Blacked Out LED Projector Retrofit Headlights by USR for the 5th Gen 4Runner

Blacked Out LED Retrofit Headlights by USR for the 5th Gen 4Runner

USR DEPO Headlight Housings – 5000K LED Projector Retrofitted Low Beams for 5th Gen 4Runner – Full Install and Overview

Headlights are a crucial part of any vehicle. But let’s be honest, the stock headlights in our 5th Gens are lacking when it comes to light output. The overall shape and design of the headlights are awesome but the actual internal components need some help.

It’s not the end of the world since they work, but an upgrade can really improve the light output and enhance the front-end appearance as well.

These headlights from Unique Style Racing (USR) are a great option when it comes to upgrading your headlights. Not only will they provide amazing light output, but they will also update the front-end of your build. USR retrofits headlight housings from DEPO (headlight manufacture – similar to TYC). When you buy a set of headlights from USR, you are getting the internal LED components (LED Projectors, turn signals, the custom DRL/Parking check, blacked-out housing, and more) that they retrofit into a DEPO housing.

These are probably the most affordable aftermarket retrofits you can buy right now. Average retrofit kits like the Morimoto M-LED projectors are around $500 and you need to retrofit those yourself – which is a lot of work. These headlights from USR come FULLY retrofitted with LEDs for around $600 and can be installed with one person in about 2-3 hours. Additionally, other aftermarket headlight housings come in at the $1200+ range for retrofitted housing. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool housings out there but you seriously can’t beat the price of these for what you get.

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Now that we have that covered, let’s jump into these housings offered by USR.

USR LED Projector Headlights Vs. LED Bulbs

Blacked Out LED Retrofit Headlights by USR for the 5th Gen 4Runner

When you decide it’s time to upgrade your headlights, you have a couple of different options. The cheapest would be to throw some HID bulbs or LED bulbs into your stock housing, which are both great options but they leave a big rats nest of wires behind the housing. Another option would be to buy a set of retrofits or build some yourself – which can be a big process, as we just mentioned above. That said, there is nothing quite like an LED projector over stock halogens and even HID/LED bulbs thrown into a factory housing. LED projectors throw an incredibly impressive light output and very precise beam pattern. If you can afford it, go with a projector retrofit all day.

A good middle ground between upgrading bulbs and retrofitting your own housings are these pre-build headlights from USR.

Straight out of the box, it was clear the quality was top-notch. These replacement headlights come with everything you need to go with a full-LED swap (as long as you select the optional LED option at checkout). As we started the unboxing process and installation, we noticed a lot of details in these lights that we haven’t seen in others.

LED DRL “The Check”

LED DRL Check on USR Headlights -5th Gen 4Runner

One of the coolest features of these headlights is the built-in daytime running light (DRL).

The crisp, clean, white LED strip had a Lexus/angry eye look – they just look amazing. One of the issues I’ve seen with similar designs is that the DRL is not bright enough to see during the daytime in direct sunlight. Not the case for these lights! They are extremely bright and guaranteed to make your front end look more aggressive.

And, this same “LED check” is also the parking light which is about 50% less output than the DRL. When you toggle from DRL to Parking Light – the check stays on and simply drops 50% of the output.

LED Turn Signals

LED Turn SIgnal Bulbs for 5th Gen 4Runner

Depending on if you order the LED kit with your headlights, replacement turn signals are included with your new headlights…and they’re LED! The LED signals from USR are super bright and can be seen in direct sunlight, no problem, and the best part is there’s no hyper flash.

If you’ve had LED turn signals in the past, then you know how annoying hyper flash can be. With these replacement bulbs from USR, you don’t have to worry about load resistors, relays, anything. Just plug them in and you’re done.

LED High Beam: 3 Modes

LED High Beam from USR - Beam Pattern and Review

High Beam Modes: White, White/Amber, and Full Amber

The high beams on these headlights are something you’ve probably never seen before. You have the option to change the color of the LED high beam bulb. Simply toggle your high beams to go through the different color options. You get your choice of white, white and amber, or full amber.

