Car Trim Home Interior Switchback LED Kit Step-By-Step Install & Product Overview for the 5th Gen 4Runner
Update: CarTrimHome Discontinued these however you can pick up a set from https://www.arclightleds.com/. See link below.
There is no denying that stock interior lights do a poor job of lighting things up in our 4Runners. The dim lighting barely illuminates the seats, let alone the floor or any other nooks and crannies. To fix this issue, you can upgrade to brighter LED bulbs to help increase visibility. But if you’re going to go with LED, why not go with a full LED board with a switchback function for white and red lighting?
Car Trim Home offers this super bright and easy-to-install kit that swaps out the old bulbs in the front map lights, dome light, and hatch lights with a white/red combo LED board. It doesn’t require cutting, trimming, drilling, or any customization to be done.
The best part about this kit is that you get the brightness of the LED board upgrades while maintaining the stock light cover which means you get incredibly bright lights without the blinding effect of an exposed LED. It makes a world of difference having the Car Trim Home kit installed when doing anything in the 4Runner at night. If you have been thinking about upgrading your interior lights, I highly recommend giving this kit a look.
Tools & Materials
- Trim removal kit
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Update: This light has been discontinued.
- Alternative product (Icarus eXtreme Map – 5G 4Runner): Check Price
Map Light Install
The map lights are the most difficult to install, so we’ll start with them.
Note: If you have crawl control in your 4Runner, your steps will be slightly different as you’ll need to remove that to access the two screws holding in the overhead console. Check out this article to see how to remove the crawl control module first. If you don’t have crawl control, your install will follow mine below.
Step 1. Remove Overhead Console
Open the sunglass holder and remove the two screws holding the front of the console. There you will find two stubborn clips that are left holding the console in place. Grabbing the console as close to the end with the lights as possible, pull it straight down until the clips pop out. Make sure you don’t just yank it because there are connected wires. If you can reach in, you can unplug it. There is only one large wiring plug that needs to be disconnected in order to allow you to remove the console.
Step 2. Remove Light Bulbs
This one is super simple. The two bulbs can be removed by turning them counter-clockwise 1/8 of a turn and pulling them out. Then just separate the bulb from the plug so you can plug in the new LED board when the time comes.
Side note: The red arrow is pointing out the wiring plug that needs to be disconnected in order to remove the console in step 1.
Step 3. Remove Reflector
This step is a little more involved because it takes apart the majority of the console in order to access the reflector. If you don’t do this, you can still remove the reflector, but it will likely get damaged in the process making it impossible to reinstall if needed. In each picture below, I have marked all of the items that will need something done to them in order to take apart the console.
The green arrows are the screws that need to be removed first.
The yellow circle shows the retaining clip that needs to be detached to allow movement in the wiring harness.
Using a trim tool or needle-nose pliers from the side will release the clip. The yellow arrow shows the wiring harness that needs to be moved out from under the tab (right at the tip of the arrow) in order to remove the white wiring plug on the left.
The blue circles show the wiring plugs that need to be removed next. In the photo, they are already unplugged.
The orange arrows show where clips are that need released. The two red arrows are also clips that unfortunately were hidden by my wires. Once the clips are released, the electronics board and front of the console can be removed.
The red arrows show the two screws that need to be removed to move the electronics board. The board will still be connected by some wiring. Moving the board might also knock loose the night light funnel, so just make sure it is put back in place before closing this all back up again. It connects into the board at the orange circles.
The reflector is held on by the six pins circled above. It doesn’t take much pressure to lift the reflector off of these pins. Once you have the reflector removed, follow this progression in reverse order to put it all back together.
Step 4. Install LED Board
Thanks to the night light funnel, the LED board can only be installed one way. Make sure the LED connections are pushed through to the back and the plugs are installed. With the lights facing up, and the LED board in place, reinstall the middle light cover first. This will hold the board in place. Then, you can reinstall both side covers and, finally, reconnect the bulb plugs on the backside of the console.
Dome Light Install
The installation of the dome lights is much easier and more straightforward than the map lights.
Step 1. Remove Light Cover
There are two indentations near the dome light switch. Using a trim removal tool, press into one of the indentations to pop off the cover.
