Feature Friday: 9 Ditch Light Options For The 5th Gen 4Runner in 2021

Featured: Dustin Smith (@calrunr) Lasfit LED

9 Ditch Lights Options in 2021: Here are some High-Quality Ditch Light Options for the Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra and beyond!

This Weeks Topic: Ditch Lights

Well, I hope you all had an amazing week and are ready for this Feature Friday!! This week, we are focusing on Ditch Light setups for the 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner. I’m not going to lie, when I was trying to find rigs on Instagram I wanted to feature, it was hard to find a good variety of options since everyone seemed to be running Baja Designs for their ditch light of choice. WELL, have no fear, below we have a solid mix of ditch light/ bracket setups to hopefully inspire your build. While reading, take a look at some of the specs for the featured light setup and check out each owner’s experience with them. The list below is in no particular order, so enjoy and show some love and follow these guys on instagram. Thanks, everyone!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

If you want to be featured on Feature Friday next week, submit your build through Trail4R.com/feature. We will be featuring CAVALRY BLUE 4RUNNERS next week. If this is you, and you love your Cavalry Blue 4Runner, send in your rig and your setup details because we want to see it and know ALL the details!

1. Atul Bhandari (@ab.t4r) Diode Dynamics

  • Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro Amber (Combo)
  • 2,700 Lumen (Measured)
  • 5,220 Lumen (Raw)
  • 3000K Yellow
  • Rago Fabrication Low Profile Ditch Brackets
  • Retail: $220

I’m a real fan and supporter of Diode Dynamics for all my lighting. I like the craftsmanship and detail they put into each product and their Pro line is better than Baja in my opinion (I’m definitely in the minority here and that’s okay!).

I like the yellow light that the Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro amber emits compared to others on the market. I’ve also never had an issue with any leaking or problems with any of my lighting.

That being said, I’m not a fan of the harnesses they provide – they’re thick, bulky, and just a major pain. As a result, my buddy built various slim-profile harnesses that plug directly into my Switch-Pros 9100 panel.

2. Nick Ager (@salty_4runner_ocmd) Cali Raised LED

  • Cali Raised Led side projecting led pods. 
  • 2,500 lumens, Allowing light to be directed 
  • 120 Degree light projection.
  • Retail: $100

The Cali Raised LED pods are built to withstand any terrain, thanks to their Gore anti- moisture vent systems and polycarbonate lenses. Installed with the Cali Raised led low profile ditch brackets. What I like most about these pods is that the light is directed at 120 degrees.

3. Daniel Chamlern (@Omgsosteezy) Baja Designs

  • Baja Designs Squadron Sport
  • Driving Combo (Amber)
  • 3,150 Lumens featuring 4 LED’s
  • Retail:  $240

When it comes down to the Squadron Sport Driving Combo, I like that it offers maximum trail coverage. Although illegal for on-road use in California, these are impressive when used off-road.

4. Sean Migone (@mig_rnr) Baja Designs

  • Baja Designs S2 Pro’s
  • Combo Beam (Flood/Spot)
  • 2,450 Lumens Each
  • Retail: $340

I wanted a set of ditch lights that were very low profile but gave me a lot of performance. My 4Runner is also my daily driver, and I spend a lot of time at highway speeds and didn’t want something that was going to create a lot of wind noise. I mounted my lights with the Cali-Raised low profile ditch light brackets which makes them barely even noticeable. I chose the combo beam S2’s, and have the spot as my inner beam for more distance, and flood as the outer beam for near field light. The Baja Designs S2 Pro’s lights outperformed my expectations. I can change out the polycarbonate lenses whenever I like to create whatever kind of pattern I desire. I also purchased a set of amber rock covers that I keep on the S2’s for daily use, that can be easily removed when I need the full 5000k light beam. I could not be happier with these lights and I am stoked that I purchased them.

5. Dian Sumukti (@trddle.and.tundie) KC Lights

  • KC Hilites Flex Era 3 Combo Beam
  • SDHQ A Pillar Ditch Light Mounts
  • Independent Amber LED Backlight
  • RAW Lumens: 3672 lm @ 5000K
  • Beam Distance: 385 meters
  • Retail: $425

The first thing that drew me to the Flex Era 3 Ditch lights was definitely their unique triangular shape; I had not seen any other ditch lights in the industry with this design.

Don’t let its compact size fool you, because the light output definitely packs a punch, which was not a surprise as with any other quality KC Hilites product. It also has amber backlighting that can be turned on independently. I like that the bezel trims are customizable and easily swappable as well to match whatever aesthetics suits your rig. (Comes with gold; red, black, or blue can be purchased separately) The lens can be swapped out as well between spot and combo. It comes with the signature KC Hilites black covers. Clear and amber covers can be purchased separately as well. Living in the desert, I use the amber covers most frequently for night trail runs as it really helps cut through the desert dust.

Install was quick and seamless especially when paired with my Switch Pros SP-9100. I did choose to invert it when I installed it but that was just a matter of preference for aesthetic purposes, and the design allowed me to easily do so.

6. Zac Couch (@blackbeard.t4r) Cali Raised LED

  • Cali Raised Led side projecting led pods.
  • 2,500 lumens, Allowing light to be directed
  • 120 Degree light projection.
  • Rigid Industries D-SS Amber covers
  • Retail: $100

The most desirable aspect of this setup is the cost, (minus the mounts and wiring harness) for under $100 you get 2,500 lumens and a 120-degree projection. The rugged design of the anti-moisture vent system paired with polycarbonate lenses makes this lighting system an exceptional choice for the seasoned off-roader, weekend warrior, or someone who just desires form, function, and affordability. I also added the Rigid Industries D-SS covers not only for added protection and cool points but the benefits of amber lighting in low light high dust conditions.

