Interior nighttime lighting-really?

Interior nighttime lighting-really?

I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered here- it would be nice if there was a way to search the forum- unless I'm missing something.

The lack of interior lighting in this car makes nighttime driving a little silly if you actually have to find anything. Almost makes me think that no Tesla engineer drove this car at night! The only real storage, the center console, is pitch black as are the foot-wells. (Don't dare drop anything!) All real lighting is behind the driver and must be turned on blindly (why no switch?) when driving-and doesn't light these areas anyway. With almost nothing overhead why not put some LEDs in the bottom of the rear-view-mirror or the midline strip or small lights inside the bins/foot-wells? This seems like a no brainer. The only after-market products I've found involve taking existing lighting and making it brighter. I guess I can tap into the power to the 12v cigarette-lighter to run some LEDs myself but...really? Any other suggestions?

PedanticOne | 7 febbraio 2017

Couple of things:

1) There is lighting if you order the Premium Upgrades Package
2) I don't get the comment about turning the dome light on "blindly". You just touch them to turn them on, no?
3) I *think* it is possible to install some aftermarket LEDs in the car where the stock ones would go. I think the harnesses are there, just no lights. You can look on TMC and you'll find a couple of threads there regarding this. | 7 febbraio 2017

You can also turn dome lights with a couple of screen taps (Control -> Dome) or just press any of the lights to toggle on/off. They come on automatically when you open a door.

Lights are in each footwell too, but with black carpet, they are not very noticeable. These lights go out when you start the car - similar to every other car I've driven in. Not sure anyone has a switch for footwell lights.

burdogg | 7 febbraio 2017

hm, my phone has a nice bright flashlight app that would work better to see into the console than any light placed anywhere in any car :)

Gilchiu9128 | 7 febbraio 2017

You can go to to get an LED upgrade, I just installed them on my Model X and boy it is much brighter than what came with the Premium package. It's a DIY project for most part, but a few of them are a bit difficult to pop out due to tie fit.

jwh8000 | 7 febbraio 2017

I have the premium package and the cup holders in the console is pitch black. Would have been nice to get a little lighting in the bottom so you wouldn't have to feel around for the cup holders.

MhoPower | 7 febbraio 2017

DrScott - Thanks for creating this topic as I was planning to create it myself. This is actually my biggest frustration rwith the vehicle. Yes Burdogg, I too have a flashlight app on my phone, but I find it ridiculous that a 100k+ SUV doesn't have a light I can read by while sitting in the drivers seat. I will find it hard to swallow paying $100 just to have lights in the cabin to read by (thanks for the Evannex link Gilchiu9128). Maybe putting in brighter lighting is one of the parts upgrades Tesla will do for those who buy the maintenance package.

burdogg | 7 febbraio 2017

Sorry MohPower - I was being a little tongue in cheek - that is why I put the smiley face. I should have been more clear on that.

poloX | 7 febbraio 2017

I found some USB LED light with a flexible and bendable stick and with a touch switch. Perfect to be installed at the center console.

Triggerplz | 7 febbraio 2017

@poloX This is the one I have I hadn't had to use it but it's plenty bright

DrScott | 8 febbraio 2017

I've never owned a car that didn't have some sort of 'map light' enabling you to read or look at something if you had to. The bins in the center console are pitch black at night and that's just silly. This is the only place to put anything down in the car and sometimes it isn't easy to fumble with a bunch of screen taps while you're driving and about to sneeze! I understand the minimalist design thing but it's still a car and this becomes a safety issue. It's a silly simple thing and my biggest frustration too! The after-market lights suggested are just brighter versions of what already exists. Adding lights to the bins, or an LED under the rear view mirror are easy things and power is already available. Thanks everyone for feedback. The flexible light is the most practical concept so far!

poloX | 8 febbraio 2017

@DrScott, you can simply turn the car on and the huge 17" monitor should give you more than enough light. Plus, you don't need to read maps anymore. :)

poloX | 8 febbraio 2017

@Triggerplz, that is exactly what I had in mind. Does this one have a switch? The one I order might be a bit longer but it has a touch switch so it should be nice. Don't have to plug and u plug.

rossRallen | 8 febbraio 2017

@Trig and @poloX - where did you get the console light? Also, if you use a USB drive for music and your smartphone is plugged in, you are out of ports. Wouldn't a flexible map light that plugs into the 12V accessory plug be better?

BTW - I ordered the complete X lighting upgrade kit from Abstract Ocean. It does not include a dome light upgrade, which is the problem most here are concerned with, but the puddle, frunk and trunk, footwell, and red safety lights are certainly worth about $100.

Triggerplz | 8 febbraio 2017

@poloX mine does not have a switch :( @RossRallen I ordered it from amazon

poloX | 8 febbraio 2017

I actually am told to wait on the led with switch. Maybe in a month or so. If you all can wait, when they have it, I can share the source later.

There are 2 USB port and there is a cigarette port that can be converted to have 2 more usb ports too.

rlwrw | 9 febbraio 2017

Consider using red LEDs for night use as they are used in aircraft to preserve night vision.
Any other color, especially if it is too bright can temporarily ruin night vision.

