5th Gen Mods, Accessories, Headlights, Off-Road, Reviews

Top 5 Headlight Housing Replacement Options For the 5th Gen 4Runner

Updated 1/19/21 / Read Time: 10 mins

Top 5 Headlight Housing Replacement Options For the 5th Gen 4Runner

Pictured: @gun.rnr Morimoto XB LED Headlights

Top 5 Pre-Built & Pre-Assembled Headlight Housing Replacement Options For the 5th Gen 4Runner Headlights – All Options Compared

We all know that the stock halogen headlight bulbs are terrible, but is it worth it to replace the headlight housing as well? In this post, we will discuss some of the best options for headlight housing replacements and what makes each option more unique than the others.

If you have considered aftermarket headlight housings, you have likely considered other common options such as HID bulbs, LED bulbs, Bi-LED retrofits, and probably the highest lumen output option of them all; Bi-Xenon (HID high-intensity discharge) retrofits.

LED & HID Bulbs

Although HID and LED bulbs are fairly easy to install, they don’t really transform the look of your 4Runner, nor do they provide “outstanding” light output. However, the term “outstanding” is to be debated. Many owners run these lights because they offer plenty of light performance for their intended use.

Another reason why so many owners upgrade to LED bulbs and HID bulbs is the cost and ease of install. If you are looking for a quick solution to the terrible 5th Gen 4Runer halogens, then upgrading your factory bulbs might be the best option for you.

If you are looking for something a bit more powerful that also offers a unique look, consider retrofits.

Retrofitting Headlights

If you are looking for the highest possible lumen output from your headlight housings, then an LED or Bi-Xenon Retrofit is usually the way to go; and more so a Bi-Xenon retrofit. With that said, retrofitting your headlight housings can be an incredibly time-consuming process and very challenging depending on your skill level with mods.

Retrofitting your factory headlight housing is going to take lots of time, energy, and more of anything; patience. In order to properly open the housings and seal them back up again, you literally need to throw your lights in the oven in order to bake the permaseal open. Then, you install your retrofits. Finally, you throw them back in the oven to seal the housings up. This is much easier said than done, however, the results can be super rewarding.

Custom Retrofit Companies

There are companies out there that you can pay to custom retrofit your headlight housings for you. These companies will often use aftermarket headlight housings, such as TYC or DEPO brand in order to retrofit a pair of headlights. Then once the retrofit is complete, they send you your custom pre-assembled headlight housings complete with LED or hid projector retrofits, halos, shrouds, demon eyes, and much more – ready to plug and play install. Since these companies are typically 100% custom built to order, they can be very expensive. They can be upwards of $1,000 to $2,000+ for a pair of retrofit headlights. A pair of TYC housings can be $300 alone.

If you have ever attempted to retrofit your own headlights, then you may be able to justify the cost because you understand how difficult a professional custom retrofit can be.

Pre-Assembled Headlight Housings

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of retrofitting your own headlights or hiring a company to retrofit a pair of aftermarket brand (TYC, DEPO) headlights, you have an easier option. Ordering a set of pre-assembled and mass-produced housings might be the answer you’re looking for.

Pre-assembled and mass-produced headlight housings are just that; customized headlight housings typically built with LED or HID projector retrofits and designed to sell at mass quantity. Some of these can be custom-made to order, and some are pre-packaged.

Much like custom retrofits, aftermarket headlight housings are not cheap and can get very expensive depending on the options you have configured. However, there are affordable options that may provide what you are looking for at a lower price point.

Performance is a big one to consider here. Depending on the brand of lights you go with, some may not last long or may be prone to inconsistencies so we will go over that as well. There are some long-established brands and some exciting up and coming ones to consider before you make your purchase.

#1. AlphaRex Pro Series

AlphaRex Pro Series 5th Gen 4Runner

Specs

  • Polycarbonate Plastic Lens
  • Polypropylene Housing Material
  • Sequential Turn Signal/ LED DRL light tube
  • Rectangular Projector Lens
  • Low Beam: H7 (Halogen)
  • High Beam: H7 (Halogen)
  • 26 lbs
  • 3 Color Options: Black, AlphaBlack, Chrome
  • Cost: 459+

Overview

These are the cheapest headlight replacement housing options on the market. For someone working on a tight budget, these are perfect. They have a very bright DRL light tube with an amber sequential turn signal. The light tube is in the shape of the chrome check from the stock headlights. The Pro Series also has three color options: AlphaBlack, Black, and Chrome. The chrome color option is great for someone who has kept most of the chrome trim on their 4Runner. While the AlphaBlack and Black color options are great for blacked-out or chrome deleted 4Runners.

The best feature of these headlights is that the bulbs can be swapped. Some of the more expensive headlight housings already come with LED bulbs installed, but if those go out or aren’t bright, then you are out of luck. The Pro series doesn’t come with LED bulbs, it comes with halogens which aren’t super bright. The Pro Series basically allows you to still chose which bulbs you want. If you want a cheap pair off of amazon or a really expensive set of LEDs or HIDs, that’s up to you.

