Diode Dynamics Single Color LED Footwell Kit – Complete Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner
Upgrading the lighting in your 4Runner is one of the easiest ways to make it look more modern and functional. For adding light to your interior, you can replace the stock, incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which give off tons of light. However, you might still desire more light output, that’s where footwell LEDs come in.
Footwell LEDs are LED strips designed to provide lighting in your footwells (pretty self-explanatory).
Most kits plug into your cigarette lighters, leaving a mess of bulky wires in your 4Runner. The Diode Dynamics kit taps into any 12-volt wiring throughout the vehicle (cigarette lighters), so the Diode Dynamics Kit can be concealed underneath your console. This does mean that the install is more invasive, but it looks so good and is seriously worth the time. It’s also an incredibly cheap mod coming in at under $50!
The kit comes with all of the necessary parts for the install, so you don’t have to source any extra parts or materials.
Find it Online:
- Diode Dynamics RGBA LED Footwell Kit: Check Price
- Diode Dynamics Single Color LED Footwell Kit: Check Price
Single Color vs. Multicolor
Diode Dynamics offers both a multicolor and a single-color kit.
The single color kit has three color choices: white, red, and blue, while the multicolor kit has red, blue, green, orange, white, etc. You can also purchase 2 strips or 4 strips; 2 strips would be for the driver and passenger and 4 strips would be for the driver, passenger, and backseats.
I chose the single-color kit mainly because of the cost.
The multicolor strips are $40 for two strips whereas the single-color strips are $30 for two strips, but you have to purchase a remote for the multicolor strips which will add another $60.
So, it’s really $30 for a single or $100 for the multicolor. I just wanted the white lights so it only made sense that I bought the single.
What’s In The Box
- Two 50 cm 30-5050 SMD strips
- One wiring harness
- One 4-Way DC splitter
- Two quick splices
- One red LED toggle switch
- Power splitter and adapter
- Four zip-ties
- 3M outdoor adhesive pads
The install took me about 3 hours, I was working alone and had never removed my dash before. So I’d say the install would probably take about 2-3 hours depending on skill level and experience. I chose to splice into the cigarette lighter located at the bottom of the center console. You can use any 12v wires but this way just seemed easiest to me.
Tools and Materials
- Small Phillips head screwdriver
- 12mm socket wrench
- Flathead screwdriver
- Extra Zipties (optional)
Step 1. Unscrew Shift Knob
Unscrew the shift knob by turning it counter-clockwise. This will allow you to pull up the center console trim.
Step 2. Remove Center Console Trim
The center console trim is held in by a number of plastic clips. To remove the trim, you have to firmly pull to release the clips. The best place to start is the back right cupholder. Firmly grab it with your hands and pull upwards. It sounds easy but it takes some serious effort. This is definitely the hardest part of the install because you have to pull very hard, but you don’t want to break anything either. Once you get the first few clips undone, you can put your hand below the trim and lift up to release the rest.
Do not yank the trim off, you can damage some of the wires connected to buttons on the trim.
Once the trim is removed, you have two options, either unclip all of your wires or set the trim to the side. I just set my trim piece to the side, wires still attached. I had plenty of room to work with, without the hassle of removing the clips and tape holding the wires in place.
Step 3. Remove Dash Trim
The next step is to remove your lower dash trim. This will allow you to feed the wires from the console to the footwells. Like the console trim, the dash trim is removed by firmly pulling the trim off, no tools needed.
The first trim on the dash that needs to be removed is the trim surrounding the air conditioning dials. Firmly grasp the lower portion of the trim and pull straight back. Make sure your hands aren’t greasy and that the trim is cleaned off so that you can get a good grip. There aren’t any good handholds for this trim so you need a good grip for this.
Once both pieces of dash trim are removed, the next step is to pull off the trim piece with the air conditioning function controller. When I was removing the left trim column, I actually pulled this piece off as well, so both pieces came off at the same time.
Step 4. Detach 12v Cigarette Lighter Wires
If you are looking down into the back right corner of the console, you will see green and white wires attached to a connector. Detach this connecter by pressing down on the small tab and pulling the connector off.
