Add a Dual Color Interior LED with the MESO Customs Ultimate Series Dome Light – Install and Review for the 5th Gen 4Runner
When it comes to your dome light, you’ve likely been unsatisfied with the dim, halogen bulb. Not only does it provide inadequate overhead lighting, but it’s also a lame color.
So, what are your options?
You can either replace them with super bright, white LEDs, or some red ones if you want to be a little more unique. Up until now, I’ve had the latter in my 4Runner. The problem with red is that it may not be street legal or even worse, not spouse approved.
The MESO Customs Ultimate Dome Light
MESO Customs aims to fix this with their ultimate dome light. Their dome lights are offered in several options:
- V1 – A single-level brightness array of white LEDs.
- V2 – Comes in either dual brightness or dual-color and has a low profile toggle to switch between the modes.
With the dual brightness, you’ll get only super white LEDs and the ability to choose from a normal or high-output setting. With the dual-color option, like the one we’ll be talking about here, you get a single light output, but the ability to switch between white and red. The red array of LEDs is the center row while the white array comprises the perimeter.
There is a matching dual color map light set for upfront, however, availability seems to be limited.
Find It Online
- MESO Customs Direct: Ultimate Dome Light V1 (Single Output/Color)
- MESO Customs Direct: Ultimate Dome Light V2 (Dual Color or Brightness)
- MESO Customs Direct: Ultimate Map Light (Dual-Color)
White and red lighting has two very different use cases, and it’s nice to have the ability to easily switch between both. With the former option, it’s obviously much brighter and better used for finding dropped items or when you just need more visibility.
Red lighting, however, is easier on your eyes at night time. This allows you to retain a better vision of your surroundings when getting in and out of your vehicle. As an added benefit, red lighting is less attractive to mosquitos (who also love to come out at night).
I also like to have red lighting at night time because it’s less jarring to kiddos if we get back in the evening and they’ve been napping on the ride home.
Installing the Dual-Color Dome Light
Installation is pretty straightforward and can take anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes.
- Flat pry tool, or flat head screwdriver
- Gloves (optional)
Step 1. Remove Factory Dome Light Cover
The clear plastic cover is super easy to remove. Take a flat pry tool and slide it along the toggle-switch side of the housing to disengage the retention clips.
Step 2. Remove Current Bulb
If your light has been on, I would advise using gloves to remove the single festoon-type bulb.
Step 3. Install New Connector
The MESO Customs dome light has a wired festoon-type connector that replaces the old bulb. This connector is non-polarity specific, so the install direction does not matter.
Step 4. Install MESOCustoms Dome Light
Line up the new dome light retention clips with the factory housing slots and press the unit into place.
That’s it! You won’t need the old plastic dome light cover anymore, but I would keep it in a drawer just in case you ever need to return it to stock. Enjoy the dual-color goodness!
This is an excellent mod for two main reasons. One, it gives you the option of white or red lighting, depending on your situation. Two, it doesn’t break the bank and is plug-and-play. There doesn’t seem to be much on the internet in terms of installation, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Fortunately, this dome light took literally 5-minutes to install and looks super clean. They even matched the plastic housing of the dome light to the tan color of the OEM housing! No details were overlooked here.
The light output of both modes is plenty adequate in my opinion, with the white mode easily being 3x brighter than the stock halogen. I can’t imagine what the high-output setting of the dual-brightness model is! A nice touch that not all LEDs have is the ability to dim on and off. Fortunately, the MESO Customs one does and gives the dome light a super OEM look when you open and close the door.
What are your thoughts on this dual-color dome light? Would dual-brightness be a better option? I’d love to hear whether you think the use case is there, or if this is just a frivolous spend.
I installed the Icarus dual color lighting in my 4Runner years ago. All lights in the hatch, dome and map light positions are dual color red or white. Arclightleds.com as I recall. They still work great. A huge upgrade. This product looks promising but totes itself as the only option when it is not.
Would love to know the cost. Since they are all sold out, the website doesn’t list a price. Any info would be great. Thanks.
Never mind. Found it!
Totally digging this post and looking to get one now too (when in stock) but in the white dual brightness V2. But I have a question and I’m sure its the same with the red/white version you have. Since it does have that option to toggle between the two settings, does it lock in that setting once the car is on/off or does it reset each time and you’ll have to repress the middle button to change between the two colors?
Thanks! Yes, it does retain whichever mode you last left it on!
I have this and I LOVE it! I leave it on red 99% of the time and I gotta say it looks friggin awesome when I walk up to the car and all the lights fade on (have remote keyless entry)! It’s like the car is alive and greeting me. The bright white is excellent; it fills the passenger seats and augments the craptastic map light output which I have yet to replace (can’t seem to pull the trigger on the Arclights red/white map light, $$$).
Agreed! These are a great middle-ground and same here, I leave it on red most of the time!
Meso has amazing ideas. Too bad they suck at actually having stuff.
Totally agree, talk about missed opportunities!
I’ve been eagerly awaiting a certain competitor to the dome lights (*cough* Arclight *cough*) to be back in stock, but I couldn’t resist the immediate availability of these. The competitor reuses the diffusing lens but requires that you drill through it to make the switch accessible, but I see that the Meso lights don’t. Is the direct light output from an array/matrix like this too harsh? Does it provide enough coverage to the entirety of the rear passenger area?
I installed the rear hatch lights conversion of the competitor, and I very much appreciate the more diffused output than with the lens/diffuser off.
I guess the battle between Ms. Right and Ms. Right Now, the latter won out, at least until the former is available for purchase again. The fact that the Meso is a little less than half the price of the other makes the decision to keep it a bit easier.
I don’t think these are frivolous upgrades at all – brighter interior lights mean less effort searching for things, and not needing to turn on my headlamp.
I also always have a flashlight in my vehicles just in case I need a little extra light!
I think the light output is perfectly adequate! The exposed LEDs aren’t any more harsh than a bright white LED under the stock diffuser in my opinion, I can’t stare straight at either haha.
This looks like a nice kit. I used these cheap ones from amazon – they fit under the existing map and domelights and put out a great amount of light. Also ended up putting in the tailgate. Can’t beat the price of ~$10
Everbrightt 5-Pack White 5050 24SMD Led Panel Dome Light Lamp Auto Car Reading Interior Lamp
I’ve had the same economical set-up until this! Agreed they work perfectly fine. All other lights outside of the dome are still inexpensive LED bulb swaps.
Now if only they would put the map lights back in stock…
Put this in last fall. The light output is great and really does a great job brightening up the back seat while leaving the red option to save your night vision or be a good camping neighbor. A much simpler and cheaper option than other alternatives that need lens drilling to install the switch.
Also, check out the puddle pods for the side view mirrors. Does a great job lighting up the area around the truck when unlocking the doors, almost as good as rock lights.
Couldn’t agree more! Sometimes it’s just easier to spend a few more dollars for something that’s plug and play! I currently just have the puddle lights swapped out with normal 194 type LED bulbs since their puddles always seem to be out of stock!
I’ve talked to the guy at Meso via instagram. The dome lights haven’t been released yet. The out of stock should be a coming soon.
I noticed that most of their stuff comes out in limited runs, perhaps never to be restocked, bespoke aftermarket parts” if you will. I did get an extended fuse cover a year or so ago to run add a fuses without having to leave the cover off, these aren’t even listed on the site anymore.
Looks like they are heavy into Tacoma parts and lost of new stuff out for the Tundra. Hope we can get more from them before the next 4Runner gets here!
Great article. This dome light is next on my wish list.
Thanks! Yes definitely a great one to add to your list – I always love a simple mod that doesn’t make the wallet cry haha