Lights

Controlling Lights

Touch Controls > Lights to control the lights.

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Note
You can also access an abbreviated lights menu while driving by touching the Auto High Beam button on the steering yoke. A lights menu displays on the touchscreen, providing quick access to headlight controls.

In addition to the lights that you can control from the touchscreen, Model S has convenience lights that turn on and off automatically based on what you are doing. For example, interior lights, marker lights, tail lights, and puddle lights turn on when you unlock Model S, when you open a door, and when you shift into Park. They turn off automatically after a minute or two or when you shift or lock Model S. Use these settings to control exterior and interior lights:

Exterior Lights

Exterior lights (headlights, tail lights, side marker lights, parking lights, and license plate lights) are set to AUTO each time you start Model S. When set to AUTO, exterior lights automatically turn on when driving in low lighting conditions. If you change to a different setting, lights always revert to AUTO on your next drive.

Touch one of these options to change the exterior light setting:

  • OFF: Exterior lights turn off until you manually turn them back on or until the next time you drive. If daytime running lights are required in your region, the exterior lights used for this purpose are always on when Drive is engaged.
  • PARKING: Only the side marker lights, parking lights, tail lights and license plate lights turn on.
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    Note
    If daytime running lights are required in your region, the exterior lights used for this purpose are always on whenever Drive or Reverse is engaged.
  • ON: Exterior lights turn on.
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CAUTION
Ensure the headlights and rear lights are on during low visibility conditions (for example, when it is dark, foggy, snowy, or the road is wet, etc.). The rear tail lights are off while daytime running lights are on. Failure to do so can cause damage or serious injury.

Fog Lights

If equipped, touch to turn the fog lights on or off. Fog lights operate only when low beam headlights are on. When headlights are turned off, fog lights also turn off.

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The front fog indicator displays on the instrument panel whenever the optional front fog lights are on.
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Note
Depending on the market region and vehicle options, your vehicle may not be equipped with front and/or rear fog lights.

Interior Lights

Turn the interior dome (map) lights on or off. If set to AUTO, all interior dome lights turn on when you unlock Model S, open a door upon exiting, or shift into Park.

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Note
You can also manually turn an individual dome light on or off by pressing its lens. If you turn a dome light on, it turns off when Model S powers off. If Model S was already powered off when you manually turned the light on, it turns off after 60 minutes.

Ambient Lights

When enabled, interior ambient lights turn on whenever the headlights are on.

Auto High Beam

If you turn on Auto High Beam, headlights automatically switch from high beam headlights to low beam headlights when light is detected in front of Model S. See High Beam Headlights.

Headlights after Exit

If you turn on Headlights after Exit, the exterior lights remain on for one minute after you stop driving and park Model S in low lighting conditions. See Headlights After Exit.

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Note
Model S has lights along the rim of the headlights, also referred to as "signature" lights. These lights automatically turn on whenever Model S is powered on and a drive mode is engaged.

High Beam Headlights

Use the high beam headlight button on the left side of the steering yoke to control the headlights:

  • Press and quickly release to flash high beam headlights.
  • Press and hold to turn on high beam headlights - the instrument panel displays a brief timer and you must hold for the duration of the timer to latch the high beam headlights to the on position. When headlights are on, press the button a second time to turn them off.
Closeup of auto high beam button on steering yoke.

The high beam headlights can automatically switch to low beam when there is light detected in front of Model S (for example, from an oncoming vehicle). To turn this feature on or off, touch Controls > Lights > Auto High Beam. Your chosen setting is retained until you manually change it.

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Note
When you touch or press the high beam headlight button on the left side of the steering yoke, the touchscreen displays an abbreviated lights menu to provide quick access to control headlights, fog lights (if equipped), and the Auto High Beam setting. Use the touchscreen to choose options from this menu.
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Note
For vehicles manufactured after approximately February 13, 2022, Auto High Beam is automatically enabled when Autosteer is engaged.

The following indicator lights are visible on the instrument panel to show the status of the headlights:

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Low beam headlights are on.
A blue circular shape with five horizontal lines coming out of it
High beam headlights are on. Illuminates when high beams are on but the Auto High Beam setting is turned off or if the Auto High Beam setting is turned on but is temporarily unavailable.
A blue circular shape with an A in the middle and five horizontal lines coming out of it
High beams are currently turned on, and Auto High Beam is ready to turn off the high beams if light is detected in front of Model S.
A gray circular shape with an A in the middle and five horizontal lines coming out of it
High beams are temporarily turned off because Auto High Beam is operating and light is detected in front of Model S. When light is no longer detected, high beam headlights automatically turn back on.
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Warning
Auto High Beam is a convenience only and is subject to limitations. It is the driver's responsibility to make sure that headlights are always appropriately adjusted for weather conditions and driving circumstances.

Rear Reading Lights

Model S is equipped with a reading light on each side of the rear seats, located above the door and next to the coat hangers (see Coat Hangers). To turn a reading light on or off, press its lens. If you leave a reading light turned on, it automatically turns off when Model S powers off.

Headlights After Exit

When you stop driving and park Model S in low lighting conditions, exterior lights temporarily remain illuminated. They automatically turn off after one minute or when you lock Model S whichever comes first.

To turn this feature on and off, touch Controls > Lights > Headlights After Exit. When Headlights After Exit is off, the headlights turn off immediately when you engage Park and open a door.

Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)

If equipped, the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) automatically adjusts the beam of the headlights to improve your driving view. Electric sensors measure driving speed, steering angle and yaw (the rotation of the car around the vertical axis) to determine the optimum position of the headlights based on current driving conditions. For example, to improve visibility while driving on winding roads at night, the AFS casts the beam in the direction of the curve. When low beam headlights are turned on and when driving at lower speeds, AFS improves lateral illumination to increase the visibility of pedestrians and curbs, and to improve visibility when turning at a dark intersection, into a driveway, or when making a u-turn.

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If the AFS fails, the instrument panel displays an alert. Contact Tesla Service.

Turn Signals

To engage a turn signal, press the corresponding arrow button on the left side of the steering yoke. A turn signal cancels based on the angle of the steering yoke (for example, you finish making a turn). You can also cancel a turn signal by pressing the turn signal button a second time.

If Controls > Pedals & Steering > Automatic Turn Signals is set to Auto Cancel, turn signals cancel automatically when Model S detects completion of a maneuver such as a merge, lane change, or a fork in the roadway. You can override automatic cancellation at any time (for example, you want the turn signal to remain on because you are making more than one lane change). To override, engage the turn signal by pressing and momentarily holding the turn signal button (instead of just pressing). Then, when the first maneuver is complete, the turn signal remains on. If Automatic Turn Signals is set to Off, you must cancel the turn signal manually by pressing the turn signal button after maneuvers such as a merge, lane change, or fork in the roadway.

Closeup of left and right turn signals on steering yoke.
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When a turn signal is operating, the corresponding indicator lights up on the instrument panel and you can hear a clicking sound.

Hazard Warning Flashers

To turn on the hazard warning flashers, press the button on the drive mode selector located at the front of the center console. All turn signals flash. Press again to turn off.

Center console drive mode selector with arrow pointing to hazard warning light button in the middle.
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Note
Hazard warning flashers operate even without a key nearby.