon and nitrogen gases. Far from getting into the specifications of a halogen bulb, it’s important to note that halogen bulbs are factory standard on most older Tacomas and offer a bright white light that is sufficient for night driving.

Pros

  • Low Cost
  • Sufficient lifespan for moderately used vehicles
  • Easy to install/replace
  • Universal use

Cons

  • Short lifespan for heavily used vehicles
  • Sensitive to vibrations and contact
  • Not energy efficient

HID Bulbs: HID bulbs are stimulated by igniting passing xenon within a filament to produce a high intensity, white light. HID lights are generally not as ubiquitous as LED or Halogen lights, but they offer many advantages in terms of performance.

Pros 

  • Greater light intensity than halogen bulbs
  • More durable bulbs 
  • Wider, higher, and longer space reach than halogen bulbs

Cons

  • High installation and replacement cost
  • Difficult to replace or install
  • Light intensity can be distracting to oncoming traffic
  • Shorter lifespan than LED bulbs

LED: LED auxiliary lights and accessories operate the same as Christmas lights or any other LED bulb. In fact, their low cost is making them more ubiquitous than ever.

Pros

  • Longer lifespan than halogen or HID bulbs
  • Greater brightness and light range than halogen bulbs

Cons

  • High cost of installation 
  • Less intense brightness than HID bulbs

Configuration Types

Made with ABS plastic and steel, most auxiliary, aftermarket lights are designed to offer durability as much as accessibility. For the most part, auxiliary lights, whether it’s your floodlight, euro beam, or spot light, will be mounted to the top of your Tacoma on the roof to provide you with the greatest visibility possible.

For greater visibility and more value for your Tacoma, you can choose between 16-inch, single row LED light bars or 60-inch two row light bars that extend across the length of your hood.

Bumper mounted flood lights also offer increased visibility for off-roading, whether you're mobile or parked and just looking to set up a campground for a while.

Flood lights and fog lights also come in square lenses that can be attached to the roof, bumper, or side mirrors of your Tacoma to add greater width to your light patterns.

Where to Mount Certain Lights

With this in mind, there are certain light configurations that will require different installations. For example, light bars should only be installed across the roof of your Tacoma.

Fog lights are available in both front and rear headlight clusters, although it’s keen to look at aftermarket specifications before installing a new set on either side of your vehicle. Always consult the owner’s manual of both your Tacoma and auxiliary lights before installing them and wiring them to any part of your vehicle.

How to Use

Generally, most auxiliary lights will not be necessary while driving your vehicle. Flood lights and spread lights provide a great width of field, but are only generally used for off-roading experiences or operating as work lights.

Spot lights provide the greatest depth out of any lights and allow you to see obstacles before they occur at long distances and high speeds. Euro beams and fog lights also provide you with the width you need to accent high beams and driving lights at meaningful distances.

For poor weather conditions or falling precipitation fog lights can be used to provide an additional layer of light that is not as reflective as regular headlights.

Legality Notes

Generally, most auxiliary lights can be considered street legal if they meet the minimum distance off the ground (2ft.) and maximum distance above the ground (4ft.) and are pointed at the right direction and angle. But every state has different DMV and DOT regulations that affect what auxiliary light options you can have. Be sure to inspect your state’s code before purchasing auxiliary lights.

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