5th Gen Mods, Install, LED Bulbs, Lighting

LED High Beam and Low Beam Install

Updated 2/4/20 / Read Time: 7 mins

High Beam and Low Beam Headlight Install 4Runner

4Runner LED Headlights - LED High Beams and Low Beams

LED High Beam and Low Beam Headlight Install on 5th Gen 4Runner (Step by Step Guide)

This a complete plug-n-play install. The only issue and toughest part of this install is the driver side. In a previous post for installing the low beam headlight bulbs, we mentioned that the driver side was tight. And, it is.

If you want a little more room to work on the driver side, I recommend removing the battery. Although this is not needed, it will make installing the new low beams a little easier. The low beam and high beam bulbs have these little tabs that need to be pressed in and twisted (locked) into place. These plastic tabs are pretty awkward to plug and twist into place if you have a tight space to work with. So, removing the battery does help.

The high beam bulbs are much easier to install than the low beams. There is much more room to work with on the high beams, so the process goes much quicker than the low beams.

The Bulbs

Higher Quality Option (Xenon Depot):

The high beam bulbs will wow you for sure. They are BRIGHT!! Going from the stock 4Runner halogens to these LED bulbs will knock your socks off. It is pretty impressive. These lights kick ass.

For the low beam lights, they are brighter but not by much. They didn’t “wow me” like the high beams. They are a brighter white/blue color as opposed to the yellow/ orange color of the halogens which does make driving more visible.

But, you also have an option with HIDs for your low beams. If you are not familiar with HIDs, you should check out a few of the posts we have written on them. HIDs are brighter, stronger and produce better light output than an LED. But they also have their own set of drawbacks.

Do your research before buying a set of bulbs as everyone’s needs are going to be a little different.

Step #1 – Remove Dust Caps

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Remove Dust Caps

Start on the passenger side. You have more room to work on the passenger side. This will get you familiar with the process before moving onto the tighter space on the driver side.

Removing the dust caps can be done by hand or using a flathead screwdriver, gently pushing down on one of the tabs. You need to unscrew them just a bit and then they pop out of the housing.

Step #2 – Twist light Bulb and Pop Lose

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

With the dust caps off, you can access the bulb housing. Gently twist the bulb out of its housing. This will pop the bulb lose of the tabs that are holding it in place.

Step #3 – Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Pull Out OEM Light Bulb

With a bit of wiggle, the bulb will pop out on its own. Pull out the bulb and the wiring to give yourself some room to work with.

Step #4 – Disconnect Bulb

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Disconnect Bulb

Disconnect the bulb by pressing down on the bracket tab. This will release the bulb free of the connection.

Step #5 – Preparing Light Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Preparing LED Lights

Prepare your first install on the passenger side by setting your lights out.

Step #6 – Plug in Light Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Plug in LED Lights

This install is plug-n-play. All you need to do is plug them in.

Step #7 – Testing Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Testing LED Lights

Always test your lights to make sure you didn’t get a bad batch of diodes. It is common from time to time to have a bad light. If you install both sides, shut the hood and realize one does not work, you are going to be pretty irritated. So testing your new lights is a good step.

Step #8 – Notice Different Size Tabs

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Notice Different Size Tabs on LED Bulbs

Note that there are different size tabs for fitting your bulbs. There are two tabs that are large and one tab that is small. Your OEM headlights have the same tabs. They are designed to go in one way and only that one way. Just make a mental note of where these tabs are, line it up and pop the new bulbs. Twist and turn them into place, you are all set!

Step #9 – Place Bulb in Housing

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Place LED Bulb in Housing

Place your bulbs into place, line up your tabs in the correct position, and twist. You will need to put some serious pressure on the back of the bulb to press them in. The Cougar Motor bulbs come with a hefty backing, so use this to your advantage. Press in hard and turn at the same time, locking your new bulbs into place.

Step #10 – Optional Zip-Tie

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Optional Zip-tie

This is not a mandatory step and if you do not have zip-ties, you will be fine. But, zip-ties are an important step of every install on our 4Runner. The zip-tie helps keep the wiring a bit more organized in the low beam housing.

