5th Gen Mods, Fog Lights, LED Bulbs, Lighting, Off-Road

LED Fog Light Install 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 10/17/19 / Read Time: 6 mins

LED Fog Lights 5th Gen 4Runner - Fog Light Upgrade

LED Fog Lights (6000k) on 5th Gen 4Runner (Overview and Installation)

UPDATE: We installed these lights in my girls 4Runner a few days ago. After driving around with them in the dark, we got to know them a little better. These bulbs help SO MUCH when running the low beams and fog lights together. She has the stock halogen headlights (low and high beam) with these bulbs and it was an outstanding difference. The fog lights almost wash out the yellow/orange hue from the stock halogen low beam bulbs. The wide light was much better, much brighter, and much whiter. The color is crystal white and the light output is much better than the factory light bulbs. We were both really impressed.

After talking about headlights for the last couple of weeks, we are still at it. This time, we are talking about the fogs, and specifically, an LED bulb.

The first option that many owners consider is the Baja Squadron line. These are complete housing that you swap in and replace the OEM assembly.

These off-road pod-style lights are incredibly powerful. The Baja Designs Squadrons are not DOT (Department of Transportation) approved for on-road use. The Squadrons have such intense light output, they might be too bright for on-road use and daily driving.

There are a handful of different options for fog light upgrades to choose from, it’s on you to decide which is best for your needs.

Off-Road Lights Vs. Single LED Bulb

Off-Road Fog Lights Vs. an LED Fog light Bulb

With the off-road lights installed, instead of a single aftermarket LED bulb, you will get flashed by oncoming traffic. We know this because we installed the Baja Designs Squadrons as fog lights recently.

By installing a single aftermarket LED bulb, you will have peace of mind when cruising around town, knowing that you will not get flashed by oncoming traffic. While this bulb (H16) is not as bright as off-road lights, they will still light up the road much better than any halogen bulb.

The Price

The price difference of these bulbs compared to the Off-Road LEDs is quite substantial as well. We paid almost $400 for our Squadrons. And, we only paid $125 for these Philips bulbs. That is a huge difference in cost. But, the Squadrons for example, produce much more light output and are built for off-road use. If you don’t intend on traversing off-road much, or you are not looking for a really expensive light, then consider these Philips bulbs, the Xenon Depot H16 bulbs or a less intense set of off-road lights like the KC HiLiTES Gravity G4s.

The Install Process

The Install was incredibly simple. This install can be done in under 30 minutes. All you do is remove your fender liner, reach in and swap the bulb out. That’s it.

If you have some time on the weekend, this is a great little mod that can be finished with your second coffee.

The only real hassle of installing fog lights is the passenger side. On the passenger side, there is a large black box that surrounds the assembly. You need to pop two tabs on both sides of this box and then remove it completely to get access to the assembly.

Recommended Philips bulbs:

These LEDs feel and look like pretty high-quality lights. They are not the cheapest h16 bulb you can get, but you never want to skimp on lighting.

With a quality bulb, you will have a product that lasts longer, performs better and is easier to install. Some of the lower quality bulbs out there are prone to burning out and can be a pain in the ass to install due to oversized tabs and bulky fans or fins.

Step #1 – Remove Bolts on Fender Liner

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #1 - Remove Bolts on Top Fender Liner (3)

Step #2 – Remove Bolts on Lower Fender Liner (2)

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #2 - Remove Bolts on Lower Fender Liner (2)

Step #3 – Pop Tabs on Top Fender Liner (Gently)

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #3 - Pop Tabs on Top Fender Liner (Gently)LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #3 - Pop Tabs on Top Fender Liner (Gently)

If you have some plastic removal tools, I would recommend using those. A set of the plastic pry tools are usually under $10 and make the install process a little smoother.

If all you have is a flathead screwdriver, then use it. Just be gentle as you are prying apart the tabs from the body of your 4Runner. These fender liner tabs are extremely tight against the body, so just be patient and gentle.

The bottom two tabs in this section kind of cap onto the body curl, while the top just fits underneath. Again, patience goes far here. Just be patient and work the fender liner from the bottom to the top and then back down again. You will get it eventually.

Step #4 – Push Back Fender Liner/ Fold Behind Tire

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #4 - Push Back Fender Liner

Once you have the fender liner free from the body, curl it back and place it behind your tire. This should keep the fender liner in place and give you plenty of room to work on the LED light bulb swap.

Step #5 – Unplug Fog Light Harness

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #5 - Unplug Fog Light Harness

Start by removing the wiring harness from the OEM bulb. Unclick the harness from the bulb.

