Best Headlights for the Toyota Tacoma
By: Brenden Soriano / April 11, 2023 in Guides
Replacing your Tacoma’s tired factory headlight housings is one of the most worthwhile investments, offering a sleek, rejuvenated appearance, modernizing your Tacoma’s front end, and significantly improving low-light visibility. However, with so many options on the market, how can you possibly choose just one?
At RealTruck, we offer a wide variety of headlights for your Tacoma, including several manufacturers, models, colorways, and styles; in this article, we narrow down the top headlights on the market for the Tacoma platform. The list is reviewed and compiled by the experts and fellow enthusiasts at RealTruck, considering such factors as output, build quality, styling, and warranty. No matter your aesthetic preferences, needs, and expectations, we’ve included a set of headlights for you and your build!
Read on to learn more about the styles of headlights we offer and our top recommendations to significantly improve your Tacoma’s styling and light output.
Technically any headlight can be transformed into an LED headlight by retrofitting LED bulbs into factory reflector housings; however, this combination often produces less-than-satisfactory performance and a poor beam pattern. Rather than retrofitting aftermarket LED tech into housings they aren’t built for, order a set of headlights manufactured with LED chips built-in!
LED headlight housings are designed around LED chips, ensuring a crisp beam pattern, adequate illumination, and outstanding visibility–far beyond your Tacoma’s factory headlights.
Speaking of outstanding visibility, let’s get into our next category: projector headlights. Projector headlights refer to the style of illumination. Most vehicles feature reflector buckets–a large concave reflector that aims the headlight bulb's output into a usable beam. On the other hand, projectors scale down the reflector's size and add a convex lens over the top of the bulb. The lens then magnifies and focuses the light produced by the bulb into a bright, crisp beam pattern that’s far more focused than traditional reflector bucket technology.
Halo Headlights are more of an aesthetic upgrade, but an effective one nonetheless! Halo headlights include pre-installed halos–a thin, traditionally round LED, CCFL, or plasma light that surrounds the headlight bulbs. Halos are typically wired into the daytime running light circuit; however, companies also offer switchback halos (can alternate between DRL and turn signal functionality) and RGB adjustable LED halos, which drivers can customize to their desired color.
Best LED Headlights for the Toyota Tacoma
To begin, let’s discuss our top LED headlights for the Toyota Tacoma platform.
Morimoto is a longtime presence in the aftermarket lighting industry, specializing in high-performance headlight housings packed with premier LED technology. The Morimoto XB Black DRL LED Headlights are no exception, offering the best of the company’s technology, performance, and stylish aesthetics.
Morimoto XB Black DRL LED Headlights feature sleek, glossy black housings that perfectly complement any body color. Crystal-clear, UV-resistant polycarbonate lenses protect the headlights against water intrusion without yellowing or oxidizing. Further customization is available through your choice of white or amber LED DRLs (daytime running lights). All Morimoto XB LED headlights feature Morimoto’s top-of-the-line LED chips, providing up to 3X greater output than factory housings with a crisp, concentrated beam pattern and cutoff.
Installation is a breeze with their direct-fit, plug-and-play design. Morimoto XB Black DRL LED Headlights mount into your Tacoma’s factory location using the original hardware. Morimoto’s premium optics meet or exceed DOT, SAE & FMVSS108 standards for 100-percent legality on the street.
While still a relatively new name in the automotive industry, AlphaRex has taken over the aftermarket lighting market in recent years. Renowned for exceptional build quality, premium optics, and innovative/stylish designs, AlphaRex makes its way onto our list with the Black Nova Series LED Headlights.
AlphaRex Black Nova Series LED Headlights are built to impress, featuring a rugged glossy black housing that perfectly complements any style of build. Futuristic switchback turn signals and sequential DRLs grace nearly every housing, significantly modernizing your Tacoma’s front end. Illumination is handled by premium Osram LED chips, projecting high-intensity light through crystal-clear, UV-resistant polycarbonate lenses.
All AlphaRex Black Nova Series LED Headlights feature a direct bolt-on, plug-and-play installation for seamless integration into your Tacoma’s front end. AlphaRex headlights are compliant with SAE and DOT FMVSS108 regulations.
AlphaRex makes a second appearance with its mid-tier LUXX Series LED Headlights, presented in a striking gloss black finish. Unlike the Nova series headlights from AlphaRex, the LUXX series significantly undercuts the market, offering premium Osram LED chips and AlphaRex’s patented Ice Cube 3D LED projectors at a fraction of the price. How, you may ask?
AlphaRex scales down the most expensive component of the housing for its LUXX headlights–the LED projectors. Rather than including 4+, the LUXX series headlights feature dual LED projectors in each headlight–one high and one low beam. While possessing fewer projectors, these headlights operate efficiently, producing crisp output and sharp cutoffs.
