F-150 & Light: 14 Questions Answered (For Newbies)

The Ford F-150 pickup is Ford’s best-selling F-series vehicle in the USA.

The F-150 is built to serve as a workhorse, but comes with the luxuries of a daily driver. It sits above the Ranger in power and below the Super Duty F-Series trucks.

The F-150 is equipped with a powerful lighting system to enhance its performance in the dark.

In this article, we discuss all you need to know about the Ford F-150 lights.

Which Light Bulbs Sizes and Types Do Ford F-150 Use?

Here are the light bulb sizes and types the Ford F-150 uses:


The 1999 to 2004 model of the F-150 uses taillight bulb 3157R. Ford changed the taillight bulb to 4057R from 2005 to 2014.

Starting from 2015, the F-150 with LED taillight was introduced. From 2015 to 2020, the F-150 taillight bulb (with halogen headlights) uses 3157R while the taillight bulb (with LED headlights) uses LED.


The F-150 models years 1999 to 2003 use bulb 9007 for both high beam and low beam headlights. For models years 2004 to 2012, the headlight bulb number is H13.

From 2013 to 2014, both high beam and low beam (with halogen headlights) headlights use H13, while both high beam and low beam HID headlights use D3S bulb.

From 2015 to 2020, the headlight bulb high beam (with LED headlights) uses LED lights while the high beam (with halogen headlights) headlight bulbs use 9005/H11.

Center High Stop Mount

From 1999 to 2003, the F-150 center high mount stop light uses bulb number 912. Model years 2004 to 2008 use bulb 921 for the center high mount stop light.

From 2009 to 2014, the center high mount stop light changed back to bulb number 912.

Starting from 2015 to 2020, the center high mount stop light bulb (with LED headlights) uses LED lights while the center high mount stop light bulb (with halogen headlights) uses 912.

Click here for the best deals when shopping for F-150 light bulbs on Amazon.

How to Turn Off Daytime Running Lights On a Ford F-150

To turn off the daytime running light on your F-150, use the information display on your instrument cluster screen.

Use the five-way control switch on the left side of your steering wheel to check the running lamps on or off.

  • Using the arrow keys on the steering wheel, go to Settings on the instrument cluster screen and press the OK button on the steering wheel to enter “Settings Menu”.
  • Thereafter, scroll down and select “Advanced Settings” then select “Vehicle”.
  • Scroll down to the Daytime Lights option and use the OK button on your steering wheel to select the checkbox.
  • A tick mark on the checkbox means daytime running lights are on; an empty box means they are off.
  • Finally, turn the lighting control switch from auto/on position to off.

Please also read our article about the Ford F-150 in snow and winter driving

Ford F-150 Light Indicator Symbols Explained

Some common dashboard light indicator symbols to look out for on your F-150 include:

  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS): This symbol looks like the letters ABS inside a circle and turns on when your system has malfunctioned or isn’t working properly.
  • Check 4×4 Indicator: It shows a wrench symbol and says CHECK 4X4 when a malfunction is detected. The indicator appears when something is wrong with your truck’s 4WD system.
  • Battery Indicator: This symbol looks like the top of a battery; it pops up when a serious charging fault is detected. It is advisable not to turn off your engine until you have gotten to a safe destination if you see this light.
  • Electric Park Brake: When a zig-zagged arrow inside a circle symbol pops up on your dashboard, it signifies a malfunction with the parking brake.
  • Engine Coolant Temperature: When a symbol that looks like a thermometer submerged in liquid comes on, it shows that the engine coolant temperature is too high. Wiring problems and a malfunctioning engine coolant temperature sensor can also trigger this light.
  • Engine Oil: When a symbol that looks like dripping oil illuminates while driving, that’s a sign of a low or worn motor oil. Either way, it’s best to pull over your F-150 truck immediately and check the engine oil.
  • Low Tire Pressure: A symbol that looks like an exclamation point inside of brackets pops up when the pressure in one or more of your tires is low. If driving, park your car and check your tires.
  • Service Engine Soon: When this symbol turns on, your engine might be due for periodic service. Contact your dealer to check your engine and identify the exact malfunction.
  • Transmission Tow/Haul: When there’s an error in your towing system, a symbol that says TOW HAUL appears.

Make sure to also read our article about how long the Ford F-150 lasts.

How Do You Adjust the Light on a Ford F-150?

To adjust the headlights on your F-150, follow the following steps:

  • Move your F-150 as close as possible to a plain wall without touching it and turn off all surrounding lights. Leave the garage as dark as possible.
  • Turn your headlights on.
  • Grab a tape and make a horizontal tapeline across each of the light beam on the wall.
  • Make a vertical tapeline across each of the light beam forming a plus “+” sign on the wall.
  • Move your car back to about 25 feet.
  • Open the hood and locate the headlight adjuster.
  • For 1998 to 2004 F-150 trucks, remove the radiator cover to have access to the headlight adjuster. Use your headlight adjusting wrench to adjust the light beam until the beam lands where the tape line intercepts.
  • For model years 2005 to 202, all you need is a flathead screwdriver to adjust the headlight with the adjuster screw on the headlight inside the hood.

Does Ford F-150 Have Automatic Headlamps?

The 13th generation of F-150 (2015 – 2020) comes with auto headlamps.

Previous generations may have auto headlights as optional equipment, but they didn’t come standard with all trim levels.

How Do I Turn Off the Lights On a Ford F-150?

The auto lights will only work when you’ve set your light control switch to auto position.

To turn it off, turn the light’s rotary knob next to the steering wheel on the left side from auto/on position to off.

How Do I Turn Off the Ford F-150 Cargo Light?

To turn off the F-150 cargo light, press the cargo lights button next to the steering wheel on the left side.

It’s the bottom left button next to the light’s rotary knob. They also turn off automatically after 10 minutes or if the vehicle speed exceeds 3 mph.

How Does the Auto Light Sensitivity Work?

Automatic headlamps come on whenever the switch is in the “auto” position, and it’s dark enough to activate them.

The auto light does not activate when it’s relatively bright but your lights should be on, such as when it’s raining. So be sure to switch them on manually in these situations.

Also read our article about important Ford F-150 statistics you should know

What Can Cause the Drive Light to Blink?

The flashing light shows electrical input. If you can shift the transmission stick normally, then it could be a wiring problem.

Can I Use Headlight Covers On an F-150?

You can use headlight covers for the Ford F-150.

Before buying these accessories, make sure it is legal to use them in your area. 

The Dome/Interior Light Isn’t Working

If the dome light is not working, the first step is to check the bulb, then the dimmer switch.

You can test with an alternative bulb to confirm and check the dimmer switch. If the bulb and dimmer switch are not faulty, the next thing is to check for a faulty fuse.

Ford F-150 Light Sensors Explained

The light sensor of the F-150 is at the center of the dash near the windshield.

It detects the ambient light and switches on the headlight if it is low and off if the surrounding is bright.

Do Ford F-150 Have LED Lights?

Recent models of the F-150 truck have LED lights. Ford started using LED lights for its F-150 headlights and taillights in 2015.

The Lights Come On But the Car Won’t Start

The lights show that the F-150’s battery is has some charge.

This issue might be because of a faulty starter or ignition. A weak battery can also cause it.

Whatever the case, contact your mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue.

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