Red, White or Blue Ultra Bright USR LED Dome & Map Lights For the 3rd Gen Tacoma – Install & Review
When it comes to interior lighting, many manufacturers choose to skimp on output. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. You would think that keeping the inside of a truck well lit would be a priority. Some things remain a mystery.
Poor OEM Light Quality
Toyota uses halogen bulbs that are dull and provide warmer, more yellow light output. These barely illuminate the inside of the cabin. The map lights could be worse, but the dome lights are beyond bad. The output is almost useless.
I know I’m not the only one who has dropped something while in my truck, and it disappears under the seat never to be found again. Seriously! Why does whatever you drop gravitate towards the crack in between the seat and the center console? It’s almost like it has its own gravitational pull, and feeds off of loose change and car keys… But, I digress; back to the lights.
For those that have experienced this, you know how much of a pain it is digging around under your seat or in between your seats trying to find whatever it is you dropped. Especially with those dimly lit halogen lightbulbs doing the bare minimum to increase visibility. It’s even more frustrating at night!
It’s always the same process, at least for me. As soon as I drop something, I turn the dome lights on and start my search. Once that fails, I immediately resort to my phone’s flash feature as a flashlight to continue my search. This usually does the trick, but why can’t the lights just be bright enough to illuminate everything?
Introducing Unique Style Racing
The good news? There’s a solution. Enter Unique Style Racing.
Unique Style Racing found the simplest solution to this seemingly endless problem. They developed their LED Interior Light Set that completely replaces the factory halogen bulbs and housings. They really knocked this one out of the park too. They didn’t just settle for the basic white LED lights that most companies typically do. But, rather, they decided to up the ante and released red, white and blue options, each one just as bright as the next.
I’ve never been one to play around with the interior dome lights on any vehicle I’ve driven. My experience with swapping the halogens for the LEDs was little to none. I was genuinely surprised though at how easy Unique Style Racings LED lights were to install. It was as simple as changing a light bulb in your house.
The install only took about 10 minutes, but that was with an added step I didn’t realize I could have skipped until after I finished. I’ll give a quick overview of the product later on, but let’s jump into the install first.
Find it online
- Unique Style Racing LED Interior Map & Dome Lights: Check Price
The install process is fast and simple. Unique Style Racing utilizes a simple plug-and-play design so you won’t have to worry about any additional wiring.
You will simply be removing the old OEM halogen light bulbs and housings that come with your Tacoma and installing these new LED light housings. The only tool you will need for this job is a flat head screwdriver or something you can use for popping off the plastic clips to the light covers.
Any type of prying tool will work as well. I used a flat head screwdriver and I didn’t have any issues.
Step 1. Remove Front Map Light Panel (Optional)
This step is optional. Like I stated earlier, this is an added step I didn’t realize at the time of the install that I could have avoided. Nevertheless, I’ll instruct you how to do it since I went through it. It’s just another way to do it.
Take your pry tool, or flat head screwdriver and slide it under the panel. Gently separate the panel from the roof of the vehicle just enough for you to slide your fingers in. Once your fingers are in you can discard the tool.
Gently pull down on the panel until the clips pop out. Repeat the process on the front side of the panel. There should be a total of four clips that secure it to the roof, and once removed it will hang in place.
Step 2. Remove Map Light Bulbs & Sockets (Optional)
With the panel loose and hanging locate the two halogen bulbs on the backside. Give them both a quarter turn and pull them out.
There should be no resistance when removing the entire bulb from the panel. If you are feeling any resistance, then try turning the bulb further. The bulb and socket should slide out easily.
Step 3. Remove Halogen Lightbulbs from Socket
With the entire bulb and socket now removed from the panel, you can prepare the socket for the LED lights. Gently grab onto the halogen light bulb and pull it out of the socket. There will be minor resistance, but not much.
Be mindful that the bulb is glass and you don’t want to squeeze the bulb too firmly. With both bulbs now out, you can discard the halogen bulbs, because you will no longer be using them. Toss them in the trash or stick them in a box as memorabilia. Either way, out with the old and in with the new!