Amber-colored lights are extremely nice to have when you find yourself driving in poor weather. The softer amber glow is much better on your eyes and actually cuts through the fog, snow, and rain much better.

LED Projectors

LED Low Beam (Projector Retrofit) from USR - Beam Pattern and Review

Pictured: low beam headlights with the driver side high. All that needs is a low beam headlight adjustment

If you’ve thrown some LED or HID bulbs into your stock housing, then you know how much of a pain in the ass all those wires can be. No matter how many zip ties you use, I just could not get the wires behind the housing to look clean. Luckily with these headlights, you don’t have to worry about messy wiring.

The USR lights come with built-in LED projectors. This means that the wiring behind the housing is just as clean, if not cleaner than the stock headlight assembly. With that being said, there is absolutely no trade-off for performance, meaning the output from the projectors is phenomenal.

These LED projectors produce a crisp cut-off line that adds a wide range of visibility over the stock headlights. The high beams paired with the LED projector are more than enough light to get you to camp after the sun goes down.

Install Overview

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

The installation process for these lights was very straightforward. The DEPO lights fromUSR require no wiring but optional depending on your preferred setup.

Tools and Materials:

Step 1. Remove Plastic Radiator Cover

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Remove all the little plastic clips that hold the radiator cover on. We highly recommend using a clip removal tool. This handy little tool allows you to take those annoying clips out with ease, and it also results in fewer broken clips.

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Step 2. Remove Grill Hardware

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

The next step is to remove the top part of the grill. Start by removing all the hardware that holds that top piece in place. There is going to be a combination of plastic clips and 10mm bolts.

Step 3. Remove Grill

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Once all the hardware is removed, unclip the retaining clips and pull the grill out. If you have raptor lights, you can just set your grill where your plastic radiator cover would go.

It’s not a bad idea to lay a piece of cloth or cardboard down to prevent scratching your grill.

In a perfect world, you should make all your wiring harnesses serviceable with Deutsch connectors at disassembly points like this. I have started doing that more frequently moving forward with other installs.

Step 4. Remove Bumper Hardware

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Next, remove all the hardware holding the bumper on.

Step 5. Unclip Bumper/Remove OE Fog Light Harness

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Finally, unclip the rest of the bumper from the body. Before you take it off entirely, make sure you undo the factory fog light harness.

Step 6. Remove Bumper

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

This part might take two people if you have a bumper, however, I have taken the bumper off by myself many times. Once everything is unbolted and unclipped, the bumper should come right off. If it doesn’t, double-check you got all the hardware holding it in place.

Step 7. Remove Headlight Hardware

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Now it’s time to begin removing the headlights. Start by removing the 10mm bolts that hold the housing in.

Step 8. Remove Headlight

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Once those bolts are gone, slide the headlight out about halfway and remove all the OE bulbs and harnesses. For now, you can just leave all of them dangling, but make sure you don’t yank super hard on any of the wires.

Step 9. Take Inventory

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

With your stock headlights out, it’s time to take a look at what actually came with your new lights.

If you added the LED kit upon checkout, then you can find this kit in one of the boxes with your headlights. This kit contains LED high beam bulbs, LED turn signal bulbs, and LED parking light bulbs. If you didn’t order the LED kit, you will still find a blue wire with an inline fuse. This little harness is for your DRLs built into the new headlights.

Step 10. Install LED Parking Bulb

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

We started by installing the little LED parking light bulbs. The DEPO headlights do not come with a parking light bulb socket, so unscrew your old one out of your OE housing first, then simply plug the LED bulb into the socket and twist it into the new housing.

Step 11. Install LED High Beams

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Next, install the LED high beams. Just take the light, twist it into the new housing, and that’s it. There are markings on the housing that indicate which way to turn the high beam to ensure it gets secured in place.

Step 12. Install LED Turn Signal

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

Next, install the LED turn signal lights. Just plug the light in, and twist it in its place.

There is no indication of which side of the light and socket is positive or negative. In the end, when we were testing everything, we notice that the driver side had a hyper flash, which was weird because these lights are supposed to not hyper flash.

