Add Dual-Color LED Functionality To Your Interior With The MESO Customs Ultimate Map Lights – Install And Review For The 5th Gen 4Runner
MESO Customs just keeps the hits coming when it comes to interior customization. The only complaint that I had about their dual-color Ultimate LED dome light replacement was that the matching map lights set was never in stock.
As luck would have it, MESO Customs has just restocked their dual-color LED Ultimate Map Lights! Unfortunately, they have sold out once again, however, I was able to grab a set to help you decide if this should be your next mod. With these, you’ll be able to switch your interior map lights between white and red depending on your needs. Best of all, they are plug and play; so no messing with wires or modifying the map light housings are required.
Find It Online:
- MESO Customs Ultimate Map Lights (Dual-Color): Check Price
The MESO Customs Ultimate Map Lights
Keeping with the design aesthetic of their dome light, this map light set features exposed LEDs. The outer rows are white LEDs while the middle row is red. This map light unit is a direct replacement for the factory map light housings.
Compared to the factory halogen map lights, the brightness of the Ultimate Map Lights blows them out of the water. Not only will the outer map lights that contain single halogen bulbs be replaced with an array of LEDs, but so will the space in between the driver and passenger sides. This middle portion originally houses no actual bulbs, just reflectors that bounce residual light from the outer housing bulbs.
The MESO Customs Ultimate Map Lights are compatible with all trims of 5th gen 4runners, regardless of whether you have the TRD MTS controls or not.
Why Would You Want Dual-Color?
Typically, everyone is quick to swap out their factory interior halogen bulbs for super bright white LEDs. While this is a very cost-effective mod, there are certain situations where less brightness and even better, red light can be beneficial.
Bright white light is great for finding dropped items when there’s still some ambient daylight. When it’s dark out, however, you don’t necessarily want this blinding light affecting your ambient vision.
Since your eyes have adjusted to the dark, red lighting is less jarring and when turned off, you’ll still be able to maintain your vision.
As an added benefit, red light is also less attractive to insects. If you frequent night camping or live in an area with a lot of mosquitos, you’ll definitely want this for your interior.
No one likes the feeling of the lights being turned on while they’re sleeping, the same concept applies here.
Please note that having red interior lighting may not be exactly legal in all places. This is another reason why I really wanted the option to switch to white lighting when needed. Prior to the Ultimate Map Lights, I had red LEDs installed. While they definitely looked cool, I always avoided opening my doors around law enforcement when possible.
Note: I would recommend turning your map lights off right away, so the bulbs aren’t too hot when you try to remove them.
Brenan has an awesome write-up on map light removal. However, I’ll recap his removal steps here as well.
- Flat pry tool, or flathead screwdriver
- Gloves (optional)
Step 1. Remove Side Factory Map Light Cover
Take your pry tool or flathead screwdriver and wedge it in the outer edge that faces the rear. Once the outer tabs have popped out, you can pull the cover down to disengage the inner tabs. There are four tabs in total that hold the side push portion of the cover in place. Repeat this step for the opposite side.
Step 2. Remove Old Bulbs
I was able to grab the bulb with my fingers and pull it out. The optional gloves will be needed if your bulbs are still too hot to touch.
Alternatively, Brenan mentioned a fancy trick with rolling packing tape with the sticky part facing inside to grab and remove the bulb.
Step 3. Remove Middle Map Light Cover
The middle portion of the map light cover comes off by pulling straight down.
Step 4. Install MESO Customs Connector
The MESO Customs map light has a wired 194-type connector that will replace the old bulbs. This connector is non-polarity specific, so the install direction does not matter. The side of the map light unit with the wires should be facing toward the windshield.
Step 5. Test Map Light Functionality
Before fully reinstalling the map flights, test the power switches and door open functionality.
Step 6. Install MESO Customs Map Lights
Line up the new map light retention clips with the factory housing slots and press the new map light housings into place.
Once the tabs are aligned, you can press in each section of the map lights until you hear a click. Once all 3 sections have been installed, you’re done!
In my opinion, there are no downsides to the MESO Customs Ultimate Map Lights. I’ve spent money on far more frivolous mods with less functionality. Now that I have the matching map and dome lights, I have the flexibility to illuminate the entire cabin either white or red, depending on my needs.
As I mentioned earlier, red light is far more ideal when it is dark and won’t blind you. I especially look forward to utilizing the red light to not disturb our little one in the event he’s fallen asleep on the ride home.
The white lighting is still plenty bright, and this is in part because the LEDs are exposed, rather than diffused under a cover. This means that they’ll definitely cause slightly more eye fatigue if stared at directly, although I’m not sure you should be doing that anyway.
A cool feature is the ability to set individual colors for the driver and passenger sides by pressing the center buttons of the light. I’m not sure if this will be useful to me, but it’s nice that MESO Customs gives the option.
I agree that combined with the matching Ultimate Dome Light, the set is on the pricier side. However, for the price, you’re getting the LED customization while maintaining a pretty factory fit. I would highly recommend this mod if you’ve been on the hunt for a super clean mod for your interior lighting!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on dual-color interior lighting and whether they’re a waste of money and time, or legitimately useful!