Also, you don’t need to zip-tie the wires together very tight. You can leave them somewhat tight. If you ever go to swap out your LEDs with an HID retrofit kit or new 4Runner LED lights, you can simply cut the wire with more room, not risking any damage on the current lights.

Step #11 – Bundle Wire and Place in Housing

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Bundle Wire and Place in Housing

Bundle your wires together as clean and as tight as possible and place them to the side of your LED bulb and into the housing, completely.

Step #12 – Screw on Dust Cap

4Runner LED Headlight Install - Screw on Dust Cap

Screw back on your dust cap and call the passenger side a day. Test your lights again, just to make sure everything is working inside the housing.

DRIVER SIDE INSTALL Step #1 – Remove Dust Cap with Flathead

(Remove Battery Optional)

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - Remove Dust Cap Screw Driver

The driver side is a bit more tricky only because the area you have to work with is so tight. If you have big hands, you will absolutely want to remove the battery. I have normal sized hands and it was tight. Removing the battery will give you so much more room to work with and when you go to tighten down the new LED bulbs, you have cuts and scratches all over your hand.

I struggled with screwing in the driver side bulb for about 20 minutes. Finally, I gave up and removed the battery. After I removed the battery, I screwed the new LED bulb right in.

For removing the driver side dust cap, you can do this with a flathead by gently pressing down or using your hands. Again, if you take the battery out, you can do it with your hands, no problem. But, with the battery still in place, using a flathead makes it pretty easy.

Step #2 –  Access without Battery Makes it Easier

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

You can see the difference from the shot above to this shot. It is much more open without the battery. The light on the left if your new LED low beam and the light on the right is your OEM high beams.

Just repeat the same steps from the passenger side on the driver side and you should be good to go. While you are on this side, you might as well install the new LED high beams.

Step #3 – Twist Bulb Housing Loose

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

Step #4 – Twist and Remove Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #5 – Unplug OEM Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight Install Driver Side - LED Lights

Step #6 – Plug In High Beam Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #7 – Notice Tab Position

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Step #8 – Zip-Tie Lose Wires

4Runner LED Headlight (Highbeams) Install

Save OEM Bulbs

4Runner LED Headlight (High Beams and Low Beams) Install

Final – Check Correct Fitment

4Runner LED Headlight (High Beams and Low Beams) Install

LED Headlights Before and After

4Runner Halogen Headlights High Beams

4Runner Halogen Headlights High Beams

4Runner LED Headlights High Beams After Installation

4Runner LED Headlights High Beams After Installation

4Runner Halogen Headlights Low Beams

4Runner Halogen Headlights Low Beams

4Runner LED Headlights Low Beams After Install

4Runner LED Headlights Low Beams After Install

The Bulbs

LED 4Runner Headlights - 5th Gen 4Runner LED 4Runner Headlights - 5th Gen 4Runner

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frank
frank
January 24, 2020 12:29 pm

bought 45 watt led high beams for 2013 4runner. one side lights up. the other won’t light. swap bulbs, same results. put in old piaa halogens, both sides light up. is impedance too low? not a fan of cutting into existing wiring harness. any suggestions? checked circuit and continuity is good.

Regg
Regg
January 18, 2020 2:40 pm

Confused I ordered the HIDeXtra kit with the H11 and 9005. Now the H11 looks identical to what you show, but my 9005 were actual bulbs without the honkin heat sink action. It also came with a ballast and all kinds of stuff. I checked the box and it says 9005. Anyway they work, but I tell you it takes a lot of effort to push those H11s in far enough that you can twist lock them.

Tsali
Tsali
November 12, 2019 1:10 pm

Okay, so here’s the deal. Installed. 1) when running lights are on, so are low beams, maybe high. When lights are on normal, the right housing bulb does not work correctly. It points downward. High beams great. What is wrong?

Ronald Marconetto
Ronald Marconetto
September 14, 2019 2:45 pm

is there enough room for the fans on the leds to keep them cool after putting back the dust cover?

DTag
DTag
May 27, 2019 4:44 pm

Does the LED high and low beam set up also work for the drl!

