9 Front Bumper & Lighting Setups on Tacomas

3rd Gen TRD Off-Road Premium Tacoma With C4 Hybrid Front Bumper With Full Height Bull Bar & Diode Dynamics Lights

We Asked 9 Experts About Their Armor & Lighting Setups

Welcome back to another community poll. This is a column interview Q&A with independent owner-submitted feedback from the overland community – centered around one topic. Each owner has thoroughly tested their products through off-roading or overlanding and gives us their honest opinion review of their set-up.

This week, we look at a few different front bumper and lighting setups for the 2nd and 3rd Gen Tacomas.

Let’s get started!

Note: The builds listed below are in no particular order

1. Tiffany N: C4 + Baja

Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma With C4 Fabrication HC Overland Front Bumper & Baja Designs S8 30" Light Bar + Pods

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • C4 Fabrication HC Overland Front Bumper
  • Baja Designs S8 30-inch Light Bar (Amber)
  • Baja Designs Squadron Sport Fog Lights (Amber)

Tell Us About Your Setup

My current front bumper is from C4 Fabrication, a reputable armor brand for any adventure. I have the C4 HC Overland front bumper with the S8 30-inch Baja Designs light bar and the Squadron Sports fog lights, both in amber.

I chose amber because it can cut through dust, rain, fog, snow, etc. It’s extremely important to understand the benefit and value of the products you select for your build to ensure its functionality and full potential. In addition, I also have the 12k Superwinch with the Factor 55 ultra hook, fair lead & rope guard.

2. Chris Fortunato: BAMF + Diode

Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma With Bay Metal Area Fab OverLand Plate Bumper & Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro Fog Lights

Front Bumper & Lighting Setup

  • Bay Area Metal Fab Overland Plate Bumper
  • Diode Dynamic SS3 Pro Fog Lights (White)

Tell Us About Your Setup

I was not originally the kind of person who liked the look of a full-plate bumper. Once I received mine and got it installed, however, they started to grow on me.

The BAMF team designed this bumper very well. It is very durable and you can immediately tell once you try to pick this 170-pound piece of steel. Yes, the bumper is pretty heavy. However, it’s a great piece of armor for your truck and will do a great job protecting your expensive off-road toy.

I chose this bumper because of its clean style and the option of having removable bash plates on the lower side. If you were to damage any of the lower sides of the bumper, you can easily replace the bash plates instead of the whole bumper.

3. Stephen Moore: ADI Off Road 

3rd Gen Tacoma With ADI Off Road Front Bumper & LED Light Bar

Front Bumper & Lighting Setup

  • ADI Off-Road Slimline Steel Front Bumper
  • ADI Off-Road 20-Inch Integrated 100-Watt Light Bar

Tell Us About Your Setup

I picked this setup for a few reasons; price, durability, and looks. I found this on Amazon and was skeptical at first, but it came in and looked even better in person.

The cool part about this bumper is that I didn’t have to cut any plastic like many others. It is built to fit in place of the crash bar and fits over the hole where the nose plastic and crash bar used to be. I was also able to hide my winch while maintaining easy access if needed. The bumper has two recovery points on the bumper as well.

The bumper came with a 20-inch 100-watt light bar that’s not bad for a cheaper light and brighter than I expected. This bumper is solid, holds up well on the trails, and looks killer on my Tacoma.

4. Jared Trujillo: CBI + FCK

3rd Gen Tacoma With CBI Offroad Fab Adventure Front Bumper & FCK Light Bar

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • CBI Offroad Fab Adventure Front Bumper
  • FCK Light Bars Combo Beam Light Bar (Amber)
  • FCK Light Bars Dual Purpose Chase Pods (Amber)

Tell Us About Your Setup

When initially building the rig 5 years ago, I was looking for a strong and lightweight front bumper. This is where CBI came in perfectly! The bumper I went with is under 100 lbs. and offers full coverage protection. This bumper offers strength as well as full protection.

As far as lights go, I was looking for affordable and reliable ones. I chose FCK Light Bars and they still shine bright to this day. They have done a great job helping me see well at night without breaking the bank.

5. Willy: BA 4×4 + Auxbeam

3rd Gen Tacoma With Body Armor 4x4 Hiline Winch Front Bumper & Auxbeam Light Bar with Lamin-x Amber Film

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • Body Armor 4×4 Hiline Front Winch Bumper
  • Auxbeam 20-inch Light Bar w/ Amber Lamin-X Film

Tell Us About Your Setup

I picked this setup because it was very budget-friendly and met my off-road needs. The added lighting support was a huge bonus as well. I am very impressed with how the front bumper looks combined with my customized front grill.