Step #6 – Rotate Fog Light Bulb and Remove Bulb

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #6 - Rotate Fog Light Bulb and Remove Bulb

With the wiring harness disconnected, you can remove your OEM fog light bulbs. Just twist counter-clockwise and pop the bulb out. This is much easier than the Low Beam Headlights and the High Beam Headlights on your 4Runner. All of which are pretty simple, but this is about as easy as it gets.

Step #7 – Plugin New Bulb (Note Tabs)

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #7 - Plugin New Bulb (Note Tabs)

When you go to plug in the new LED light bulb (H16), note the tab positions. There are three tabs on the H16 LED bulb. Each of these tabs has their specific position within the fog light housing. The largest tab is in the top left position when looking at the housing. Fit the LED bulb into position and then turn the bulb clockwise.

Step #8 – Plugin OEM Light Harness Bulb

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #8 - Plugin OEM Light Harness Bulb

Once you have the LED fog light bulb into position and secure, you can plug in the OEM harness.

Step #9 – Ziptie Wiring

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #9 - Ziptie Wiring

Ziptie everything down and secure the loose into one bunch. You don’t need more than one ziptie here. Just ziptie the wires together into one bunch.

Step #10 – Put Fender Liner Back Into Place

LED Fog Light Bulb (H16) Install Step #10 - Put Fender Liner Back Into Place

Fog Light Install (PASSENGER) – Remove Black Cover Housing

Fog Light Install (PASSENGER) - Remove Black Cover Housing

The only thing different on the passenger side of the 4Runner fog lights is this black housing that covers the fog light assembly. This was kind of a pain in the ass to pop off. In the picture above, this should help you understand what’s on the other side. There are two tabs that hold the fog light cover in place. You need to use a flathead screwdriver for this part.

Place the flathead screwdriver inside the tab area and pop the tab loose. Once you have the outside tab loose, you can come from underneath the 4Runner, reach up and pop the other tab off. From here, you will be able to wiggle the whole fog light cover free and out.

PASSENGER – Repeat Same Steps as Above

Fog Light Install (PASSENGER) - Remove Black Cover Housing

Fog Light Upgrade 5th Gen 4Runner (Before and After)

Fog Light Upgrade 5th Gen 4Runner (Before and After)


If you have any questions or comments on the fog light install, please comment below. If you are using a different LED bulb brand and want everyone to know about it, jot your comments below. Thanks, everyone!!

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January 10, 2020 5:23 am

I gave this a go and it is about as difficult as everyone has described – I also did not remove that box/cover on the passenger side, just kind of worked my hand up from below. I also raised the truck up on some ramps, mainly b/c I’m not very bendy. I imagine that made the whole task a lot easier. I do have to say that I’m not 100% certain the lights are installed correctly, I turned them the correct way, but there was no satisfying “click” sound or feeling to indicate the bulbs are locked in. Maybe I… Read more »

November 8, 2019 2:27 pm

I talked with the folks at Philips. The latest version of the Philips X-Treme Vision is now X-Treme Ultinon. Not sure what the difference is. I installed them and am very impressed. Excellent optics. A mention to all: make sure your foglights are correctly adjusted vertically using the white plastic wheel the size of a quarter. You can see it in the above photos. My left light was way too low. Adjust tire pressure, remove weight not normally carried, fill tank half to full, weigh down driver’s seat as required, at 25ft the top of your beam should be 4… Read more »

Steve Carter
Steve Carter
June 15, 2019 7:58 am

Very helpful article, thanks. Just installed LED replacement fog light bulbs in new 2019, and it would have taken far longer without this article. Having the inexpensive set of plastic body tools recommended elsewhere on this site was also excellent advice, and very helpful in this replacement.

June 14, 2019 5:05 am

Brenan, I just bought a 2019 TRD off road 4 Runner. I’m so glad I found your web site. Thanks for all the great info. Do you still recommend the Philips H16 fog lamp for on road use?

J. Parr
J. Parr
June 14, 2019 5:44 am

Hey John- Great purchase! Congrats- I made same purchase (2018) 1 year ago and couldn’t be more happy. I’m also running these Philips fogs and they are pretty amazing. Super bright/ great color. Oncoming traffic is fine with them. I’d also recommend going HID for low beams. As long as you aim them a bit lower than stock; they are a game changer! No flashes from oncoming and light output feels/ looks like a $40k rig! Haha-

June 8, 2019 4:09 pm

I just recently purchased a 2016 4runner and ordered a set of H16 and H11 HIDs from ddmtuning.com, for the headlights and fogs. However, now that im going thru this site and doing research, do i need to do some kind of conversion for the fog lights? I noticed Just the LEDs and off-road lights for sale. Any info would be great

June 9, 2019 9:45 pm

After doing research, I understand the HIDs would melt the fog light housing?

