There was a lot of excitement when in 2021, Tesla announced the introduction of adaptive, precision Matrix headlights that would be bright without being blinding. However, the excitement quickly died down in the US when it was revealed that this technology would not be available in the US market because of regulatory restrictions.
Thankfully, in early 2022, these legal restrictions were lifted in the US, allowing the introduction of the Tesla Matrix Headlights in the Models, S, 3, and Y. You can read all about the new Tesla Matrix Headlights here.
However, even though this new technology is supposed to eliminate blinding headlights, users still experience the issue on their Tesla vehicles. There are a few things you can do to fix this problem, and I will show you how in this article.
Why Are My Tesla Headlights Blinding?
Before explaining why your Tesla headlights are blinding, I would like to first walk you through how Tesla headlights work. Getting this right would save you a lot of hassle on troubleshooting why your Tesla headlights are still blinding.
- First, you can access the light control plane by tapping on Controls and then Lights. This opens the controls for both interior and exterior lights
- If you only want to control exterior lights quickly, you can simply pull the turn signal stalk towards you. This will display a pop-up for quick access to controlling exterior lights only
- If you have a Tesla model 3, S, or Y, Auto High Beam setting is turned on by default, thanks to the Matrix technology we mentioned earlier. From the exterior light setting, you can turn this feature on or off.
You can then adjust all settings for exterior lights including parking lights and fog lights. However, note that this new setting will only work for the duration of your current drive. This means that your Tesla will go back to the auto high beam setting at the end of your current drive.
- Auto settings control when the exterior lights come on, and how bright they become, depending on the surrounding lighting conditions.
You can adjust this setting by:
- Tapping on Off to turn off the headlights completely
- Tapping on On to turn on low beam headlights, tail lights, license plate lights, and so on.
Again, remember that these settings reverse to auto on the next drive.
5. Now, here’s the real business. Auto High Beam is designed with the Matrix technology to automatically switch headlights from high beam to low beam when light is detected in front of the vehicle, such as when there is an oncoming vehicle.
This feature is also automatically enabled when Autosteer is activated. If you wish to disable auto high beam during Autosteer, push the turn signal stalk forward and release.
I have outlined these Tesla Headlight Controls so you know exactly how they work, how to control them, and what features are available on your model.
Now, let’s get on to why your Tesla headlights may still be blinding after making the right settings.
1. Matrix Headlights Technology Is Not Supported On Your Tesla Model
Before 2022, Tesla headlights were built on standard LED technology. And with poor factory adjustments, they had a lot more glare than average gas-powered vehicles.
The matrix headlight technology was introduced in 2022 in the US and implemented in some Tesla model S, Y, and 3 vehicles.
- If you own a Tesla model S, Y or 3 that was built before 2022, then your vehicle likely does not have the Matrix headlight technology.
Furthermore, it is not all new Tesla models S, Y and 3 that will come with the Matrix headlight, at least for now.
For example, the Matrix headlights are more widely available in the performance editions. It is only recently that they are included in a few long-range editions.
Therefore, you need to confirm the specifications on your Tesla model if you’re looking to purchase a new one.
- If you own a Tesla model X, then the Matrix technology is not yet available to you. This technology is expected to be introduced to the model X later in 2023 or early 2024.
Until then, you would have to contend with the blinding headlights and try to make adjustments which I will outline in a bit.
Fix – Buy A Tesla Model With Matrix Headlight Technology
If you are so keen on getting adaptive headlights that will not be blinding to other road users, then your best option for now is to get a Tesla model that comes pre-installed with the Matrix headlight technology.
As I said earlier, even though the technology is currently available in the models S, 3 and Y, it is to only restricted to some. So you need to ensure that the model you are ordering has the Matrix headlights.
Fix 2 – Retrofit headlights?
I’ve put this as a question because there’s been a lot of conflicting information about it. However, I will look to set this straight once and for all.
