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 $10,000 in Store Credit! Enter Now >
Claim Your FREE Gift! Reveal Now >

Rear Visibility and Tacoma Tail Lights

Written By:

Shop Tacoma Tail Lights

Tail lights are one of the key features that allow other drivers to see your Tacoma at night. Upgrading the stock units to crisp LEDs will ensure less drain on your alternator and crystal clear rear visibility. Also consider if you have faded housing, replacing them with aftermarket units to bring things into focus.

Tacoma Tail Lights >

When we move from place to place, the notion goes that we shouldn’t look backward. But your rear tail lights serve a valuable function on your Tacoma, even if you don’t see it. For those who are traveling behind you, it’s nice to have crisp and functioning tail lights that don’t distract drivers behind you and give your vehicle an air of sophistication. Here, you can find all the information you need for replacing your stock Tacoma tail lights and upgrading with a pair of LED headlights.

Differences Between 05-15 and 16-19 Tail Lights

For the most part, manufacturers relied on halogen rear tail lights that offered very little visibility. Fortunately, the Tacoma offered began offering LED retrofits in its core beginning in 2009, which became standard between 2009 to present. LED bulbs offer increased visibility at a fraction of the energy required to power them. They also offer a cleaner light that augments other drivers' ability to see you.

What's in the Stock Units

Years Bulb Number & Size
2005-2008 Tacoma Rear Turn Signal: 3157A; Tail Light Bulb: 3157
2009-2010 Tacoma Rear Turn Signal: 3157A; Tail Light Bulb: LED

2005-2015 Tacoma tail light bulb: Dealer OEM Number 81560-04150 

Aftermarket Options Available

You may be surprised to learn about the wealth of customization options for your Tacoma’s rear tail lights. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Backup flood beams give you extra visibility while off-roading or even camping
  • Third brake lights offer additional visibility and style to your Tacoma
  • LED retrofits on older models offer increased visibility and power efficiency
  • New housings offer greater customization options for appearance and even new bulb options (for older models)

If you are driving an older Tacoma model, you should seriously consider upgrading from a sealed beam housing to composite lighting for greater visibility and the ability to replace burned out bulbs more easily.

Adding on new brake lights, light bars, and light strips can grant your Tacoma more visibility while off-roading. These seriously come in handy when you are trying to use your Tacoma’s lights to clear obstacles ahead of you or even set up your campsite.

Of course, you can get the biggest return on your investment by swapping out your halogen bulbs for new HID or LED bulbs. LEDs offer higher visibility at a fraction of the electricity used to power them.

Pros and Cons of Aftermarket LED Tail Lights

LED lights may now be a standard feature of Tacoma, but they weren’t always. Most first and second generation models still have their factory halogen lights installed. What most people like about LED lights is that they last for a really long time. In fact, they could last even longer than your Tacoma depending on how well you take care of it. While they last longer than HID and halogen bulbs, they are also not necessarily the most luminous. 

LED Lights Pros

  • Increased visibility and safety on the road
  • Easy installation and replacement
  • Long-lasting durability- LED lights are rated to last over a decade in some instances
  • Less strain on your battery 

LED Lights Cons

  • High upfront-costs
  • Complex circuitry that could cause confusion for drivers

Difficulty of Conversions

As mentioned before, the complexity of the drive circuitry in LED bulbs can make conversions quite difficult for the novice. Chances are your Tacoma is able to power the SSL circuitry of an LED bulb, but it may require a resistor to control the amount of voltage entering the bulb.

For example, when replacing halogen bulbs for LED bulbs, an LED driver is sometimes required for low-voltage pins. To address these concerns, Tacoma owners should invest in the proper conversion kit. It’s the biggest reason why many Tacomas may run into issues if you just try to swap out that old halogen for an LED bulb without making the proper calibrations.

Ways of Protecting Lights on the Trail

Most Tacoma owners purchase aftermarket LED lights to assist them on the trail. But, your lights may be vulnerable without the proper protection. That’s why we offer rear tail light guards designed to protect the exterior of your tail light housing and save you money on costly repairs. Many owners are pleased to learn that light guards do not impact visibility all too much and are certified to be safe for the road.

For off-roaders, a brand new set of light guards can protect against brush and debris that fly up into your vehicle as your travel down dirt roads. These are some of the most effective upgrades you can purchase for fully armoring your Tacoma and protecting your lights from exterior damage on the trail. Plus, they will also accent your grille guard look you already have in the front.

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