TSammy | 9 febbraio 2017

Doc, how about running your 17" in Daytime mode with about a 80% bright.

Lots of front seat illumination, I think.

Flat tissue boxes fit easily in the CD well under the 17" since you do not have a CD player any more.

Keep important items in the fliptop USB well and put your smartphone in the drivers door grab well. Helps you not forget it when you exit the car.

Just some low cost, low tech suggestions.

Oh, yeah... there are USB phone chargers on the back of your armrest if you want to use the front charger for a light.

TeslaNinno | 10 febbraio 2017

I bought 2 of these and plugged them into the armrest USB and just laid them under the driver and passenger seats. You can set the color to whatever you want and the brightness, they are a lot of fun and will light the foot wells really well. I also have the light Trigger has from Amazon and it's awesome.

poloX | 10 febbraio 2017

Would be nicer with an on/off switch.

Triggerplz | 11 febbraio 2017

I agree yes it would

ben | 12 febbraio 2017

Funny, while driving at night I like it dark, so I "scroll down" the screen lighting with the right wheel to minimum.
For rummaging around in the Cupholders for me the dome light is enough.

myxintx | 12 febbraio 2017

@DrScott - I have used this link for years to search on this forum...I am sure there are others

myxintx | 12 febbraio 2017

I fully agree with your perspective, at least with my MX that has the premium package. Definitely need to have access to a flashlight to see something that hit the floor.

Most premium cars these days have some soft LED downlighting for the console area, but my drinks are pitch black at night. It would have cost $15 to add a dim LED strip, which I may just do myself.

I even upgraded with brighter Abstract Ocean interior lights, which does help to a degree.

For the Frunk where the lights are so low, I added a $15 LED battery-operated motion light strip attached under the hood, works great.
Amazon search "led motion light strip"

If you really want to get creative, you can customize an underseat LED lighting that is 12V and can be powered by switched 12v port or even IR controlled. Available in solid colors or adjustable. Definitely can be DIY or professional installed.
Amazon search "led rgb strip"

poloX | 12 febbraio 2017

I think I will like my USB LED with touch On/Off. But it's not here until mid march. :o)

chenfamily | 13 febbraio 2017

I agree this is a concern. My two kids complained several times while driving at night that the middle seats area are too dark to see anything. They really weak ambient lighting under the arm rest is just too dim to assist. My kids can't reach the ceiling lights.

I'll take a look at the usb lighting devices and see if they can be useful without being weird or cluttery looking.

burdogg | 13 febbraio 2017

@chenfamily - FYI - you can turn the ceiling lights on for your kids from the front console. (don't know if that helps, but if it is just that they can't reach them, you can take care of that :)

MhoPower | 13 febbraio 2017

i sometimes want to read something while in the car and the dome lights are completely insufficient for this for me. I just received this from Amazon. Has a switch and is very bright. Will be trying it today.

inconel | 13 febbraio 2017

You can also use the lights from the sun visor mirror

poloX | 13 febbraio 2017

MohPower, thanks for the link. Those are nice LED lights

chenfamily | 13 febbraio 2017

@burdogg I am aware of the ability to turn on ceiling lights from the console. However, its illegal to turn them on while driving - at least in California. It's a safety hazzard as interior is brighter than outside.

If somehow the lighting from under the armrest can be brighter, or the lights under the seats can be on while driving, then that'll solve the problem of being too dark. | 14 febbraio 2017

@chenfamily - "However, its illegal to turn them on [dome lights] while driving - at least in California."

No - it is legal in every state of the USA. Just an old urban myth. Now it may not be smart to use the dome light at night while driving as it can reduce the night vision of the driver.

rossRallen | 11 marzo 2017

Thanks for the pointer, @Gilchiu9128. I purchased and installed the full kit of AbstractOcean interior LEDs, except for the glovebox and Frunk (so I have 3 spares).

I'm very pleased with their remarkable increase in illumination in the front and middle seat footwells, trunk, puddle lights, and particularly the red safety lights on the front doors. Oncoming drivers can actually see the red light now. The extra brightness is not objectionably bright, it seems just right. It's a cold white, like the rest of the interior illumination.

Best to learn with the red lights and the puddle lights, which are in soft plastic, and the right-side trunk light. The trunk hatch light is set in rigid plastic and, like the driver and front pax lights, a little difficult to remove. Highly-recommended. There's a demo video for Model X on the seller's website.

lilbean | 11 marzo 2017

Here's a great installation tutorial:

lilbean | 11 marzo 2017

This projector logo light from is awesome!

rossRallen | 11 marzo 2017

The Tesla logo projector would be great in a garage as well.

paulmercier163 | 4 gennaio 2020

I paid over 57k for an amazing SR+. I just want the foot well lights to be activated. I have to carry a flashlight to find anything on the floor at night.

Bighorn | 4 gennaio 2020

You seem to have lost your way. This is the Model X forum. Those must not be US dollars because I know people who paid significantly less for the Performance LR model. Features are indeed reduced on entry level models, though. | 4 gennaio 2020

@BH - likely Paul is a copy and paste bot trying to up posting count so it can start posting spam links.