While there are certainly better spends of money when measured against pure off-road back for your buck, there’s no denying that a new set of Toyota Tacoma headlights certainly spruce up the front of the Big T’s littlest pickup truck. Whether you’re simply buying a set of new bulbs or popping for an entirely new assembly, this is a popular upgrade for an abundance of very good reasons.
As with all aftermarket accessories, make sure the units you’re buying actually fit the truck to which you hold the keys. While there are obvious differences between generations of Tacoma – and this article will include headlight options for a variety of years – minute changes between a couple of models in the same generation could ruin your install. Always double-check the application before hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Choice: Alpharex Pro-Series Black for 05 - 11 Tacoma
- 2. Best Late Model Upgrade: AlphaRex Pro-Series Projector for 12 - 15 Tacoma
- 3. Best Budget Headlight Upgrade: SYLVANIA H11 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb
- 4. ALS Black Housing Headlamp Assembly for 01 - 04 Tacoma
- 5. xOEDRO Headlight Assembly for 05 - 11 Tacoma
2. Best Late Model Upgrade: AlphaRex Pro-Series Projector for 12 - 15 Tacoma
Yes, it’s the same crew as the prior entry, but this time the lamps are for you deep-pocketed drivers who are in charge of a newer model Tacoma, namely ones between the 2012 and 2015 model years. These headlights are promoted as “100% brand new direct replacement” units for this generation of Taco, utilizing H7 bulbs for low- and high-beams plus a neato light tube standing ready for DRL and signal lamp duty. There is terrifyingly little feedback or ratings from customers on these lamps but exists is extremely positive. One note from a customer speaks of sequential action for the turn signals, a tremendous feature which goes unmentioned by the seller in their ad for these things.
3. Best Budget Headlight Upgrade: SYLVANIA H11 XtraVision - High Performance Halogen Headlight Bulb
Ok, fine – you want to upgrade the peepers on your Tacoma but don’t wish to spend hundreds of bucks on new headlight housings … no matter how cool their appearance. We can respect that decision. For you tightwads cheapskates frugal drivers, these Sylvania bulbs are just the ticket to brightening your view down the road without breaking the bank. Note the connectors on these halogens are H11, meaning they’re good for newer Tacoma trucks such as a 2019 model. Older generations use the H7 plug (or even something else, depending on the pickup’s age), so be sure you’re ordering the right one before buying.
4. ALS Black Housing Headlamp Assembly for 01 - 04 Tacoma
There’s a reason the Tacoma is popular, and it’s not all to do with its widespread acceptance in the overland community. Properly cared for, these things tend to last a very long time (save for that nasty business with frame rot in states that put salt on the roads). This explains why there are aftermarket headlight assemblies available for even 20-year-old Tacoma trucks, such as these very affordable units for models built between the 2001 and 2004 model years. The seller insists assembly and installation is a mere matter of plug and play, suggesting a perfect compatibility with no need to make any changes that require breaking out a power drill. A black housing and amber reflector will give a distinctive look to your truck.
5. xOEDRO Headlight Assembly for 05 - 11 Tacoma
Heading back to the pre-facelift second-gen models, we find this cool-looking set of headlight buckets. Again, deploying a black housing with amber reflectors, these assemblies are a good value and relatively cheap upgrade. However, it should be noted they only include the housings and not the bulb; if you’re left lamp is burnt out, this won’t help. However, bulbs themselves can be had for relative pennies (see above). They include level adjustment screws so you’re not blinding oncoming traffic after installing these things, though it isn’t immediately clear if the adjusters are accessible enough to fiddle with after hitching up to a heavy trailer.
How do you replace Toyota Tacoma headlights?
As with all things on your pride-and-joy pickup truck, make sure to take your time and read all the instructions that arrive with the aftermarket parts you purchase. Take care not to break any tabs off in frustration, lest your newly bought headlights wobble and dance around as if they were on America’s Got Talent. Hit up online forums and video services if you’re unsure, as there are plenty of install instructions floating around the web. And, no – you don’t use a hammer to remove the old headlights.
Are Toyota Tacoma LED headlights worth the upgrade?
We think so. Properly installed LED headlights look great and work even better, providing a tremendous light pattern that can make the difference between seeing that roadside deer in time or hitting the junkyard in search of a new grille. Make sure they are correctly adjusted and check local laws to make sure you’re not running afoul of the constabulary with your new lights.
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