Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old 2023: In-Depth Comparison

Regarding Tesla vehicles, you might have heard about the Tesla matrix headlights vs old debate. This topic has gained attention as Tesla continues to innovate and improve their cars’ lighting systems. As a Tesla enthusiast or potential owner, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two types of headlights and why they matter.

Matrix headlights are a newer technology that provides better visibility and safety for drivers at night than old LED lights. The main advantage of matrix headlights is their ability to automatically adapt to various driving conditions without causing glare for oncoming traffic. On the other hand, despite being an improvement over halogen lights, old LED headlights can sometimes create glare and blind spots in certain situations.

In the following article, we’ll delve deeper into the differences between Tesla’s matrix headlights and old LED headlights, laying out each system’s benefits and potential drawbacks. By the end, you should better understand how each type of lighting technology contributes to your driving experience and which one might be best suited for you.

What are Tesla Matrix Headlights?

Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old

Are you trying to decide between Tesla Matrix headlights and the older versions?

In 2021, Tesla introduced Matrix headlights to upgrade their previous LED headlights for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. These Matrix LED headlights use adaptive technology, which means they can adjust their beam pattern according to the driving conditions and surrounding environment. This innovative feature makes it much easier to see and be seen on the road.

Matrix LED headlights offer several advantages over the older LED headlights. For one, they provide a much more precise beam pattern that effectively illuminates the road on low and high beam settings. These adaptive headlights also adjust the light projection to prevent any glare from affecting other drivers on the road.

Tesla’s Matrix headlights enhance overall visibility and offer a sleek and modern appearance that helps set Tesla vehicles apart from the competition. With their cutting-edge design and improved safety features, Matrix LED headlights bring something new and exciting to the table.

Key Features of Tesla Matrix Headlights

One of the most significant improvements Tesla Matrix headlights bring is their performance. These headlights use advanced sensors and cameras to detect the road ahead and adjust the direction and intensity of the light beam accordingly, providing you with enhanced visibility and safety while driving at night or in low-light conditions1.

Glare reduction is another crucial advantage of Tesla Matrix headlights. Traditional LED headlights can sometimes cause glare for other drivers, but Matrix technology helps reduce glare by focusing the beam pattern and creating a sharp cutoff2. This allows you to see the road clearly without affecting the visibility of oncoming vehicles.

Regarding low and high beams, Tesla Matrix headlights excel in both areas through their adaptive functionalities. The low beams provide increased brightness and a wider coverage area3, ensuring excellent visibility while maintaining a safe distance from other drivers. On the other hand, the high beams offer even more illumination without blinding oncoming vehicles, thanks to the matrix technology that selectively toggles individual LED segments.

The adaptive headlights feature is a significant upgrade in Tesla Matrix headlights. These lights can adjust their brightness and direction based on your vehicle’s speed, steering angle, and the presence of other vehicles4. This means that they can automatically switch from high to low beams and vice versa, providing optimal lighting in various traffic situations.


  1. Benefits of Tesla Matrix Lights
  2. New Matrix projector LED vs “old” reflector LED headlights comparison
  3. Tesla Model 3 Matrix Headlights: The Full Guide
  4. Which Tesla Vehicles Have Matrix LED Headlights?

Comparison: Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old

Matrix headlights are designed to offer superior visibility compared to the old LED lights in Tesla cars. The Matrix headlight is a projector-type light that projects a beam of light that illuminates the road at greater distances. This advanced technology helps drivers see better on dark roads and highways. On the other hand, older Tesla headlights use reflector LED technology, which offers lower light output and a shorter projection distance.

The low beam pattern of matrix headlights is another area where they outperform the old headlights. Matrix headlights offer a sharper and more precise low-beam pattern, reducing glare for oncoming traffic. This is achieved by addressing individual “pixels” of the headlight to dim or brighten specific areas as needed, as explained in this Reddit post. The older headlights, however, have a more widespread flash, which can sometimes disturb oncoming traffic.

Regarding light output, the Matrix LEDs provide a more powerful and efficient illumination. This is due to their advanced projector housing, which focuses the light for optimal performance. The old reflector LED lights tend to scatter light, making the output less efficient and less focused on the road.

Regulation is another aspect to consider when comparing Tesla matrix headlights vs old headlights. Matrix headlights are designed to meet strict regulatory requirements in different regions. Although they are not yet fully activated in some countries, these advanced headlights are expected to meet regulatory standards as they continue to be developed and integrated into Tesla vehicles.

