AlphaRex TRD Style Headlights Review

Lifted 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma with AlphaRex TRD Style LED Headlights

TRD Replica Headlights with DRLs & Sequential Turn Signals

It’s no big surprise that with the reliability of 3rd Gen Tacoma, Toyota was going to cut costs somewhere. In my assessment, its easy to see they opted to cut quality in headlight housings, especially for the earlier 3rd Gen models. The soft yellow headlight output that Toyota includes with the Tacoma leaves many people wanting a lot more from them.

It honestly is surprising that they are barely starting to make upgrades to the newer models, while other companies have been way ahead of the curve in this area of vehicles. But not to worry. All is not lost, there’s hope.

I’m here to tell you about an excellent upgrade option at a very reasonable price for a sweet set of aftermarket lights that mimic the styling everyone loves.

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Features & Specs

6-Inch Drop Bracket Lifted Tacoma with Summit Wheels & High Clearance Front Bumper

While some headlights are upwards of $1500, these come in right around the $1000 mark. These are not cheap, off-the-shelf replacements.

Notable Features

These feature a signature LED activation. Essentially a sequential light that flashes when you lock/unlock your car. It also functions as a DRL and a sequential turn signal.

Housing Details

You can order them in chrome, black, and midnight black housing. The chrome housing gives your truck a stock housing look and matches your truck if you have a lot of chrome accessories. On the other hand, the black housings give your truck a sporty look and easily match any color truck and front grill.

The difference between the two black options is that the black version only has about 50% black housing coverage (minus the reflector) and the black-on-black option has closer to 100% black housing coverage (minus the reflector). I went with the black-on-black look.


They’re made of polycarbonate plastic lenses. During production, a layer of an anti-fog agent is applied to the headlight lens, which allows better light output in extreme weather. In addition, they also apply another coating to protect the lens against yellowing and oxidation.

SAE/DOT Compliance

These Toyota Tacoma LED reflector headlights are compliant with SAE and DOT FMVSS108 regulations. They inspect every detail of the lights to make sure they are satisfied as a company, and you are as a customer.


Installing AlphaRex TRD Model Headlights from TacomaBeast on 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

The installation is as easy as removing your current headlights, plugging in the direct fit harnesses, and the optional wiring splicing step. Splicing is only required if you would like your headlights to do a start-up dance. I opted to do it here.

I think the overall time it took me to get these on the truck was roughly an hour and a half or so. That included me taking breaks and getting sidetracked.

If you’re looking for an installation guide, reference Konrad’s AlphaRex AlphaBlack Install & Review.


Blazing Blue Pearl Tacoma with SSO High-Clearance Slimline Bumper, Prinsu Roof Rack & AlphaRex TRD Replica Headlights

Dude, come on! Look at these things! They fit just right in the front end of the truck. There’s a reason Toyota made the jump to upgrade the headlights in 2020. This design works so well with the Tacoma’s styling.

The clean look of these lights is a perfect match for any front end that needs a sweet, relatively affordable upgrade. There are zero fitment issues when these are installed correctly. They heavily resemble an OEM look, fit, finish, and quality. You should have zero worries about how the headlights will sit when they are installed properly.

Light Output

Alpharex TRD Model LED Headlight Upgrade with DRL & Sequential Turn Signals

Straightaway, I noticed how bright the DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) were. They caught my eye as soon as I turned the truck on. They are brighter than the stock DRLs by tenfold.

Now for the actual headlights, I was quite surprised. I had read a few posts on various forums and seen a couple of posts about how the light output was scattered and the headlights weren’t so great in that aspect.

When the sun went down, I turned my fogs off and drove down a road with no streetlights so I could see how the lights performed.

With no fogs on, the headlights are extremely bright. The output is not as scattered as some people may make it out to be. Sure, it’s an LED light in a reflector housing, so there is some scatter, but it’s fairly focused. You can’t expect projector-like cutoff lines.

Ultimately, I had zero issues seeing and was completely unbothered by the way they cast the light output.

When I paired the setup with my Diode Dynamic SS3 Pros, talk about blinding! There is no question that the headlights will do everything I want them to do at night while on the road, or while tackling a late-night trail run.

Any Downsides? 

The brights did not impress me very much. I was expecting something extremely bright, but they sort of fell short in that category. It’s worth noting that this can be said for most brights, on most housings, unless you get some obnoxiously bright and expensive bulbs. The average street driver should have no issues, but I was still hoping for a little more. Those of us who go off-road usually have auxiliary lighting, so we can always use that when needed. If you’re considering these headlights, I wouldn’t even worry about it.

AlphaRex High Beam + Diode Dynamic SS3 Pros

TacomaBeast AlphaRex TRD Headlights & Diode Dynamics SS3 Pro Light Output

AlphaRex Low Beam Pattern

Alpharex & TacomaBeast Aftermarket LED TRD Style Headlights Beam Pattern - 3rd Gen Tacoma

Sequential Signals

AlphaRex TRD Style LED Highlights from TacomaBeast - Full Review & Overview

Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)

DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) on Replica TRD Trim Headlights from TacomaBeast

Final Thoughts

High Quality Aftermarket LED Headlight Housing Upgrade for Toyota Tacoma

If you are in the market for a new set of headlights, I would recommend these.

The plug-and-play installation, the sweet dance they do, and their sleek look will satisfy the look you’re going for, as long as you have $1000 price point for entry.

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Michael Duft
Michael Duft
1 year ago

Great article. I too installed the AlphaRex lights on my 2017 Tacoma and love them, most of the time. Have you had any issue with your DRL’s mysteriously turning on when the truck is parked, off, and locked? Mine have done this a few times, usually in the middle of the night and I find out when either I happen to be up and notice it or when a neighbor calls and tells me the DRL’s are lighting up the street at 3:30am. It’s not just for a few minutes, they will stay on until I come out and do… Read more »

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