Lastly, I also wanted to maintain the factory look as much as possible. This bumper only requires cutting a section of the factory plastic bumper for installation.

6. Scott Schaefer: C4 + Heretic

Lifted 2nd Gen Tacoma With C4 Fabrication Overland Front Bumper & Amber Heretic Studio 30” Light Bar

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • C4 Fabrication Overland Bumper
  • Heretic Studio 30-inch Light Bar (Amber)
  • Heretic Studio 4-inch Pods

Tell Us About Your Setup

I’ve been super amazed by the quality of both these companies. I use to have the hybrid bumper by C4 as well, but I wanted to switch it up and go with the overland model. 

The Heretic lights are made in Centerville, Utah, which is local to me! The amber output is awesome in all weather conditions. Both of these are definitely a great combination for the front end of my Tacoma!

7. Andy Lin: C4 + Diode
Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma With C4 Front Bumper & RTT

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • C4 Fabrications Hybrid Front Bumper w/ Full Height Bull Bar
  • Diode Dynamics 30″ Light Bar (Amber)
  • Diode Dynamics SS3 Fog Lights (Amber)
  • Diode Dynamics SS3 SAE/DOT Combo Pod lights (Amber)

Tell Us About Your Setup

The reason I went with the C4 Hybrid Front Bumper is because of its look, lighter weight, and the ability to mount as many off-roading lights as I want.

I really like Diode Dynamics lights because of their quality and aesthetics. That includes their new backlight feature and also the ability to swap the lenses and covers to your preference.

This C4 Hybrid Front Bumper and Diode Dynamics lights combo setup makes the truck stand out for sure!

8. Brenan Greene: C4 + KC

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • C4 Fabrications Hybrid Front Bumper w/ Full Height Bull Bar
  • KC Lights C-Series 30″ Light Bar (White)
  • KC Lights Flex Era 4 (White)
  • KC Lights Flex Era 3 (SAE + Off-Road Mode Amber)
  • KC Lights Flex Era 1 X 2 (White)

Tell Us About Your Setup

I am running the C4 Fabrication hybrid stacked with KC lights. I wanted to run the KC Flex bar at first and then settled on the C-Series bar, which is their more affordable option. I am glad I did because it gives the front end a mad-max-looking vibe while also putting out some impressive lumens. It boasts 16,200 lumens and a beam distance of 906 m. The Flex Era 4 measures 5″ wide by 5″ tall and is packed with 7,912 lumens. It’s a big light. The Flex Era 3 Dual Mode SAE features 3,682 lumens in SAE mode and 5,949 lumens when you toggle on the off-road mode. The Flex Era 1s pack a mean punch with 2430 lumens with a 67.2 m distance. This is a pretty gnarly setup, both in terms of looks and functionality.

9. Konrad Chojnowski: RRW + Lightforce

3rd Gen Tacoma With Lightforce LED/HID Lights

Front Bumper & Lighting

  • Relations Race Wheels Hybrid Bumper (discontinued)
  • Lightforce HTX2s (combo HID/LED)
  • Lightforce Nightfall 30″ Light Bar (yellow Lamin-X)
  • Lightforce ROK 40
  • Lightforce ROK 20 (yellow Lamin-X)
  • Lightforce ROK 10

Tell Us About Your Setup

My front bumper is a discontinued one from RRW. They briefly made armor in addition to wheels. As far as lighting goes… I have an absurd amount of lights. Probably overkill, but they look sweet and the output turns night into mid-day. The shining lights here are the HTX2s, a flagship light made in Australia, that combines LED and HID components. These two lights throw usable light for almost a mile! Crazy. The rest of the lights are great too. Lightforce has a good reputation and they’ve been around for a while now. You don’t need to spend outrageous money to get solid lights. I think Lightforce lights strike a great balance between cost and effectiveness. I would even say they are very well priced for the performance. They have held up really well too – no fading or odd corrosion, and I live in the Midwest.

Final Thoughts

2021 Toyota Tacoma With Wildpeak A/T Tires & Relations Race Wheels

That wraps up another Taco Tuesday!

Get your truck ready for those summer trips by upgrading your bumper and adding some powerful lighting! While there are many options on the market in the way of front bumper and lighting setups, we wanted to highlight a few examples from real owners. Hopefully, these will help give you a better idea of what you may want!

Tune in next week, and we’ll be covering the different tonneau covers available for your Tacoma!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Questions or Comments?x