Find it online:

Pros

  • DRL Light Tube/ Turn Signal
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Ability To Swap Out Bulbs
  • Cost: $459+

Cons

  • Halogen Bulbs
  • Will Cost Extra To Upgrade To a Better Set of Bulbs

#2. Morimoto XB LED Headlights

Morimoto XB LED Headlights 5th Gen 4Runner

Specs

  • Polycarbonate Plastic Housing Material
  • 5000k Osram LED DRL
  • Amber Sequential Turn Signal (same as DRL)
  • Low Beam: Tri-Kurla Optic LED
  • High Beam: Tri-Kurla Optic LED
  • Quad-Projector Optics (DOT Approved)
  • Cost: $1,470

Overview

In terms of quality, these headlights are probably number one on this list. The quad projection technology provides the maximum utilization of the TRI-Kurla Optic LED bulbs. Basically, you are getting a lot of light coming from these headlights. The 5000k Osram DRL is another great feature on these headlights. They give off a clear white light that can be clearly seen in the day or the night.

The Morimoto XB’s all have a smoked black look. Providing the ultimate aftermarket look for your 4Runner. These lights are built to last and each bulb comes with its’ own die-cast heat sink, creating a longer lifetime for the lights. Also, the headlights are equipped with a UV-coated polycarbonate lens, allowing the housing and bulbs to withstand the test of time.

There is one major downside to the Morimoto XB’s, the cost! These headlights are extremely expensive. If you don’t have a budget and are just trying to buy the best of the best then these are for you, but if you’ve got to keep everything cost-effective these just won’t make the cut.

Before you buy: 

There have been many reviews on Instagram of them not living up to their expectations for $1400+. Some guys have been really happy and others… pretty disappointed. The biggest complaint has been their light output. For $1400 you would expect some outstanding performance but the Morimoto XB version 01 seems to be lacking. They are working on a version 02 model so be on the lookout for those soon.

Check out the install & review of the Morimoto XB LED Headlights that Felix did.

Find it online:

Pros

  • High-Quality Projection Technology (for maximum light output)
  • 5000k Osram DRL
  • Built To Last (UV and heat sink protection)
  • Blacked-Out Housing

Cons

  • Cost: $1470
  • Can’t Replace Bulbs

#3. AlphaRex Nova Series

AlphaRex Nova Series 5th Gen 4Runner

Specs

  • Polycarbonate Plastic Lens Material
  • Polypropylene Housing Material
  • DRL Tube/ Sequential Turn Signal
  • Built-In Osram LEDs
  • 3 Low Beam LED Lights
  • 3D “Ice Cube” Projector Lenses
  • Color Options: AlphaBlack, Black, Chrome
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Cost: $1,135+

Overview

These lights are killer! The Nova Series gives the Morimoto XB Headlights some intense competition in terms of being the best high-end housing on the market. With the 4, “Ice Cube Projector” lenses, you are sure to get a lot of light output from your headlights. The built-in Osram LEDs save you the hassle of having to purchase your own bulbs and buying 3 low beam bulbs wouldn’t be cheap! With three color options, you can pick what looks best with your vehicle.

Like the Pro and Luxx series, these headlights also come with a DRL/ Sequential Turn Signal. Unlike the Pro Series, the DRL tube in the Nova series has a startup feature, where the LEDs flash when the ignition is started. This little feature does not seem like much but it adds a cool intro for your headlights.

The main problem you could face with these is the inability to replace the Osram LEDs if one goes out. If just one of the six low beams burns out, you will either have to send the housing back to get the chip replaced, get new housing, or deal with it on your own. None of these options would be fun and will be a serious pain to deal with. The Nova Series headlights are extremely well made and built to last, but after many years this could be a possibility.

Find it online:

Pros

  • 3 Osram LED Low Beams
  • Color Options
  • DRL/ Sequential Turn Signal
  • Start-Up Feature

Cons

  • Pricey: $1,135+
  • Can not replace the LEDs

#4. AlphaRex Luxx Series

AlphaRex Luxx Series

Specs

  • Polycarbonate Plastic Lens
  • Polypropylene Housing Material
  • DRL Tube/ Sequential Turn Signal
  • Rectangular Projector Lens
  • Low Beam: AlphaRex Luxx LED
  • High Beam: AlphaRex Luxx LED
  • 26 lbs
  • 3 Color Options: AlphaBlack, Black, Chrome
  • Cost: $730+

Overview

These headlights by AlphaRex are a great mid-tier option for headlight housing. They have their own built-in LEDs saving you the time and hassle of having to but and install your own bulbs. The Luxx series use AlphaRex’s specially designed rectangular housing to provide clean cutoffs on the beam patterns.

The headlights come with a DRL/Sequential Turn signal. Like the NOVA series, the Luxx Headlights have a startup feature that gives the 4Runner a cool look when the engine is started.

The Luxx Series is very similar to the Pro Series in almost all aspects of its design. The only difference is the built-in LED bulbs and the startup feature. If you don’t want to find your own bulbs or would rather that they already are installed, you should go with the Luxx series. If you have your own bulbs in mind or if you want to be able to swap bulbs as you please, you should purchase the Pro series.

