Feature Friday: 7 Front-End Lighting Set-Ups on 5th Gen 4Runner

White 4Runner with auxbeam light bar, alpharex headlights, baja designs ditch lightsPictured: Scott Teepen (@yohduh192016 Trail Edition

Feature Friday: 7 Different Front-End Lighting Setups on the 5th Gen 4Runner – Headlights, Ditch Lights, Light Bars & More

This Weeks Topic: Lighting Setups

Hey guys, welcome back to another Feature Friday! This week we are showcasing 7 different off-road lighting setups that you may want to consider when upgrading your 4Runners lighting package. Lights to me, are a very overlooked modification. Now don’t get me wrong, LED headlights are some of the first modifications a new 4Runner owner will do, but I’m talking more than that. If your budget allows you, I would strongly consider going about and beyond from just LED headlights and fitting your whole right with great quality off-road lights.

So what do I mean by great quality? Well, Amazon. There are HUNDREDS of cheap and affordable LED pods, light bars, and wiring harnesses on Amazon. Of these, maybe 50% will be great and the other 50% could be duds. When picking a proper light, you want to make sure the light has a proper IP rating. The higher the rating, the more durable the light to both dust and water. If you get a light that has a poor IP rating (or lack thereof), your cheap light will likely get dust up under the lense, and water into its circuit board and shortening it out. Long story short, buy good quality lights and don’t pay for them twice.

When you are building your ultimate setup, remember, white light isn’t everything. If a trail is super dusty and all you have is white light, it doesn’t matter how much money you spent, you aren’t seeing anything. Make sure you mix amber light into your setup to cut through both trail dust and fog.

Check out all the killer setups below to get an idea of what you want on your 4Runner and what your budget allows.

7 Unique 4Runner Lighting Setups

1. Scott Teepen (@yohduh19) 2016 Trail Edition

White 4Runner with auxbeam light bar, alpharex headlights, baja designs ditch lights

LIGHT LIST

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

I love the versatility of my lights, especially when combined with my Auxbeam switch panel. My absolute favorites are the Baja Design’s wide cornering fog lights and the two hidden light bars. That combo really throws some light! Having my RCI roof rack rigged up all around gives an awesome glow! The Alpharex headlights are phenomenal and do a really cool start up feature! Having rock lights is also a great lighting MOD to have. I plan to add 4 more KC Hilites cyclones in the future. 

2. D. Thomas (@official.badrnnr) 2021 TRD Pro

Lunar rock 4runner with rigid industries 360 lights, westscott designs roof rack.

LIGHT LIST

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

My first purchase for my 4runner was intended for this current light setup!

I saw what Jeff Westcott was doing with his roof racks, and when I saw this 10 light pod setup, I fell in love. Nowadays you either see a light bar, or some large, 6” or 8” pods somewhere but never this many, with this much output. Jeff designed this rack specifically for these 360 series pods, and I made my custom harness myself. After about 3 days of soldering, crimping, and heat shrinking wires, I finally was able to see the final results on my rig, and the pictures don’t do any justice. The pods are rated at 8600 lumens a piece and you can definitely tell.

After having an extra set of pods laying around and trying to figure out where I could install them, I settled for ditch lights. This allowed me to widen my view in the front for more visibility. The Cali Raised off-road low profile ditch light brackets are a perfect fit for keeping these bad boys snug and close to the hood. All and all My favorite thing about these lights is how sick they look. Every gas station, grocery store, bank, or restaurant I end up at, I’m getting compliments on the setup!

3. Anthony Dilone (@OstaraHTX) 2015 Trail Edition

White 4Runner with baja designs, baja rack roof rack, avs bug deflector.

LIGHT LIST

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

This all started with adding the fog and ditch lights. I’m kinda a stickler for everything matching, so when it came time to do the light bar up top I wanted to keep Baja Designs. I did this before the linkable/ LP’s were on the market. I went with 9 individual XL Sports, wired on 2 different switches. The outside 4 (amber) and the inside 5 (spots). I actually find myself using the amber more as it cuts better through dust, as well as being easier on the eyes at night.

4. Rovie Flores (@adobo4runner) 2020 TRD Off-Road

white 4runner with Heretic led light barm prinsu rack, cbi bumper, alpharex headlights.