To sum up, matrix headlights in Tesla vehicles offer improved visibility, a sharper low beam pattern, higher light output, and better regulation compared to older reflector LED headlights. While the projector housing of matrix headlights contributes to their enhanced performance, it’s essential to remember that this technology is still evolving, and improvements will likely be made in the coming years.

Adaptive Headlights in Action

Tesla matrix headlights are designed to provide better illumination for driving in different conditions. With features like cornering capabilities, they automatically adjust their beams to optimize visibility when driving on winding roads. As you navigate through turns, the matrix headlights intelligently adjust the light pattern, making it easier to spot any potential obstacles or hazards that may lie ahead.

Matrix headlights make driving on winding roads a smoother experience, as they automatically switch between low beam and high beam depending on the road conditions. For example, when you approach a tight curve, the headlights might employ their low beam function to provide appropriate illumination. As you straighten out of the curve, the headlights will switch back to the high beam setting for optimal visibility.

Matrix headlights offer a modern and sleek look compared to their traditional counterparts. Their compact design allows for greater flexibility in vehicle styling, giving Tesla models a distinctive appearance on the road. The matrix projector LED technology used in these headlights is advantageous for visibility and contributes to the vehicle’s overall aesthetics.

However, one potential drawback of matrix headlights is their cost and potential shortage in the market. Due to the complexity of the technology used in these headlight systems, they tend to be more expensive than their traditional counterparts. Additionally, with the increasing demand for advanced headlight systems, there may be potential shortages in the supply chain, making it more difficult for manufacturers like Tesla to keep up with the need for these high-tech headlights.

Tesla Matrix Headlights Implementation

Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old

When comparing Tesla Matrix headlights vs old ones, there are some key differences to consider. Tesla has been gradually implementing Matrix LED headlights into their vehicle lineup, starting with the Model 3 and Model Y. These projector-type lights offer numerous benefits for drivers, helping them see better on dark roads, and highways1.

In the new Tesla Matrix headlights, you’ll find a more defined and square beam pattern instead of the blurred edge of the 2020 model’s pattern2. This improvement allows for better visibility and reduced glare for oncoming traffic. Retrofitting your older Tesla Model 3 or Model Y can be a valuable investment for ensuring a safer driving experience.

To determine if your Tesla is equipped with Matrix headlights, look for a round bulb-like object near the outside corner of the headlamp3. These headlights use a projector-style bulb, dynamically adjusting light output and beam for an enhanced experience.

While Tesla’s Model S has not yet introduced Matrix headlights, they will likely continue to roll out this upgraded lighting technology across their entire lineup in the coming years. And who knows? Whether through hardware upgrades or software updates, perhaps existing Model S owners will eventually benefit from these enhanced lighting features.

As a Tesla owner, keeping an eye on any potential software updates can be crucial, as they might introduce new features and improvements. So, be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest developments from Tesla and consider the benefits and advantages of implementing Matrix headlights for a safer and more efficient driving experience.


  1. https://teslord.com/tesla-model-3-matrix-headlights/
  2. https://rechargd.com/which-tesla-has-matrix-led-headlights/
  3. https://www.evchargerreviews.net/how-to-tell-if-your-tesla-has-matrix-headlights/

Regulations and Legal Matters

In Europe, matrix headlights are already widely accepted and utilized. These advanced illumination systems have been making driving safer and more comfortable for European motorists for some time now. However, the story is slightly different in the United States, where modern matrix headlights have only recently become legal for use.

It was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that formally approved the use of matrix or adaptive headlights in the US. This approval has now paved the way for more cars, including Teslas, to reap the benefits of better headlights.

Tesla, being ahead of the game, had already incorporated these advanced headlights in their cars, with information found in the German regulatory filings for the Model 3. Now, with the changes in US regulations, American Tesla owners can enjoy the same level of technological advancements found in European models.

Tesla Matrix Headlights in Other Brands

Audi has been at the forefront of matrix LED headlight technology, offering it in their high-end models for years. They have spent countless hours refining and perfecting the technology for optimal performance. Matrix LED headlights in Audi vehicles provide excellent illumination and actively adapt to changes in the road and environment.