Step 5. Remove Purple Tape
There is some purple tape holding the wiring in place. Remove it so that the wiring can be moved freely.
Step 6. Pull Back Wire Cover
You are going to splice into the green and white wires, but they are covered in a protective, mesh-like material, wrapped in tape. Unwrap the tape and remove the covering. I removed about 2 inches of the covering to allow plenty of room for splicing the wires.
Step 7. Splice Wires
Diode Dynamics provides easy-to-use quick splice connectors with their kits, making this a simple plug-and-play installation.
Take your wiring harness and find the end of the harness with just the wires, no connector. Pull the red and black wires apart, so that you can splice the red and black wires individually.
First, you are going to splice the positive wires. Put the quick splice connector onto the green wire, then insert your red wire into the connector. Make sure both wires are in the connector. Using your pliers, clamp down on the metal tab to splice the wires and then close the quick splice connector.
Repeat the same steps to splice the negative wires, except you are using the white wire and black wire.
Step 8. Test Lights (Optional)
To test the light, you will have to connect all of your wiring harnesses. Connect the wiring harness to the four-way DC splitter, then attach green connectors to each wire that branches off of the splitter. Now, locate the two pink connectors on the wiring harness and attach them to your switch. Also, take the single black wire with a pink connector and connect it to the switch. Make sure the circular end of the black wire is touching a grounded bolt. The last step is to take the wires at the end of the led strips and push them into the green connectors…the positive wire into the positive and the negative wire into the negative. There are tiny symbols on the green connector to tell you which is which.
Turn the ignition on and your strip should light up. If not, go back and carefully check to make sure you have completed each step. If they do come on, you can detach some of the connections to make it easier to maneuver the wires.
Step 9. Ground Black Wire
Now, you need to mount the black (negative) wire for the switch to a grounded bold. Using your 12 mm socket wrench, unscrew the bolt and thread the bolt through the circular connector. Then, screw the bolt back into place.
Step 10. Wire LED Strips
I suggest feeding the wires (white wires attached to led strips) starting from the footwells to the console but you could feed them from the console to the footwells. Having the dash trim removed makes this step much easier.
Step 11. Connect LED Strips
Like before, insert the positive and negative wires from the LED strips into the green connectors. There are two tiny screws on the green connector that allow you to clamp down on the wires and hold them in place. Using your small Phillips head screwdriver, screw until tight, make sure that the wires are in the connector while you’re doing this.
Test the lights again to make sure everything is working properly.
Step 12. Place Switch
You need to find a permanent location for your switch. Diode Dynamics suggests drilling a 3/4″ hole somewhere on the sides of your console. I want to convert my switch into an OEM-style switch. So, I removed one of the blank switch covers in my console and ran the switch through it.
Step 13. Put Strips Into Place
The strips are backed with 3M adhesive. If you have a flat surface you’d like to use, then you can attach the strips using the adhesive or, you can zip tie the strips into place. I chose the latter because it would allow me to reposition the strips if needed. You have to use whatever you can find in the footwells because there aren’t any designated mounting points for this.
I tucked my strips up under the footwell so there was no good camera angle for this. Instead, pay attention to the light pattern and how it is evenly distributed in my footwell; make sure yours do the same.
Step 14. Wire Management
Reattach all of the wires you disconnected to remove the trim pieces. I suggest zip-tying all of your excess wires together to make everything neater.
Step 15. Reattach Trim
Put all of the trim pack into place; with some firm pushing, the trim clips should pop into their original position. For the console trim, just push down one corner at a time and everything should be good.
Step 16. Reattach Shift Knob
Screw the shift knob back into place and make sure that it is tightened all the way down.
Test the lights one last time to make sure that the strips and LED switch are functioning. After that, you’re finished!
I think the footwell lights are awesome. They are very bright and provide really clean and uniform light output. Diode Dynamics prides themselves in their quality and durability, so I know these lights will last a long time.
In fact, Diode Dynamics says that their LED strips should outlive the life of the car. It was a plug-and-play install so anyone can do it and I didn’t have to source any parts myself.
Overall, I am really happy with these lights and I highly suggest them to anyone who is interested!