AlphaRex LUXX headlights feature the same high-quality gloss-black housings, crystal clear polycarbonate lenses, switchback turn signals, and sequential DRLs as the higher-priced Nova headlights. They also feature a simple direct-fit installation with plug-and-play factory-style connectors for quick installation. AlphaRex headlights are compliant with SAE and DOT FMVSS108 regulations.
Best Projector Headlights for the Toyota Tacoma
Let’s get into our next category: projector headlights. We know we’ve technically already covered some projector headlights in the previous section; however, all previously featured headlights included upgraded LED technology. Instead of lumping the two together, this section instead focuses specifically on projector housings that accept OE or OE-style bulbs, beginning with:
AlphaRex Black Pro Series Headlights are the ultimate in projector technology. These headlights feature a nearly identical design to the company’s mid-tier LUXX headlights without the integrated Osram LED chip. Instead, AlphaRex Pro Series Headlights accept your Tacoma’s factory halogen headlight bulbs into their high-output projectors, significantly improving light output.
Like all AlphaRex headlights, the Black PRO Series Headlights feature a stylish appearance that’ll surely improve your Tacoma's aesthetics. Sleek gloss black housings make for a stealthy appearance, while crystal-clear polycarbonate lenses encapsulate the projectors. Like AlphaRex’s higher-end headlights, the PRO Series Headlights feature sequential turn signals and bright LED DRLs for a premium touch. AlphaRex Pro-Series headlights also feature a direct-fit, plug-and-play design that installs without any modifications to your Tacoma’s headlight buckets or wiring.
AlphaRex headlights are compliant with SAE and DOT FMVSS108 regulations.
Anzo Black Switchback Projector Headlights perfectly blend style and functionality, pairing a sleek modern aesthetic with Anzo’s premier projector optics.
Aesthetically, Anzo Black Switchback Projector Headlights are tough to beat. Stealthy matte-black housings offer rugged good looks, especially when paired with Anzo’s switchback CCFL DRLs. With your Tacoma’s parking lights illuminated, the DRLs shine a bright, crisp white; however, when you actuate the turn signals, the DRLs flash orange.
Anzo Black Switchback Projector Headlights feature dual projectors for separate high and low beams, magnifying and focusing the output from the factory headlight bulbs. The resulting beam pattern is far more usable than OE headlight housings, featuring a crisp cutoff that directs light only where necessary–on the road!
Anzo Black Switchback Projector Headlights feature a direct-fit, plug-and-play installation to your Tacoma, requiring no modifications.
Spec-D Smoked Black DRL Projector Headlights offer a striking appearance, featuring sleek gloss black housings, smoked polycarbonate lenses, and sequential LED DRLs embedded into every housing. These headlights pair perfectly with a “blacked-out” Tacoma, featuring a dark aesthetic that’ll surely turn heads.
Spec-D Smoked Black DRL Projector Headlights aren’t just stylish, but functional! All headlights feature premium projector technology, providing excellent output and a crisp cutoff. Installation is a breeze with factory-style mounting provisions and plug-and-play headlight connectors.
Best Halo Headlights for the Toyota Tacoma
Lastly, let’s cover the top halo headlights for the Tacoma.
Oracle is a longtime presence in aftermarket automotive lighting. Oracle specializes in high-quality halo retrofit kits, though traditionally, the company provides only DIY LED, CCFL, or plasma halo kits that you must retrofit into your existing housings... until now. These headlights take the labor-intensive work out of the equation!
Oracle Black OE Style White Halo Headlights feature pre-installed halos into high-quality OE-style housings, providing a factory-style appearance with a touch of custom flavor! These headlights feature sleek black housings and clear polycarbonate lenses for a dark, custom appearance that doesn't hinder light output. Considering the factory-style reflector housings, light output remains the same as the factory headlights.
For those looking for a factory-style appearance with a custom accent, consider Oracle Chrome OE Style White Halo Headlights. Like the previous selection, these headlights feature Oracle’s pre-installed LED or CCFL halo into OE-style housings; however, they utilize high-quality chrome housings and clear polycarbonate lenses for an appearance that’s closer to stock; until you turn the lights on, that is!
These lights feature a direct-fit, plug-and-play installation into your Tacoma’s factory headlight buckets. No modifications are required with factory-style mounting provisions and wiring connectors.
If white halos aren’t exciting enough, check out Oracle's Black LED ColorSHIFT Headlights! These OE-style black headlights come retrofitted with Oracle’s premium ColorSHIFT halos, allowing you to adjust the illumination color on-the-fly with the included wireless remote! No matter the style or color of your rig, Oracle ColorSHIFT halos are the perfect complement! From red and purple to blue and green and any color in between!
These lights also feature adjustable brightness and a strobe mode for a bright, flashing display at truck shows or off-highway events. Like Oracle’s other halo headlights, the Black LED ColorSHIFT Headlights offer direct-fit, plug-and-play installation; bolt in the headlights, connect the OE-style connectors, and hit the road!
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