April 25, 2019 12:55 am

Love these upgraded led lamps. Made a major difference. Also added the LamineX yellow film to the fogs. Nice combo- yellow does diffuse the lights somewhat but brighter output offsets. Love the look and performance. Win-win!

Thanks for all the info on the site. Excellent resource!

February 12, 2019 8:41 am

Just ordered the LED Low Beams, High Beams, and Fog Lights.
I’ve been wanting to put yellow film on my fog lenses for a while, but the system is too dark already, and I run the fogs with my low beams 100% of my night driving.

Hopefully these LED upgrades take care of that problem and I can use the fogs independent.

We’ve had a heavy winter and I’m realizing that stock just does not cut it for safety.

November 7, 2018 10:22 am

This is extremely helpful! I just got my Extreme Led fog lights in yesterday. They now have them available in yellow! Going to put them in today in preparation for the winter. I live in Ohio, we usually see generous amounts of snow each year. Excited to see the difference in clarity. I love what you do on this site! Keep it up!

October 23, 2018 10:11 pm

Do you feel the plastic cover needs to be there for a reason? Overfill of the washer fluid?

October 23, 2018 12:57 pm

Can you get the Philips in yellow? Thanks!

December 27, 2019 6:33 am
Reply to  Bill

Yes, I saw them offered on eBay. You might want to make sure they aren’t cheap Chinese imitations. I thought of buying the yellow Philips XTreme Ultinons but figured it was wiser to get the clear Xtreme Ultinons and add yellow LaminX film for protecting the lens…2 birds-one stone.

October 19, 2018 6:56 pm

nice write up. I installed PIAA Solar Yellow bulb so we will see what things look like tonight

June 24, 2018 7:17 pm

Hey! Love the website! I just installed fog lights on my 2018 Off Road premium. NOTE: Passenger side is super easy if you just detach oem/ housing wiring while bulb is still in housing. Then, you can install new bulb WITHOUT REMOVING FENDER OR BLACK BOX! Looks great- super bright! Crisp modern white color.

Rudy R
Rudy R
May 27, 2018 7:22 pm

I was able to install mine the same way, by just getting under the front and reaching up..really surprised it worked. Passenger side was a bit more difficult but went slow and was able to install no problem. 18 Trd off road.

April 24, 2018 2:21 am

I have an 18 OFP and you are able to change the fog lights by just sliding under the front bumper and reaching up. Maybe its different for other trims?

March 6, 2018 11:39 pm

Hi Brenan. Was wondering if you thought these LED fogs improved the overall wide angle or lateral coverage compared to stock. That’s one of my complaints of the stock headlight / fog lights. I’m thinking of the H9 swap for the headlights.

March 7, 2018 6:37 pm

Thanks, you answered it! was really wondering if the fog light upgrade improved side coverage a bit. I’m going to do it. If I do the H9 for the headlights, I’ll let you know.

January 9, 2020 6:18 am
Reply to  Kit

I installed the Philips H16 X-Treme Ultinon LED bulbs and they definitely project a much wider beam than the stock halogen bulbs. Plenty wide for my needs, and MUCH brighter.

February 27, 2018 4:08 pm

Thanks again for another great mod write up! I started with the passenger side and let me tell ya, that hood is a PITA to get off! Driver side was a piece of cake. Thanks!

February 10, 2018 8:16 am

I am so glad that I stumbled across this site. This is my first go to site for my mods and DIY installs. I purchased all of the recommended LED lights for my 5th Gen and am extremely happy with your recommendations. I had my wife do the install since she has small hands and did not have to remove the battery or any of the tabs on the bumper to access the fog lights including the passenger side. Everything took about 20 minutes. Thanks again!!

February 6, 2018 5:07 am

Brenan, are you aware of or know of any installations for the MORIMOTO XB LED fog light from The Retrofit Source. They use a different LED bulb. If the replacement projector from the stock reflector is worth it do you think the blub it comes with is a good one or should it be swapped with your recommendation? Thanks.

June 10, 2018 6:13 pm
Reply to  Shaf

I have them on my 2018 SR5 premium. They are awesome!! The housing adapter holes are slightly off but they are usable.

June 10, 2018 6:15 pm
Reply to  Shaf

Morimoto XB Fogs have lens infront of the LED that projects the light much wider than stock.

Michael Hopton
Michael Hopton
January 11, 2020 6:22 pm
Reply to  Shaf

The Morimoto XB fogs are great lights. But, do yourself a favor and use the brackets from the OEM fogs. The OEMs fit perfectly and no modification is needed. They pop off and on the Xbs easily.

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