LIGHT LIST

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

What I love the most about this setup is the aesthetics. The orange-amber really stands out but is also functional when in a low-light environment. I use the Baja rock lights when I’m camping as my primary light. It uses very minimal wattage and doesn’t drain my battery. The chase lights are very useful as well when driving in the fog, rain, and dusty roads!

5. Drew P. (@Scumbags.BigDaddyT4R) 2019 SR5P

White 4Runner with baja designs led lights, c4 bumper, prinsu roof rack, alpharex headlights.

LIGHTING LIST

    WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

    Going with Baja Designs was a no brainer for me. I’m really able to light my own way in a dark setting and most of the time my headlights are off while doing so. I’ve never had a problem with my Baja Designs & Switch Pro Combo as far as performance and expectation. To be honest, my Squadron Sport Fogs usually provide more than enough light to get around in the desert at night. Having the 40 inch and 30 inch lightbars when you’re hauling ass is always fun too, LOL! As long as you have a proper wiring set up, these lights are built to last. Running all these LEDs didn’t come without a 31-Series battery upgrade as well as the Big 3 Wiring upgrade. Words of advice, spend the big bucks for your lights, don’t cheap out on installation and accommodation for all the power. “Buy once, cry once”.

    6. Zach Sanger (@overland_engineer) 2015 TRD Pro

    Black 4runner with alpharex head lights. Diode dynamics "raptor lights"

    LIGHTING LIST

    • Alpharex Por Headlights with full LED Swap and Switchback Signals Diode Dynamics SS3 Ditch Lights in White With Combo Lens
    • Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Lights in Yellow With Fog Lens
    • Diode Dynamics SSC1 “Raptor Lights” with Amber Backlight and White Spot Lens
    • Diode Dynamics 30″ Light Bar in White With Driving Lens
    • Harbor Freight Rock Light System (x8)
    • LASFIT Interior LED lights

    WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

    I really like how the light setup looks like a sleeper setup. Most of the lights are mounted in OEM mounting spots or behind the grille to where you cannot really tell the vehicle has many lights. The “raptor/marker” lights I am particularly proud of because they give a similar look to most grille lights having the amber DRL but turn into spotlights when I turn on my light bar. The dual functionality is novel to me. I also really appreciate having rock lights and I think they are underrated. Having them for night wheeling is nice but having them for camping is even better. It is so much easier to see around camp having them on because the light really shines past the 4Runner. Lastly, the balance between yellow and white light has been perfect. I tend to prefer white light but the functionality of yellow light in certain weather is far superior, so having both to where I can mix and match is super helpful.

    7. Michael Reardon (@mreardon_) 2017 4R

    4runner with morimoto xb gen 2 headlights, rigid fog lights, auxbeam 5d light bar

    LIGHTING LIST

    • Morimoto Gen 2 headlights
    • Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro Fogs
    • Auxbeam 5D Pro 42″ Light Bar
    • Rigid Pods in Roof Rack

    WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SETUP?

    Morimoto Gen 2s are great. I had the Gen 1s but I felt they lacked in brightness. I also love the new start-up sequence.

    The Diode Dynamics SS3 pro fogs are insanely bright and have a nice wide beam pattern. These lights are definitely for off-road use only.

    The Auxbeam 5D pro allows you to literally see into the next town over. The middle section is for a long-range beam and it shoots at least a km down the road. This is an absolute must when on back roads.

    The flush-mounted rigid pods on my roof rack are amazing as well. They are very bright and amazing for setting up camp.

    Final Thoughts

    That was a pretty “lit” Feature Friday! Get it? Anyway, after wrapping up this week’s article, I realized that I don’t have any amber lights with my lighting setup. White light is 100% necessary, but amber light is king in dusty or foggy environments. I hope you learned something about lighting setups with this Feature Friday. I’ll catch you guys next week.

    If you would like to be considered for next week’s Feature Friday, we will be showcasing what people are carrying on their roof racks. We want to get inspired by a variety of rigs, 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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    Garrett Zerba
    Garrett Zerba
    10 months ago

    Mine is a bit more low profile than some but works really well. I replaced all my stock bulbs with LEDs and have Run-D cube lights mounted with 3d-printed brackets to the stock grill. The Center 2 are driving lights and the outer cube lights are amber.

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