What Are Tesla Matrix Headlights?

Are you curious about Tesla matrix headlights? Or do you want to know whether your model has these safety-enhancing lights?

Tesla matrix headlights, otherwise known as pixel lights or LED matrix lights, are groups of lights installed around the high-beam unit.

They’re expertly designed to switch on and off automatically and focus on the dark areas of the highway to stop glare.

Naturally, Tesla models were quick off the mark to install this newish technology in their vehicles. 

Having just been approved in the United States of America, you probably want to know whether they’re truly worth it.

Well, you’re in the right place! We’ll explore the benefits of Tesla matrix headlights and more in this article. 

tesla panel gaps

What Are Tesla Matrix Headlights?

Some Tesla Model Y LR cars will include matrix LED highlights from August 5, 2022. They were only available on the Model 3 and the Performance package until this point. 

The lights, which optimize vehicles’ high beams and anti-glare mechanisms, are well-loved by most drivers.

However, some users believe the manufacturer hasn’t implemented them very well. Ultimately, it’s all down to personal preference.

Originally part of Tesla’s 2020 refresh, they are re-integrating new matrix headlights in their latest Y LR models. But this decision has sparked controversy within the community.

Some owners say the confusion around whether the 2022 Model 3 LR will contain pixel lights isn’t beneficial for the customer, especially since the manufacturer has hiked their prices three times in three months.

The Benefits of Tesla Matrix Headlights

Despite the discombobulation, there are benefits to owning a Tesla with matrix headlights, such as:

  • Pivoting capabilities — Perhaps one of the greatest advantages to having matrix headlights on your Tesla is the pivoting ability. It’s a fantastic safety feature, allowing for left and right turning, as well as up and down maneuvers. No matter the terrain, you’ll benefit from super-high visibility.
  • Never blinding oncoming drivers — The pixel lights automatically split to ensure you never blind oncoming traffic. Again, it’s a brilliant safety advantage over standard headlights. It’s particularly beneficial for Tesla owners driving in North America, where miles of dark, rural, poorly-lit roads are common. 
  • Automatically responds — You easily stay on top of traffic conditions with matrix headlights. Regardless of the situation, the LEDs automatically respond by switching off some segments of the light beam to provide perfect visibility and anti-glare properties at all times. 
  • Displaying “Tesla” on a wall — Granted, this is just a party trick, but it’s a pretty awesome one. The Christmas update allows the matrix headlights to display “Tesla” writing on any wall. 
  • Increased visibility — Regardless of where you are, you’ll be seen with matrix headlights. It’s impossible to miss them, enhancing your safety on the road.
  • Side illumination — Matrix headlights offer side illumination at otherwise-dangerous intersections. For this reason alone, many Tesla owners added them to their orders.

Tesla’s redefined matrix headlights comprise three ISTR matrices, each holding many individual LED bulbs.

Every single LED is addressable individually, allowing for ultimate illumination of the road ahead without dazzling oncoming drivers (or yourself with those pesky reflections).

So, for those wondering whether the new matrix headlights are any better than Tesla’s 2019 versions, you’ve got your answer!

The Drawbacks of Tesla Matrix Headlights

With all the benefits of Tesla’s pixel headlights, you might be wondering if there are any downsides.

While there’s no doubt these refreshed lights bring increased safety benefits, there is one significant drawback to consider — although you’ll see the pros definitely outweigh the con.

The initial LED pixel lights on the Tesla Model 3 left oncoming drivers blinded.

It appears the matrices were adjusted too high, so even when dimmed, other road users were left without clear visibility. 

That said, the matrix headlights on the 2022 models should solve this problem.

They’ve been revised; hopefully so much so that drivers can entirely negate the current drawback. 

How to Tell If You Have Matrix Headlights on Your Tesla

Matrix headlights are definitely worth the money, but you may already have them on your Tesla model without realizing it. 

When switched off, pixel lights can look very similar to standard headlights, causing confusion. 

But there is a very simple way to tell whether you already have integrated matrix headlights — look at the front bottom portion inside the lights (while they’re switched off).

If it’s silver, you have not joined the matrix club. If it’s black, you are a certified member of the Tesla matrix headlights group.

How to Adjust Tesla Matrix Headlights

Tesla and efficiency go hand-in-hand, so as you’d expect, the cars adjust their headlights automatically to suit oncoming traffic conditions. 

However, you can play around with the angle yourself if you think your current setting is a touch too high or low.

Simply head into the “Controls” panel on the car’s touchscreen and hit “Lights.” From there, you’ll gain access to all light controls, including interior lights.

Select “Adjust Headlights” and follow the onscreen instructions to fine-tune the angle.

We suggest adjusting the passenger’s and driver’s headlights individually for best results. 

It’s worth noting that calibration will run before allowing you to change the headlight angle.

This isn’t an automatic adjustment like some Tesla owners believe.

Instead, it calibrates to get the headlights ready for the technicians to properly adjust them. Once it’s finished, you can alter the positioning of the matrix headlights.

Remember to test them before driving off to ensure you haven’t lowered them too much!

Final Thoughts

Tesla matrix headlights consist of LED light bulb clusters that automatically shut off or dip to prevent dazzling other road users and enhance visibility for you.

From side illumination at intersections to ultimate adaptability to traffic conditions, pixel headlights improve safety for all.

Just make sure your Tesla actually has them by examining the bottom portion inside the headlights. If it’s black, you have matrix headlights.

If it’s silver, you don’t have them. Also, keep in mind that many Model Ys built after August 5, 2022, will include these lights.