These headlights have several individual LED segments that can be controlled separately, ensuring that other drivers on the road are not blinded by the bright light. This technology also allows the headlights to adapt to various driving situations by adjusting their beam pattern. They can increase the light intensity when required or even lower it to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

Tesla’s matrix LED headlights share many similarities with Audi’s technology, such as individually controllable LED segments and adaptive beam patterns. However, Tesla’s approach to matrix LED headlight technology is relatively new compared to Audi, and they continue to refine and improve upon it.

While Tesla’s matrix LED headlights are impressive, the brand still has some catch-up when comparing it with the innovations other brands like Audi have brought to the table. However, given Tesla’s dedication to cutting-edge technology, you can expect their matrix headlights to keep evolving and improving, providing an increasingly superior driving experience.

As you journey with your Tesla, staying up-to-date on the latest advancements, such as the matrix LED headlights is essential. Keeping an eye on how Tesla fares against other car manufacturers like Audi will help you make informed decisions about your vehicle’s features and capabilities. So, regardless of which brand of car you drive, embracing the benefits and advancements of matrix LED headlight technology is sure to make your drives safer and more enjoyable.

Improving Driver Nighttime Visibility and Safety

Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old

The Tesla matrix headlights are composed of 14 LED modules, capable of creating a highly precise light pattern. This technology allows low and high beams to adjust automatically based on your surroundings, ensuring proper illumination levels for safer night driving. You no longer have to worry about switching between the two manually, as the system adjusts automatically to cater to various conditions, like the presence of pedestrians, animals, or other vehicles1.

As you drive, the camera sensor in your Tesla monitors the road and dynamically adjusts the lighting. It can lower the brightness level, focusing the beam on the right and left sides, ensuring excellent visibility while preventing glare from bothering other drivers2. Additionally, this advanced system is designed to react quickly to changing scenarios, such as rapidly detecting pedestrians or animals and shifting the light pattern accordingly. This can be particularly helpful in rural areas, where wildlife crossing the road is more common3.


  1. Tesla Model 3 Matrix Headlights (The Full Guide)
  2. Here’s the Tech Behind Tesla’s Matrix LED Headlights
  3. Model 3 Matrix Headlights: Super Guide & Main Benefits

Future of Tesla Matrix Headlights

The Tesla Model Y Performance and Model Y Long Range have seen the introduction of Matrix LED headlights to lighting technology. Even non-Performance Y models are benefiting from these new global lights as Tesla continually improves their vehicles. As the Matrix headlights gain popularity and become a part of the standard offering in the Model Y lineup, the question of their potential cost-saving benefits arises.

Active matrix technology boasts several advantages over traditional bulb-reflector systems, including longer lifespans, brighter output, and increased energy efficiency. Despite initial concerns about production costs associated with these headlights due to their advanced nature, companies like Samsung have been working on more affordable solutions to bring this technology to the automotive industry.

Regarding their performance on the road, Matrix LED headlights provide numerous benefits. For instance, the EMY LR model with Matrix headlights demonstrates a major difference in brightness and uniformity compared to its older counterpart. This enables better visibility in various driving conditions, further contributing to enhanced safety for Tesla drivers.

As the Model Y lineup moves forward, the shift towards advanced Matrix headlights is a clear signal of Tesla’s commitment to staying on the cutting edge of automotive technology. Consequently, as production costs decrease and this technology becomes more accessible, we’re expected to see these state-of-the-art headlights become a standard feature in Tesla’s vehicle offerings, including other models such as the Model 3 and Model X.


What are the benefits of Matrix headlights Tesla?

The primary benefit of Matrix headlights is their ability to selectively dim or deactivate specific LED elements to create “shadows” or dark areas in the beam pattern. This helps avoid dazzling oncoming drivers or those in front of the vehicle while maintaining optimal illumination of the road ahead. 

What is Tesla Matrix headlight?

Tesla Matrix headlights are advanced LED headlight systems that use a cluster of LEDs to create a beam pattern that can be selectively dimmed or deactivated in specific areas to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers while maintaining optimal illumination of the road ahead.

Do all Teslas have matrix headlights?

No, not all Teslas have Matrix headlights. The technology was ahead of regulation in the United States, so the Matrix headlights were initially only available in Europe and other regions. However, some newer Tesla models have been equipped with Matrix headlights.

If you liked this blog article about the topic: Tesla Matrix Headlights vs Old, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience.

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Elisa Ferry
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