7. Daniel Khimthang (@Daily.4r) Rigid Industries

  • Model: Rigid D-SS
  • Style: Dually-Side shooters
  • Optics: Driving
  • Lumens: 7128
  • Retail: $520

A tried and true design. A lot of companies try to replicate this side shooter but the raw lumens always prevail on this Rigid D-SS pro. The 120-degree horizontal beam coverage it puts out is insane. The additional LEDs aimed to the side for a much broader beam help keep the lights more forward-facing rather than tilted to the “ditch” like most competitors.

I am also running the amber light covers on my ditch lights. This allows me to navigate through those dusty trails. Having the Amber lights is an advantage because of the way it cuts through dust better. The white beam from your headlights or any white light will reflect back to you and hinder your visibility.

Rigid industries offer light covers that are made from durable polycarbonate plastic, which offers an extra layer of protection for the lens of your LED light! These covers can snap on and off fairly easily, so swapping them out to different colors or for storage is simple. They are also perfect for states that require covers on accessory lights.

8. Dustin Smith (@calrunr) Lasfit

  • Lasfit 3 inch LED Pods – Sport series
  • Flood version with white lens
  • 2000 Lumens
  • Color – 5610k
  • 18W
  • 1311 LUX@150 ft
  • Retail: $129.99 per pair
  • Cali Raised Low profile ditch mounting brackets – $54.99 per pair

I never thought I’d run ditch lights. I saw them mounted on other rigs and they just felt out of place to me. Like a random vanity add-on that never would be used in a real-life application.

In January of this year, Lasfit reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try out their new LED TIR Light Pods. They were in prototype form and I was one of the first people to have them. I wanted to mount them as chase lights, but at just over 3 inches, they wouldn’t quite work with my rack setup. And I have plenty of other lights in the grill, on the roof, and on the sides of my rack. So, the one place it made sense to test them out was on the hood, in the ditch light mounting position.

I did some research on ditch light brackets and landed on the Cali raised low profile brackets, mostly because of their low profile design. For aesthetic reasons I didn’t want them sticking up too far, but I also don’t need another blind spot in my field of vision. The Cali raised brackets sit about as low as possible without interfering with the operation of the hood. Their construction is super simple, and they’re super simple to install. To wire them up, I ended up making a basic, custom harness with Deutsch 2 pin male socket connectors on one end, that plug into the pigtails on the pods, and fork connectors that plug into the switch pros on the other end. This basically makes them plug n’ play, so I can remove them if needed. At the time, I didn’t think I’d keep them on the rig much longer than it would take to shoot a few pics and do a review, but I was wrong.

A couple of weeks later, I took a trip to the Eastern Sierras with some friends and got a chance to put the Pods to the test. We arrived at the trailhead well after dark and had to do a bit of recon down some pretty tight desert roads with brush and dirt embankments on both sides. This is where ditch lights “shine”. Pun slightly intended… With the ditch lights blazing, the surrounding flora and fauna exploded into view as we explored the winding, roller-coaster-style sandy roads. The rack-mounted Baja rock lights did a great job of shedding some light on what was direct to the left and right of the rig. But, the ditch lights illuminated areas in my periphery that would have normally been in the darkness outside the range of my headlights.

After about nine months of running the Lasfit pods, I’d say they are on the rig to stay. I’ve gotten a few comments on Instagram about ditch lights being unnecessary, but these comments likely come from folks who’ve never run them, or who don’t venture off the beaten path much at night. At this point, the ditch lights are two of the most functional add-on lights on my rig, and the Lasfit pods are at about half the price of some of the competition. So, if you’re looking to give ditch lights a try, they’re a quality low-cost option. And at the price, you can always ditch them later.

9. Nico Alvarez (@trail.hntr) Mid Atlantic

  • 40 watts of power per light pod.
  • Latest Cree ® XM-L3 LED diodes.
  • Raw lumen output of 7,400 lumens per light 
  • 6063 CNC Machined Aluminum body with anodized coating for corrosion resistance.
  • 304 stainless mounting bracket and hardware.
  • Built-in temperature sensing unit.
  • IP68 waterproof.
  • 3,000k Color temperature.
  • Retail: $235

Reads the light’s internal temperature and adjusts the power input as necessary to extend the life of your light. They have a one-way pressure release valve, as heat rises inside the unit, the pressure release valve allows the excess heat to escape the light’s body. CNC Machined aluminum light cups. Most manufacturers use plastic cups with a plastic chrome finish.

Final Thoughts

Ditch lights are definitely underrated. Being able to see to the front and rear of your rig while night wheeling is very important. With that being said, it also helps to see to the side as well. Ditch lights come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes along with light outputs and unique beam patterns. The options for spot, flood, and combo patterns are endless in combination with different diodes and lens covers. For more on ditch lights, you can check out many recent posts covering ditch lights in more detail.  Thank you all for reading and have a great weekend.

If you would like to be considered for next week’s Feature Friday, we will be showcasing Cavalry Blue 5th Gen 4Runners. We want to get inspired by a variety of different builds, submit your build for Feature Friday and you might get featured. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off. Have a great weekend guys!!

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2 years ago

Love my S2 pro’s in amber. I’ll have to pitch in feature Friday in the future if I can!

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