Xenon Depot XTR Reverse Lights Step-By-Step Install & Review For The 3rd Gen Tacoma
A simple solution to a very overlooked problem every Tacoma owner can relate to.
Reverse lights are one of the most underrated modifications in most automotive circles. Besides the obvious increased safety, what can brighter and more visible lights do for your vehicle?
Reverse lights are primarily used to warn other vehicles/pedestrians that you are backing up your vehicle, this is a mandated safety measure that is required on your truck. They are also used to illuminate what is behind you so you do not accidentally hit something you cannot see.
Every vehicle in the United States must have one or two rear-mounted rear-facing reverse lights. The lights should be white in color. Test your reverse lights frequently to always make sure they are functional.
The 921/T15: XTR LED for 2016+ 3rd Gen Tacoma:
Xenon Depot LED Reverse Light Upgrade
I decided to do this upgrade from Xenon Depot because I started noticing that I could barely make out what was behind my truck during night time.
I frequently had to turn on my Baja S2 Sport Chase Lights to see what was behind me. That is not always the most courteous move when I am in busy parking lots and the DOT considers them illegal for daily use unless you are on a trail or off-road. I wanted something that gave me a little bit more light but didn’t draw too much attention. After some research, these Xenon Depot Reverse Lights were my top replacement choice.
For a simple set of lights, the build quality is impressive. These lights certainly pack a punch! They feature an optimally positioned CREE MHB-A LED emitter to make the most out of your tail light reflectors. The majority of the bulb is made of ceramic so it is capable of handling even higher outside environmental temperatures than the cheaper plastic alternatives that can easily burn out.
There are many styles of reverse lights on the market. You may be most familiar with a ‘tower’ type – its the most common one on the market. These bulbs do not utilize all of their output because the light is not properly reflected. The design of the XTRs solves that common problem.
These lights are extremely bright and reliable! The craftsmanship on the electrical connectors is also much better than what you are getting from the factory and they fit perfectly into the OEM Toyota Connectors.
How To Install Xenon Depot Reverse Lights For 3rd Gen Tacoma
This is an extremely easy installation. All the tools you’ll need for this install include a 10mm socket, ratchet wrench and a socket wrench extension. That’s it!
Step 1. Work Area Prep
Start by opening your tailgate and locating these 3 bolts (marked in red). You will do the same process on the other side and/or vice versa.
Step 2. Remove Tail Light Assembly
Use your socket and start to turn the bolts counterclockwise to loosen, do these on all 3 bolts that were marked.
Step 3. Remove Housing Safely & Reverse Light Harness
Once all bolts are removed, place them somewhere safe and use both hands to remove the tail light. I recommend one hand on the top and one on the bottom to ensure that it comes off correctly.
There is a little pressure point lock (in silver) that keeps the light in place even if the bolts are removed, but you will see right away that the whole tail light assembly is ready to come off.
Turn Reverse Light Harness To Remove From Tail Light Assembly
Pictured above is the reverse light harness. Give it a little turn to remove the harness from the taillight assembly. Once the connector is removed from the housing just pull lightly on the OEM reverse light bulb to remove.
Step 4. Install Xenon Depot Reverse Light
Insert your new LED Light in the socket and have someone put the car in reverse (while holding the brake, of course) to test out the light.
If it does not turn on the first time, just flip the light around and this will switch the polarity and it will turn on.
It is a common mistake that the light is put in the other way around which will cause it to not turn on. Once you have checked that all is in working order – put the light back into the housing and give it a twist to lock.
Put the whole tail light housing back into place and secure with the three bolts. I highly recommend doing this by hand and not with an impact gun (you can easily strip the bolts or crack the housing).
Double-check to make sure everything is tight and you are done! Repeat all the steps on the other tail light.
Of all the upgrades I’ve done to my truck, this is probably one of the easiest and the most useful mods to date.
It only took me about 10 minutes to unwrap the box, get the lights installed and test it all out. I definitely can see a huge difference in light output for the rear of the truck.
As you probably noticed in the photo above, these are powerful lights. Until now, I never thought of the reverse lights as a necessary upgrade. I can see much better backing up into parking stalls and when I’m out at night on the trail. I highly recommend these to anyone in the market for quality lights and those looking for peace of mind.