Step 4. Remove Map Light Cover
On the front of the panel are the two clear plastic map light covers. Grab your flat head screwdriver, or prying tool, and slide it in between the cover and the panel. There should be a very thin crack that you can slide the flat head screwdriver into.
Gently separate the cover from the panel by applying minimal force, and the clips will pop right off. Once both clear plastic covers are removed you can discard them, because the USR map lights are integrated into a piece that perfectly fits into the entire map light slot.
Step 5. Pop LED Lights Onto Panel
Grab your Unique Style Racing LED Map Lights and install them onto the panel. They are molded for each side, and you will have to differentiate which map light goes in which slot. It’s easy to figure out because the light won’t fit if it’s on the wrong side.
Feed the wire from the LED light through the hole where the halogen light bulb used to be and let it hang on the backside. Next, line up the LED light with the panel and pop it into place. The clips will snap in place and secure it to the panel.
Step 6. Insert LED Light Plug into Original Socket
With the front now secured to the panel, you can connect the LED light to the socket to provide power. Simply insert the plug into the original socket that was housing the halogen lightbulb. It will pop right in place.
Once connected place the socket back on the panel, and give it a quarter turn in the opposite direction you turned to remove it. It will secure the socket to the panel, and the LED light will now have power. Repeat the process for both map lights.
Step 7. Pop Panel Back in Place
Now that the LED map lights are fully installed and functional, you can put the panel back in place.
Line the panel up with the hole in the roof of your vehicle and firmly press up. You will hear the clips on the panel snap in place, securing it to the roof.
Step 8. Remove Dome Light Cover & Bulb
There are two pressure points for the clips securing the rear dome light to the roof of the vehicle. They are located on the side closest to the front of the vehicle. Using your flat head screwdriver, apply slight pressure to the clip and pry at a downward angle.
The clip will pop out of place and you can now remove the cover. The halogen bulb will now be visible in the center of the dome light. It is wedged in similar to a battery in a remote controller. Simply pull the halogen light bulb out.
Step 9. Insert USR LED Dome Light
The Unique Style Racing LED dome light will utilize a plug similarly shaped like the halogen lightbulb you removed. Take the plug and push it into where the halogen lightbulb originally was.
With the light in place, you can now pop the new LED outer cover on. It will pop in place just like the OEM dome light cover did.
As I previously stated above, this install took me roughly ten minutes to do. The first two steps are optional and are not required to swap out the halogen lightbulbs with the LED ones. I figured that out after I had already completed the first two steps.
As opposed to removing the entire front panel and lightbulb socket, you can simply start at Step 4. Just remove the map light cover, then revert to step 3 and remove the halogen light bulb.
With those both gone you can plug the new LED light into the original socket and clip the LED map light in place. Either way, the install process is super simple, and I had zero experience with swapping out interior lights. If I could do it so can you!
Output Shots – Driver’s Seat (Red)
Output Shots – Driver’s Seat (White)
Output Shots – Driver’s Seat (Blue)
Unique Style Racing really didn’t hold back with these LED lights. When I say they are bright, that truly is an understatement! I could not believe how bright these things were when I first turned them on. I installed them during the day, so there was too much light outside to really test them out.
I had to pull into my garage and close the door to get it extremely dark. When I turned these things on it illuminated my entire garage. I was very surprised at how much better they were. These things are so bright that I could see clearly underneath my seats.
Red Output Shots
White Output Shots
Blue Output Shots
USR is crushing it. They are putting out quality products and consider every detail. The packaging it came in was a custom box with their logo branded right on the front. Inside the box were the neatly packed LED lights surrounded by molded styrofoam custom fit for the lights themselves.
Unique Style Racing wouldn’t be unique without adding their personal touch to it. They offer these interior light sets in Hyper White, Ocean Blue and Cherry Red. For those of you that love to customize your vehicles with LED interior lights, these are definitely worth it.