Step 2. Remove Bulb
Push aside the tab on the left side of the bulb to release it from the clasps.
Step 3. Connect New Bulb Adapter
Take the new LED bulb adapter and install it where the old bulb was just removed.
Step 4. Install LED Board
As you probably saw in Step 3, there is quite a bit of wiring that will need to be tucked into place in order to reinstall the cover. My suggestion is to test out how to best coil up the wiring before applying the adhesives to make sure everything sits flush. There is a small divider that separates the switch side of the housing and the bulb side. Make sure the new LED board is as tight to that as it can get when you adhere it, otherwise you won’t be able to reattach the cover.
You can also see in my photo above, I wrapped the wiring around the LED board where it connects on the front, this way I don’t risk breaking them by bending them too much. Once you know how your wiring will coil up in place, remove the adhesive backing and secure the board into place, all while holding the wiring.
Step 5. Reinstall Cover
Now that you have the board adhered to the housing, you’ll need to gently reattach the cover. I suggest using one of the trim tools, or any tool that is long and slender, to keep the wiring where it needs to be while you put the cover back into place.
Hatch Light Install
The hatch lights are the easiest part of this whole project. The only thing to watch out for is making sure that the driver doesn’t impair the switch. You can fix that by putting your own adhesive onto the driver and sticking it to the backside of the housing, or if you don’t want to go through that trouble, just make sure the switch can still slide back and forth and let the driver hang out the back.
Step 1. Remove Housing
Using the trim removal tools, stick one tool into any of the four indentations on the housing (two on top, two on the bottom). That will help pry the housing out of the door slightly. The other tool will be used to press in the retention clip that holds the housing in the door, as you can see below. Once you have the clip released, you can unplug the wiring harness.
Step 2. Replace Bulb
The housing cover is kept on with four small tabs, two on top and two on the bottom. Lift them up in order to remove it. Just like in the dome light, remove the bulb by releasing the tabs on the side. Then feed the driver through from the front of the housing and connect the LED board in place with the bulb adapters built into it. Lastly, reattach the housing cover.
Step 3. Reinstall Hatch Light
Take your reassembled housing and plug the wiring harness back in. To finish the job, just push it back into place.
There are pros and cons to how these lights are set up. The switchback function is essentially an internal function since there is no dedicated switch for it. Therefore, if you open and close the door, wait until the lights turn off, then reopen the door, and the colors change. A faster way is to toggle the switch from ‘DOOR’ to either ‘OFF’ or ‘ON’ and back to ‘DOOR’ again. You can also give the switch a slight wiggle, without actually going to another setting, and the color will change.
Changing the color with a wiggle will help ensure you aren’t leaving your lights on all night. A pro for these LED lights is that the install is very simple and doesn’t require any irreversible changes to the housings. Another positive is you also can switch the color manually with the factory switches.
The main issue is that you can’t stop the lights from switching. For example, if you’re packing up your 4Runner and the door keeps getting opened and shut, the light will keep flipping from white to red to white and so on. Another issue is that the lights could get out of sync and you’ll end up with both colors coming on at the same time.
Map Light and Dome Light Before
Map Light and Dome Light After
Hatch Lights Before
Hatch Lights After
The red LEDs are super helpful for camping after hours. Since they are not as harsh on your eyes as the white LEDs can be, you won’t be stumbling your way back to the campfire after grabbing something out of your truck.
You can tell from looking at the before and after photos that these LEDs are very bright. They make a huge difference in the visibility inside the vehicle. Having the ability to switch from white to red is pretty cool too, especially since the red can be a little less harsh on the eyes.
Some people may not have a problem with how the switchback functions automatically, while it may be a big drawback for others. Personally, I don’t mind it, and I know that I can still change it manually with the factory switches. The only thing that could bug me is if I get them out of sync and they aren’t all the same color. Aside from that, I really like these lights.
The extra visibility is super convenient with how often I am needing to take things in and out of my 4Runner. Before I put these in, I didn’t realize how bad the stock lights actually were! So, if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your interior lights, make sure to check out this LED kit from Car Trim Home.