If you have Hyper flash

The issue was that the light was in the socket the wrong way. All we did was pull it out, flip it around, and threw it back in. After we tested the signals again, everything was working perfectly and we were good to go.

Step 13. Swap Headlight Brackets

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

The DEPO lights do not come with the bottom bracket your OE lights have. This bracket is what part of the bumper clips into so it’s pretty important. Just a couple of screws hold this little bracket into the stock housing, simply unscrew it and screw them into the new housing. If you use a drill, be careful not to strip the screws.

Step 14. Install New Housings

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

After all the bulbs are plugged into place and the bracket is on, it’s time to put the new headlights on. Before you bolt everything down, we recommend checking everything to make sure it all works and to double-check if you switched any positives or negatives. Then, mount the housing up, run any wires out the back, and reinstall the 4 10mm bolts.

Step 15. Install DRL Wire

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

This is the only part of this whole operation that is not plug-and-play but it’s pretty easy.

The single blue wire is for the LED DRL that comes with the DEPO lights. We ran the wire through our fuse block on our switch to keep everything clean and organized. If you don’t have a fuse block, or just don’t want to wire into the fuse block, just run the single wire to your positive battery terminal.

Step 16. Plug Everything In

5th Gen 4Runner Depo Bay Headlight Install

One of the final steps is to plug everything in. The nice thing about the DEPO headlights is that everything plugs straight into the factory harnesses. After those were all plugged in, we zip-tied all of the bigger connectors together to just clean everything up. This step is optional but who doesn’t love clean wires?

Step 17. Reattach Bumper

Black Headlight Housings on 5th Gen 4Runner

Once the headlights are bolted in and all the harnesses are attached, it’s time to put the rest of your front end back together. Start by clipping the bumper back in, then bolt it down. Next, reinstall your grill with all the appropriate hardware. Clean your tools up, close your hood, and boom you’re done.

Final Thoughts

Black Headlight Housings on 5th Gen 4Runner


Overall this install was not any harder than taking your stock headlights out and swapping them right back in. The only extra step is connecting that blue DRL wire to the positive battery terminal.

These headlights look amazing and our initial test in the garage was next level—everything from the crisp white light output from the projector to the color-changing high beam and the sophisticated white LED DRL.

If you are looking to upgrade your headlights (but don’t want to spend $1000+ on Morimoto’s or retrofits), then these are the lights for you. The performance for the cost is insane, not to mention, they look killer.

USR Blacked out Projector Retrofits on 5th Gen 4Runner

They definitely give a more aggressive look, all while keeping an OEM feel.

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5 months ago

I installed mine today with the LED kit and everything works fine except the turn signals.. I tried swapping/spinning the bulbs around to no avail, they don’t turn on at all.. I swapped the OEM bulbs into the new housing and they turn on when headlights turn on but only a solid light with no flashing, any idea what the issue may be?

2 years ago

My deal’s are flickering in the passenger side. Any idea what’s up. Driver side is fine but usr won’t address the issue. Loose connection, bad words? I have no idea.

Mark - @Elemental_t4r
Mark - @Elemental_t4r
2 years ago

Quick question re: the “switchable” high beam color modes – will it only toggle between the high-beam colors if manually doing so with the stalk? Seems like it would be annoying if the auto-high beam function in my 2020 toggled between the colors each time it automatically switched from low beam to high beam when oncoming traffic is detected.

Zach S
Zach S
3 years ago

As always, appreciate the site and all the hard work you put into it. What do you think of the quality of the DEPO housings long-term as compared to OEM? Any issues arise yet?

3 years ago

What functionality do you loose in the stock headlight switch handle? I assume the DRL OFF position no longer works when attaching DRL function to a fuse block, will auto high beams and the other switch settings still function the same?

3 years ago
Reply to  Brenan Greene

Do the DRLs also stay off if the parking/emergency brake are engaged? For example, if I park my 4Runner and engage the parking brake, then come back in the morning, the DRLs won’t turn on until I disengage the parking brake.

3 years ago

Are all the lights the same size as OEM? I have xenon depot highs with drl driver and lastfit side marker and switchback turns, if I order the kit without these upgrades I can just swap mine in for full LEDs right?

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