Find it online:

Pros

  • Built-in LEDs
  • Rectangular Projector Lenses
  • Cost: $730+ (more expensive than the Pro but already has high-quality bulbs)
  • Color Options

Cons

  • Can not replace bulbs
  • Cost: $730+ (more expensive than the Pro but do not forget it already has high-quality bulbs installed)

#5. Unique Style Racing Depot LED

Unique Style Racing Depot LED 5th Gen 4Runner

Specs

  • Polycarbonate Lens
  • Black Housing Material
  • White Lexus Styl DRL/ Parking Light
  • Low Beam: Stanley LED (Built-In)
  • Stanley LED- 1800 Lumens Per Bulb
  • High Beam: Halogen
  • Turn Signal: Halogen
  • LEDs for High Beam & Turn Signal Can Be Added to Purchase to Replace Halogens
  • $579+

Overview

The USR Depo LED Headlight comes in last on the list but it still has some really good benefits to consider. The Depot brand headlight from USR comes with built-in LED low beams. They are Stanley LEDs and provide 1800 hundred lumens for each individual LED. That is a 250% increase from stock headlights.

The other two bulbs, high beam, and turn signal are halogens if you purchase the base tier Depo lights, but you can add LED replacements at just $75 more. This is great because you get to decide if you actually need better high beams or turn signals. If you live in the city and this is just a daily driver, you might just want good-looking low beams so you don’t need to pay the extra money for more bulbs.

The built-in LEDs included with these headlights are not as bright as some of the other aftermarket bulbs. For example, the new LASfit bulbs have 4000 lumens per bulb, which is over 4x brighter than the stock headlights and 2x brighter than the Stanley chips. So, the included LEDs are brighter options than stock halogens, but they are still not near the best quality you can get.

Like the AlphaRex Pro Series, the USR Headlights are a cost-effective alternative to the expensive Morimoto headlights. The built-in low beams are good but not the best, and you can’t switch them out if you want something better. On the other hand, the high beams and turn signals can be replaced when you purchase the housing. Making it easy to get what you want for your vehicle.

Check out @martymotoring’s install of the USR Depo LED Headlights.

Find it online:

Pros

  • Built-in LED low beams
  • Other lights are halogens
  • Can upgrade different LEDs
  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • Depo brand headlights have a bad rep
  • Not TYC housings
  • Factory design

Final Thoughts

Unique Style Racing Depot LED Headlight Housings

Pictured: @martymotoring with Unique Style Racing Depot LED

Upgrading your headlight housing is a great way to improve the look of your 4Runner.

The bright, white, built-in DRLs on most models will give your vehicle a clean and modern look. With different color options, you have the ability to match the color scheme of your 4Runner. There are different tiers of headlights depending on what you need or can afford.

In the first-tier, there are the AlphaRex Pro Series and Depot LED lights; these options are the best for those with a low budget. Another thing with these housing options is that their bulbs can be swapped, giving you the ability to pick which bulbs you want. The second tier of the headlight housing includes the AlphaRex Luxx Series, which comes with built-in, powerful LED bulbs without costing too much more than the first tier.

Lastly, the third tier is for owners who want the most powerful and highest quality headlights on the market. The two options in this tier are the Nova Series and Morimoto XBs. Both of those come with high-end LED replacements and improved aftermarket projection technology.

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine what you need most and/or what you can afford.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

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Tory
Tory
January 8, 2021 1:07 am

The XB, for its faults, is at least a proprietary product by Morimoto. All of the AlphaRex headlights are just re-branded Alibaba junk sold at an inflated price. The product engineering and quality control on them is very poor. https://m.alibaba.com/amp/product/1600140819744.html This article has a lot of discussion mostly about how the lights LOOK, which is fine- but little to no discussion about how they PERFORM as headlights. I’m not talking about the advertised lumens or “cool white color temp”, I mean how well do they illuminate the road ahead at speed, without glaring at oncoming traffic? A lot of engineering… Read more »

nglayton
nglayton
January 7, 2021 5:29 pm

How about option f0r the 2010-2012 models?

Charlie
Charlie
January 7, 2021 3:07 pm

What about 54kustom?

Gary
Gary
January 2, 2021 12:57 pm

What about swapping 2021 LED parts in?

Gary
Gary
January 2, 2021 9:51 pm

No I mean swapping in whatever changes Toyota did for the 2021 LED equipped fourunners, housing bulbs, etc.

Franklin
Franklin
December 30, 2020 6:50 pm

These are all for 2014+ 4runners. 5th gen started in 2009. Where are the ones that work on earlier models?

Jason
Jason
January 8, 2021 9:56 am
Reply to  Franklin

We always get left out of everything

Paul
Paul
December 29, 2020 10:12 am

Unique Style Racing (USR) Depo Headlights VS Lasfit “Custom” LED with fan dust cover?
Which is worth the upgrade? Depo is more expensive but the DRL is awesome. Lasfit is apparently brighter but still a very expensive option for just a bulb upgrade. Is it worth putting the extra money into a full Depo housing or just settle for the expensive Lasfit bulb upgrade?

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