It is possible to have your current Tesla S, 3 or Y retrofitted with the Matrix headlights technology. But, this option is not widely available to every customer. For now, it is usually done as a special favour or if you are just in luck at Tesla.
Generally speaking, retrofit for Tesla matrix headlights is not available yet. But there’s something more that I’d like to point out at this point.
Tesla is yet to release the software needed to properly control the Matrix adaptive headlights. This means that the headlights available right now may not function as well as they are supposed to.
In fact, many users report that they don’t work at all. It is likely that in the future, Tesla will release software required to make newer matrix headlights work better. So I would suggest that you do not rush into getting the new matrix headlights if yours doesn’t come with it already.
There’s also the issue of the cost. Ordering the Matrix headlights from the dealership will cost you about $3000. So, unless you are willing to make this investment for results that are not guaranteed to be excellent, then I suggest that you just wait.
2. You Have Turned Off Auto High Beam
Earlier, I explained in detail how adaptive lights in the Tesla model S, Y, and 3 work.
In new Tesla makes of these models, auto high beam is enabled by default. With this feature, the headlights dim automatically when there are oncoming vehicles at night.
However, if you turn off auto high beam, this automatic adjustment will not happen and the headlights will be constantly blinding to oncoming drivers.
So, if you own a Tesla model that comes with the Matrix adaptive headlights, and still find that they are blinding to other drivers, then it is likely that you have turned off auto high beam
Fix – Turn On Auto High Beam
If auto high beam turned off, follow the steps below to turn it back on:
- Tap-on Controls
- Next tap on Lights
- Then, tap on Auto High Beam to turn it on
- Turn the turn signal stalk toward you
- When the Lights pop-up displays, tap on Auto
3. Bug In Auto High Beam
Auto high beam, with the Matrix adaptive headlight technology, is relatively new in Tesla vehicles. Tesla probably needs a bit more time to get the technology right because many users report bugs in auto high beam, including blinding lights even though the feature is turned on, and there are oncoming vehicles.
In other cases, the auto high beam adjusts slowly to driving and light conditions. This means that even though the beam does adjust and dim when there are an oncoming vehicles, this often does not happen immediately.
Fix – Currently, there really is no way to fix this bug. It’s a flaw on the end of the manufacturer and we may have to wait a few more months to see improvements in the auto high beam performance.
The best you can do is to make sure that your Tesla is always updated. As long as you have constant internet connectivity, Tesla will deploy over-the-air updates to your vehicle for you to install.
To install software updates, follow the steps below:
- You can check for new software updates by opening the ‘Software’ tab on your touchscreen. If a new update is available, you’ll receive a notification on your center touchscreen display, with the option to install the update immediately or schedule for later.
- You can also check for firmware updates for your Tesla on the Tesla mobile app. If an update is available, you will see a Software Update option on the main page of the app.
How To Stop Headlights From Blinding (Tesla Model X headlight adjustment)
The Tesla model x currently does not have the auto high beam matrix adaptive headlight technology. To stop the headlights on a model x from blinding, you would need to follow the steps below:
- First of all, make sure that your car is on a level surface
- Secondly, ensure that the car is at least 20 feet from a plain wall
- Cover one of the headlights to adjust the headlights settings one headlights at a time
- Now go to Service on your Tesla display
- Tap on Adjust Headlights
- The headlights come on and automatically start calibrating
- Tap on Left to adjust the driver’s side
- Tap on the down arrow control button about 6 times to lower the angle of the headlight until you get a reflection on the wall that does not interfere with driver line of sight
- For the passenger side, tap on Right.
- Now, tap on the up arrow button to increase the headlight angle by the same number of clicks as you did with the driver’s side. Only that this time, you are doing it in the opposite direction. This will balance out driver’s side without causing glare to oncoming vehicles
- Test out your new settings on the road to see if the glare issue is resolved.
If you are using a model S, Y, or 3 that does not have the Matrix headlights, then this process will work for you as well.