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 High Beam button on the steering yoke (or steering wheel). 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.

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, or whenever the wipers are active. If you change to a different setting, lights always revert to Auto on your next drive.

Touch one of these options to change and retain the exterior light setting until adjusted again or the next time you drive:

  • Off: Exterior lights turn off. When driving, daytime running lights may remain on based on regulations in various market regions.
  • Parking: Parking lights, side marker lights, tail lights and license plate lights turn on.
  • On: Low beam headlights, side marker lights, parking lights, tail lights, and license plate lights turn on.

If equipped, the headlights automatically adjust to improve your view based on your driving speed and steering angle. When driving at lower speeds with low beam headlights on, the headlights increase lateral illumination to make pedestrians and curbs more visible and to improve visibility when turning at a dark intersection, into a driveway, or when making a u-turn.

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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.
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Note
Headlights do not require adjustments when temporarily driving into a region where the traffic direction is different (for example, driving in right-hand traffic region, and then driving into a region with left-hand traffic).

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 rear fog indicator displays on the instrument panel whenever rear fog lights (if equipped) are on.
A green half circle with three slanted lines coming out of it and a wavy vertical line
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.

Dome 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.

You can also manually turn an individual dome light on or off by touching 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.

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.

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Note
If you lock Model S using the Tesla mobile app or key card, the headlights immediately turn off. However, if the vehicle locks because Walk-Away Door Lock is enabled (see Walk-Away Door Lock), the headlights automatically turn off after one minute.

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.

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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 (or steering wheel) 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 high beam button on steering yoke.

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

A green circular shape with five horizontal, slanted lines coming out of it
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 Adaptive Headlights setting is turned off or if the Adaptive Headlights 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 Adaptive Headlights is ready to turn off the high beams if light is detected in front of the vehicle.
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 Adaptive Headlights is operating and light is detected in front of your vehicle. When light is no longer detected, high beam headlights automatically turn back on.

Adaptive Headlights

When Adaptive Headlights is enabled, Model S automatically switches between the high beam and low beam headlights based on whether or not there is light detected in front of Model S.

The headlights also adjust to curves on the road ahead to provide greater visibility at night.

To control this feature, touch Controls > Lights > Adaptive Headlights, or by using the lights popup that displays on the touchscreen when you press the high beam headlight button on the left side of the steering yoke (or steering wheel).

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Note
Adaptive Headlights is automatically enabled when Autosteer is engaged. To switch to low beam headlights, press the high beam headlight button on the steering yoke (or steering wheel). Adaptive Headlights is re-enabled every time Autosteer is activated.
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Warning
Adaptive Headlights 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.

Turn Signals

To engage a turn signal, press the corresponding arrow button on the left side of the steering yoke (or steering wheel). A turn signal cancels based on the angle of the steering yoke (or steering wheel) (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 > Lights > 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.
Green arrow pointing left
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.

If a severe crash is detected by your vehicle, the hazard warning flashers will automatically turn on and flash quickly to increase visibility. Pressing the hazard warning flashers once will return the lights to their normal cadence. Pressing a second time turns all hazard warning flashers off.

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Note
Hazard warning flashers operate even without a key nearby.

Condensation in Head or Tail Lights

Due to weather changes, humidity levels, or recent exposure to water (such as a car wash), condensation may occasionally accumulate in your vehicle’s head or tail lights. This is normal— as the weather gets warmer and humidity decreases, condensation often disappears on its own. If you notice water buildup within the exterior lenses, or if the condensation affects the visibility of the exterior lights, contact Tesla Service.