4runner led guy
4runner led guy
April 21, 2019 6:04 pm

Hey! I saw xenon depot has the led driver for the DRL/HIGH BEAM so that an LED is not always on at full power. However, anyone know if you can install a different company’s led bulb into that driver? They say on their site its only for the xenon depot bulbs but for those of us who already bought a high beam led unknowingly, can we just add the driver and expect it to function normally? I wouldnt want to buy their driver if it does not work with one of the several led bulbs I already have and can’t… Read more »

Rob
Rob
February 26, 2019 5:07 pm

Just installed them on my new 2019 and they look great. Obviously these things get pretty hot after just a few minutes being on, do you know of any issues with wiring, hosing, etc. that could be caused due to the heat from these?

Tristin
Tristin
February 3, 2019 11:17 am

I am having trouble installing the lights. Seems like the fitting for the lights is too big for the plug in. Or am I missing a step?

Peter
Peter
November 13, 2018 1:34 pm

Thanks for a very well done guide! A few questions: 1. It’s been 11 months since you posted this guide. How are the lights working after all this time? 2. Is there any brightness difference between the bulbs? Was looking at the Morimoto 2Stroke 2.0 LEDs for both low & high beams. Thoughts?

Peter
Peter
November 17, 2018 3:02 pm

Decided to do a full upgrade for all of my interior & exterior lights. I’ll send in my review of things once I get everything installed and live with them for a bit. First upgrades I am making to my new 2019 TRD Pro. 🙂

Todd Skelton
Todd Skelton
February 7, 2019 10:14 pm

Hey Brenan, I’m going down the LED / HID Rabbit Hole… The question is can you let us know the direction you would go if money wasn’t a problem?

Josh
Josh
October 16, 2018 1:52 pm

Just wondering if you ran into any issues with install. My high beams went in easy but the low beams are proving a little more difficult…. as in the won’t spin at all to lock into place. Advice?

Nick
Nick
September 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Thanks for this write up! Any suggestions for installing the cougar motor bulbs (low beam) on a 2013 Gen 5? No dust cap but even less room to work with on getting the bulb to slide in. Hoping I don’t have to remove the headlight assembly but thinking I may. Any thoughts?

Joe
Joe
July 27, 2018 2:46 am

Has anyone heard any feed back on the company diode dynamics?
They seem well made. Any comment vs xenon depot LEDs.

Kit
Kit
July 4, 2018 2:04 am

Awesome instructional, thanks!! Just wanted to reiterate a tip that Greg talked about above. Go buy a flat bastard (metal file) and shave back the metal housing on the low beam bulb where it rubs up against the housing of the low beam light on the 4R. Made it sooooo much easier. Didn’t need to remove the battery because of this. Thanks!

Gus
Gus
May 28, 2018 10:25 pm

Thanks for the instructions. They were perfect for my install. The only difference for me was the LEDs themselves. I found these on Amazon and given the price, reviews and the built-in driver I went with them.

Basically a Lasfit kit with both H11 and 9005 sets.
So far so good in terms of light output. Time will tell how they last. It was a tight fit to get the led bulb in the socket. But I had no issues with Daytime lights.

Thanks again for the great write up!

Geno
Geno
November 26, 2018 5:37 pm

I already have the H11 HID installed as I followed one of your installs but I’m adding a high beam 9005 LED bulb. Do you need the additional “With DRL LED Driver” add on from XD to make the DRL’s work properly? TIA

Marcos Figueroa Jr
Marcos Figueroa Jr
July 12, 2018 1:46 pm
Reply to  Gus

I also put these lasfit LEDs on my 18 absolutely love them. DRL works little flickering but probably cause of the lower power being used doesnt bother me though they still work. Got the highs, lows, and fogs for about $90 on Amazon a steal if u ask me.

Mandi
Mandi
May 31, 2019 6:12 pm
Reply to  Gus

The best tip I found was to remove the silicone washer that is found on the original bulb and remove the washer on the LED bulb and replace with the OG one. Makes the fit perfect. Would love to hear if you’re still happy with the performance of the high beams and they are still working as drl. I ordered a set on Amazon and they did not run as drl at all.

