Tesla Model 3 Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model 3: Controlling Lights

Touch Controls > Lights on the touchscreen to control the lights.

In addition to the lights that you can control from the touchscreen, Model 3 has convenience lights that operate automatically based on what you are doing. For example, in low ambient lighting conditions, the interior lights, marker lights, tail lights, and puddle lights turn on when you unlock Model 3, when you open a door, and when you shift into Park.

They turn off after a minute or two or when you shift into a driving gear or lock Model 3.

Note: The image below is provided for demonstration purposes only. Depending on vehicle options, software version and market region, your touchscreen may appear slightly different.

Controlling Lights


  1. Exterior lights (headlights, tail lights, side marker lights, parking lights, and license plate lights) are set to AUTO each time you start Model 3. 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 temporarily change the exterior light setting:

  • OFF: Exterior lights turn off until you manually turn them back on or until the next time you drive.
  • PARKING: Only the exterior side marker lights, parking lights, tail lights and license plate lights turn on.
  • ON: Exterior lights turn on.

Note: Any exterior lights (for example, daytime running lights) that are required to remain on in your market region will turn on as appropriate when driving, when parked on specific types of roads, etc.

Note: If equipped, Model 3 has a series of LED lights along the rim of the headlights, also referred to as "signature" lights.

These lights automatically turn on whenever Model 3 is powered on and a driving gear (Drive or Reverse) is engaged.

Warning: Always ensure that your headlights are on during low visibility conditions. Failure to do so may result in a collision.

  1. A separate control is available to turn on fog lights (if equipped). When on, fog lights operate whenever low beam headlights are on. When headlights are turned off, fog lights also turn off.
  2. Turn the interior dome (map) lights on or off. If set to AUTO, all interior dome lights turn on when you unlock Model 3, open a door upon exiting, or shift into Park.

You can also manually turn an individual dome light on or off by pressing its lens. If you manually turn a dome light on, it turns off when Model 3 powers off. If Model 3 was already powered off when you manually turned the light on, it turns off after 60 minutes.

Controlling Lights


  1. If you turn on AMBIENT LIGHTS, interior ambient lights turn on whenever the headlights are on (if equipped).

    Note: To control the backlighting on the steering wheel buttons, touch Controls > Lights > Steering Wheel Lights. If off, they do not turn on when headlights are on.

  2. If you turn on Auto High Beam, your vehicle automatically switches from high beam headlights to low beam headlights when light is detected in front of Model 3.
  3. If you turn on Headlights after Exit, the exterior lights remain on for a short period of time after you stop driving and park Model 3 in low lighting conditions.
  4. If you turn on Steering Wheel Lights, the arrows associated with the scroll buttons are backlit in low ambient lighting conditions.

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