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Upgraded LED license plate light replacements (factory style)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by redtaco2007, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:05 AM
    #1
    redtaco2007

    redtaco2007 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    not much yet!
    Hey everyone, found another neat, cheap product that may interest some people.
    The factory license plate lights on my truck (2007 DCSB) were never that bright when I purchased it. I upgraded the 194 bulbs to various types of led bulbs, and some helped quite a bit, but as seems common with the led 194s, they don't seem to last very long before they began flickering due to 1 or more led going out. So, I was on the hunt for a new replacement.

    Here's what I found
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NF9J8L8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I picked these up off Amazon for around $24. These are entirely new housings (which addresses the issue of the lens on the factory ones being very faded) and fit with very little modification. There are 3 rows of bright white leds on a circuit board behind the lens, directed towards the license plate. They also feature 3 rows of red LEDs that act as additional running lights / accent lights, which I thought was pretty neat too. There are other companies on there that sell them WITHOUT the red lights on them, in case you wanted to go that route.

    I really like the red accent lighting myself, and the white lights themselves... are FAR brighter than any of the 194 leds I've tried over the years.

    Here are my factory lights, both illuminated and not, as well as the current style led bulbs that I was using. These were not the brightest of the various led bulbs that I have used, but they seemed to hold up the longest. You can see how faded the factory lenses are.

    20190328_133433.jpg 20190328_133443.jpg 20190328_133457.jpg 20190328_133548.jpg


    Here's what the new lens / light assemblies look like, directly out of the package.
    You can see the multiple rows of white leds behind the lens
    20190328_133134.jpg

    Here is the pigtail that plugs into the factory 194 pig tail, then gets inserted and twisted into the housing just like the factory one
    20190328_133141.jpg

    And the 3 red led strips
    20190328_133155.jpg

    The installation was pretty basic, but you do need to trim one alignment tab off of each light. Which one you trim, will depend on which side of the license plate that it gets installed. The bumper only has one slot in it, so it will not sit flat unless you trim off the end of one of the alignment tabs.

    Here it is, as received, with both alignment tabs on it.
    20190328_133808.jpg

    Here is what it looks like after using some side cuts to trim one of the alignment tabs. (for the opposite side, you will be trimming the opposite tab off)

    20190328_134248.jpg

    I did try plugging in the connector in both directions, and they do not seem to be polarity sensitive at all, so that makes installation even easier.

    Don't forget to remove the factory gasket from the factory housing, and install it on the new ones!
    20190328_133955.jpg



    Here is the as installed pics - in the daylight.

    20190328_134041.jpg 20190328_134103.jpg 20190328_134059.jpg 20190328_134055.jpg 20190328_134431.jpg

    Annnnnnddd.... Some Night shots!

    20190328_200220.jpg 20190328_200234.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
    KY_Rob, 12TRDTacoma, lo2hi and 20 others like this.
  2. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:07 AM
    #2
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

    Trouble_The_Tacoma KI5BWY

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    Do any before & after night time photos?
     
    redtaco2007 [OP] likes this.
  3. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:19 AM
    #3
    redtaco2007

    redtaco2007 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    not much yet!
    Sorry about that. lol Check out the post now. I accidentally posted it up before I was done adding all the pictures and additional information.
     
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  4. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:20 AM
    #4
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

    Trouble_The_Tacoma KI5BWY

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    Wow those are pretty sweet. What was your total install time?
     
  5. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:23 AM
    #5
    redtaco2007

    redtaco2007 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Had I not taken so many pictures along the way.... It could easily be done in under 5 min with trimming using side cutters.
     
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  6. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:25 AM
    #6
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    Unless that's your camera adjusting for the light it seems too bright, like one would be perfect. I kind of like it except all the light spilling on the tailgate.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:25 AM
    #7
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

    Trouble_The_Tacoma KI5BWY

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    One last question. Are the red's constant on or do they come on with brakes?
     
  8. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:27 AM
    #8
    Gilmorec61

    Gilmorec61 Well-Known Member

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    Oooooh I really like this
     
  9. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:32 AM
    #9
    rmorse

    rmorse Well-Known Member

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    They would be always on unless he wired it into the brake light wires.
     
  10. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:36 AM
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    09TRDSport4x4

    09TRDSport4x4 OCD Approved!

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    Interesting. I’ve never had a problem with the LEDs I’ve used in place of the license plate bulbs but those are super bright. I could probably do without the extra red lighting though.
     
  11. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:40 AM
    #11
    Gilmorec61

    Gilmorec61 Well-Known Member

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    Just placed an order, thanks for the share:thumbsup:
     
    Sugar Silva and redtaco2007 [OP] like this.
  12. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:46 AM
    #12
    Jaypown

    Jaypown Well-Known Member

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    These look awesome!
     
  13. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:47 AM
    #13
    mray

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  14. Mar 29, 2019 at 6:48 AM
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    DLillest

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    TomTwo likes this.
  15. Mar 29, 2019 at 7:03 AM
    #15
    Bajatacoma

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    They look good and I understand if that's what you're going for (nothing wrong with that, we all do cosmetic mods) but honestly, why do I want to make the cop's job easier? As long as my lights meet DOT specs I'm not going out of my way (or spending my money) so that they or a plate reader can see my plate easier. Headlights, brake lights, turn signals- things that make me and others safer, sure, but not license plate lights. JMO
     
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  16. Mar 29, 2019 at 7:05 AM
    #16
    Trouble_The_Tacoma

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    I swapped most of my bulbs to LED just to lower load on electrical so I can have more juice for the radio.
     
  17. Mar 29, 2019 at 7:10 AM
    #17
    TomTwo

    TomTwo I love God but I cuss a little

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    Thanks i just ordered these I did not like the red lights down by the tag lights.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  18. Mar 29, 2019 at 8:13 AM
    #18
    Sandman614

    Sandman614 Snarky TWSS elf, Travis #hotsavannahdotcom, LRGRNR

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    License plate lights can make you and the cop safer, he won't have to ride up your ass as much to read your dimly lit plate.
     
  19. Mar 29, 2019 at 8:25 AM
    #19
    redtaco2007

    redtaco2007 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    As stated by another person, they are constant. They are only fed by the license plate circuit, so no way to make them do various things without rewiring them. And you would have to modify the internal circuit as well, otherwise ths white lights would blink as well.
     
  20. Mar 29, 2019 at 8:28 AM
    #20
    redtaco2007

    redtaco2007 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've been pulled over in previous vehicles for having a burnt out license plate light, or lights that were too dim. Overall, it does make the cops job easier, but also IMO makes the vehicle slightly safer due to the added illumination. I dont typically speed or drive like an asshole, so I'd rather not have a cop pull me over because my plate lights were dim or give them any further reason to waste more of my time. Plus, I dunno, i like the way the bright plate lights look. Lol
     
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