Cali Raised LED Low-Profile Ditch Light Bracket Kit With Side Projecting LED Pods For 3rd Gen (2016+) Tacoma – Installation, Review & Overview
A lot of overlanders, I mean a lot of overlanders, are obsessed with auxiliary lighting. Roof LED bars, bumper LED bars, chase lights, ditch lights, and lights behind the grill guard – we like everything lit up.
Personally, if I had to choose one type of auxiliary light to have on my rig, I’d pick a pair of ditch lights. The first thing I installed on my rig was a pair of ditch lights. Ditch lights provide additional lighting to the sides of your rig that your headlights won’t cover. They allow you to see angles you wouldn’t be able to see, catching obstacles ahead of the turn you’re about to make and giving you a clearer idea of what’s lurking in the shadows.
This brings us to the Cali Raised LED ditch light kit, a complete kit with everything you’ll need to set you up with some of that lighting.
Find It Online
- 3rd Gen (2016+) Toyota Tacoma Cali Raised LED Ditch Light Kit: Check Price
The complete kit (as shown with brackets, LED pods, harnesses, and switch) includes everything you need to mount, install, and wire a pair of ditch lights. It makes things super convenient at a pretty competitive price point.
This setup will not impact your ability to close or open the hood of your truck, a good thing to note considering the tight space they are being installed in. You can purchase the brackets on their own if you’d like to run a different set of lights. However, Cali Raised LED provides a very complete kit to get your new setup working as quickly and efficiently as possible.
With four different ditch light options, you should be able to find a good choice for your build. Cali Raised offers white LED pods, amber LED pods, side projecting LED pods and a round cannon pod. The brackets come powder coated for long-term durability.
- Standard mechanic’s tool set
- Standard Allen wrench set
- Wire cutter / stripper / crimper
1. Assemble Ditch Lights
The ditch lights come unassembled out of the box. Depending on your application, you can install the bracket in two different ways. For this install, it’ll be as shown in the photos. Take two nuts that fit in the two recessed areas on the ditch lights and drop them in.
Use a small flat head or something small enough to fit in the recessed spots to keep the nuts upright. Place the bracket in and use the two corresponding bolts to assemble. Leave the bolts kind of loose because you’ll want to adjust them later.
2. Mount Lights To Brackets
You’ll want to mount and fully tighten down the ditch lights on the mounts before attaching them to the truck. Trying to tighten down or loosen ditch lights after installation will be difficult because the bottom mounting nut will sit right next to the hood. You still should be able to make minor adjustments afterward, even if the bolts are fully tightened down. Just don’t go crazy with tightening.
3. Mount Lights & Brackets To Hood
Make sure to only do one side at a time (or you’ll completely detach the hood) and pay attention to which side they go on.
Remove the two bolts that mount the hood to the truck (hinge). Feed the ditch light mounts through the top of the hood. They should sit under the hinges. Do not sandwich them in between the hood hinges and the hood. Replace the bolts and tighten.
If you plan to use the switch that came pre-wired to the harness, then the only thing you have to do is feed the wire through the firewall. There’s a rubber grommet easily accessible that goes straight into the cab. Remove the backing on the switch and stick it wherever works best.
If you bought the OEM switch option, you’ll have to cut off the pre-wired switch before the connector where the blue, white, and black wires are. Strip back all the wires from the harness and the OEM switch.
Note: If you want the switch backlight to come on when the truck turns on, you’ll need to look further into which wire goes to what and tap accessory power. The picture shown below only shows you how to wire it so the backlight of the switch turns on when depressed.
You’ll need to feed the wires through the firewall into the cab first. Then to wire the switch, you’ll take the black wire on the switch and attach it to the black-white on the harness. The green wire on the switch will connect to the white wire on the harness. As for the two red wires on the switch, you’ll need to twist them together to combine them and then attach them to the blue wire on the harness.
The OEM switch should fit in one of the factory switch slots to the bottom right of your steering wheel. You’ll need to pop out the placeholder first, then pop in the switch. Connect the wires to the switch, connect the positive and negative wires on the harness to your battery, and you’re done.
Ditch Light Output
Now that you’ve seen the installation process, let’s look at output.
At the end of the day, we want to know how bright these lights are and how effective this upgrade is.
Low Beams (Aftermarket LED Headlight Bulbs)
Cali Raised LED Side Projecting Ditch Light
LED Low Beam + Cali Raised LED Ditch Light
At this price point, this ditch light kit is an excellent option for anyone that needs a little extra light for those night runs. They’re perfect for shooting light out to the side where you usually wouldn’t have any. This keeps those dips, rocks, and animals that would normally be hidden off to the side of your turns, visible. If you’re interested in this kit, check out Cali Raised LED’s site. They offer a bunch of lighting options for your rig.