Shaf
Shaf
April 2, 2018 9:49 pm

On the 2017 the headlights seem to be perpedicular to the projector direction. Is there a specific degree I need to turn the Xenon Pro LED to get the optimum output? The trial and error looks like it can take asustantial time.

Greg
Greg
March 1, 2018 6:07 pm

The reason the low beam is so difficult to install is because the cooling fins on the LED light housing hit and interfere with the headlight assembly on the 4R. If you grind down the fins on the LED housing where they contact the 4R housing it will make clearance so they will drop right in. That’s what I did. No harm the the light either.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
February 21, 2018 6:27 pm

Is it just me seeing the factory halogen lights lighting up more space? Yes, the color of the LED are better, but the range of lighting is narrower. Low beam LED is worthless.

Mike
Mike
October 2, 2019 7:07 pm
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Yep that’s what mine do!!! VERY Disappointing for the money you spend.

Zephyr
Zephyr
February 21, 2018 1:22 am

This is tremendously helpful! Replacing the headlights with simple upgraded aftermarket halogens and the LED flog light install were the best hour I’ve spent in a while. Awesome!

Jason
Jason
February 8, 2018 4:51 pm

Great site and videos, I had a question on this install. Last night I installed these on my 2018 4runner and the lights worked perfectly and I only installed the low beams. After checking everything is working along with the brights but drl are not coming on. Did I miss a step?

Bill
Bill
February 17, 2018 9:18 pm

I have a 2014 Trail 4Runner and noticed this comment around the DRL. I think in 2015 and newer they used the foglight for DRL, as opposed to in the 2014 the high beams are used in a very low lit mode of some sort. Curious if I used the cougar motor LED high beam replacements, if these have that capability as I have only known LEDs to be either on or off vs. dim or bright. Is it safe to assume that all the LED choices would not operate as DRL in my case with the 2014, it is… Read more »

Aaron
Aaron
February 26, 2018 12:44 am

My understanding as an electronics technician is that LEDs (light emitting diodes) often have specific wattage requirements to light up, and many brands of LED headlights will only do High and low beams because the wattage to light up the LED on the DRL setting is too low. Some manufacturers will compensate for the DRL wattage and make an LED that will work on all settings but they have a risk of failure if the wattage range is too excessive for the LED.

Alex
Alex
January 12, 2019 4:11 pm

The reason the DRLs will not work with LED is because an LED is a light emitting diode. (A diode is a PN junction that forces current in one direction). The lamps that come stock are resistors, they slow down current. Essentially the way the Toyota High beam/DRL system works is the lights get the same voltage, but in DRL mode the system pulses the voltage on/off at a fast enough frequency that its mildly noticeable with high end LEDs and does not turn on for low end LEDs. It works perfectly for a lamp (Resistor) as the bulb cannot… Read more »

Derek
Derek
March 3, 2019 9:20 pm

Waiting to purchase until you’ve installed them on yours and make a review. Just for clarification, I only need the driver for the high beams right? I plan on replacing the low, highs, and fog all with Xenon Depots Extreme LED Pro’s. Will I need to order the lows and fogs with the PWM Module or just as is? I have a brand new 2019 Limited Edition and love it, just want all LED forward facing lights.

Kent
Kent
January 5, 2018 1:16 pm

In my opinion you should take this down, the lights suck like you end up saying in a later headlight install. I never got the first one installed fell apart in my hand from too much pressure trying to shove it in… Of coarse then i read the later install using XenonDepot…..

stephan
stephan
December 20, 2017 3:50 am

Brennan. Thank you for writing up this article. We just finished installing our cougar motor LED lights and they rock. We ordered both the high beams and the low beams and love how much whiter the headlights look than the stock yellow orange color. Thank again and great website. Keep it going!

John @theblizzard4r
John @theblizzard4r
December 20, 2017 12:59 am

Great pictures…you can really see the difference. After using them tonight in the pitch black winter, I’m going to consider Xenon Depot’s lights VERY soon. After Xmas for sure. Good call and a great experiment. Love the article.

Bryan A
Bryan A
February 2, 2020 4:16 pm

Do you need to add a PWM module to these lights to the DRL/high beam side so there are no issues with flickering or errors?

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