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Aftermarket "Premium Interior Lighting" ?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by TomSwift, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. TomSwift

    TomSwift New Member

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    I'm not anxious to drop an extra $1K on "Premium Interior Lighting" but I do think it's a neat feature.

    Has anyone investigated whether this feature could be supplied via a possible aftermarket accessory kit? I.e., are there existing sockets in the various vehicle locations to plug in led light strips, or is the wiring missing altogether if the option isn't ordered? Furthermore, for anyone with this option, is there any control of the lights via the touchscreen or is it fully automatic?
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I don't know that anyone who has received a car without the interior lighting has reported about whether or not the wiring connections exist.

    Yes, there are some simple touchscreen options.
     
  3. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    I asked this same question, as we ordered our P85+ in right when the "Premium Interior Lighting" went from just being the standard lighting to being an option. All the cars in the dealers still had the lighting as standard. We thought the new lighting was something additional that we did not need. We took delivery of the car and the first time we had it at night my wife complained the car is too dark inside. She's pretty upset we spent $120k on a car that is much darker than her old Mercedes. I've been trying to get to the to the bottom of this with Tesla to do a retro-fit but its looking like the car neither has the wiring of the software. Talk about a major disaster. She does does not like driving the car at night and there's nothing I can do about it. Even just installing the under dash and under seat light part of the package would help.
    Retrofit Premium Interior Lighting?
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    What if she turned on the rear dome lights when driving at night? That would really brighten up the interior.

    The 17" display brightens up the interior at night all by itself, in my opinion.
     
  5. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    As I am nearing my purchase as well, I have been struggling with whether paying 1000 dollars for lights in my car is worth it or not. I would like to hear from those who decided to opt out of doing the lights and are still happy with how dark/light the car is at night. Is this your situation, ecarfan?
     
  6. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I didn't add the lights and generally find the car a little too bright when driving at night. Generally you want a very dark interior to increase contrast with what's going on around you at night. The display provides plenty of light while driving. This may have changed, but last I checked reducing the brightness setting just darkened the screen rather than reducing the brightness of the backlight, which makes it glow quite a bit. Pay attention next time you drive by a Model S at night: the occupants are lit up like they're filming a movie. :smile:

    It's a little dark when searching for something you've dropped on the floor, though. The dome and trunk/frunk lights could afford to be 2-3x brighter, IMO. The lighting package may help with that by adding lights in different places.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I sprang for the additional lighting option, when my wife and I were ordering our car we just kept checking off the boxes, seems we couldn't help ourselves! (Though after reflecting on my configuration I did decide to go with coils instead of the air suspension and am happy with that decision).

    Frankly I don't think the additional lighting option makes a big difference, but it's kinda cool. As I said in my post, my perception is that the 17" display provides a lot of interior light even in nighttime mode.

    I am baffled as to why anyone would find the interior too dark. Turn on some dome lights...
     
  8. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    #8 jbruce, Feb 2, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
    The car lacks subtle lights you find in other luxury cars that light up the floor wells, down from the door panels etc.. She has bad night vision and often puts things on the floor, bags on the back seat floor etc of the car and can't see them well. This situation was highlighted just last night when we drove the car and she dropped a battery on the floor that we could not find until the next morning. I think in some ways the bright screen makes this worse, because its so bright in contrast to the lack of lights in other parts of the car. Its never been an issue for her in other cars (mostly Mercedes). You don't realize how much you get used to the subtle ambient lighting until its gone. I can deal with this but she's pretty unhappy about it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Make sure to drive a car without lights before you buy. Most modern cars have LEDs hidden around the cabin. They are often red/orange to preserve night vision. You don't really notice them until they are gone.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I suggested turning on the dome lights pretty early on in dealing with this issue, which then made her notice there is no dome light in the usual position in the middle of the roof (we don't have the glass roof). She referred to the lights the Model S has as "map lights" and complained that in her Mercedes she can reach up and switch on the dome light quickly to see kids the in the back seat etc. without having to look for the button or navigate through any menus. :-/ I don't think suggesting again that she turn on the dome lights is going to work. Let's put it this way. We have not sold her Mercedes yet and the Model S has less than 1k miles on it over the last 3 months, compared to probably 2-3K on the Mercedes.
     
  9. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    Thank you for your insight on both the light and the standard suspension. I am not a luxury car guy, my car right now has lighting, but frankly I don't really miss it while its gone in my wife's Rav4. I don't think I will miss it, but the car is already too expensive and I am digging fairly deeper then I want to on it.

    I was convinced, like you, that I wanted every check box, but after hearing the different stories on the suspension and the lighting, I think I will be happy with the standard that comes with it. I am a bit disappointed in Tesla though for taking the lights out of the whole tech package... I personally feel that is a bit of a money grab but its whatever.
     
  10. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    It does seem short sited to take the lighting out of the tech package. I understand they are trying to raise margins and tier out the product but on the upper end with the P85 and P85+ they are trying to win over customers that would otherwise be buying $100k+ luxury cars (S-class, 7 series, A8 etc.). They are not going to win over mainstream customers in that segment (like my wife) like this. Its especially bad when they have no cars without lights in the dealer and they make this change without warning people. The first thing she tells people about the car is that its dark and Tesla won't fix it for her.
     
  11. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    So its not possible for a post-install with Tesla? Even an expensive one?
     
  12. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    The local service center said no retrofit after talking with the foreman. They think the wiring and software is not there to support it. I've been trying to navigate customer care to resolve. I was waiting for a call back Friday and never received it.
     
  13. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I don't feel the cabin is all that dark when the dome lights are on. It does not bother me at all, and certainly does not seem worth $1000 to add a few lights in the doors and under the seats. I guess I've never have lights under the seats of any other car I've even owned, so I don't miss them.

    On the other hand, the trunk and frunk are very dark. This is partially due to the black carpet, which really absorbs light, and partially due to them using tiny underpowered little LED lights in not the best location for good coverage. Hopefully, someone should make a plug in replacement for the build in trunk lights at some point.
     
  14. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    Related if slight off track: I have an early signature car (Vin under 1000) and it, of course, has virtually all the options. The "ambient lighting" however buzzed badly when run at less than full bright. After nearly a year of talking with the service center they did get engineering to design a fix and it was installed for me last week. It required all four four interior door panels to be removed/reinstalled (they told me that was nearly 7 hours of shop labor) so the four lighting "pads" could be replaced with new style units that fixed completely the buzzing.

    So beware that, as so many things Tesla, there is considerable complexity involved in a seemingly simple feature.
     
  15. Kermit

    Kermit Member

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    You can buy little 12 Volt LED strips or blocks for about $10 at any auto supply or electronics store. I put one on the right side of the rear trunk and replaced the 1-LED in the frunk with a 4-LED block. Simple to splice into the wires feeding the existing trunk & frunk lights. Both made a big difference in visibility in what otherwise are black holes.

    FWIW, I don't have the tech package, but I do have ambient interior lights that came standard with the base car. I can turn them on from the screen but I think default behavior is they only come on when the door is open.

    If you are a little more handy, perhaps you can splice into some interior line that is only hot when the car is awake. You can look over the fuse diagram for possibilities.
     
  16. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Not sure about aftermarket options, but as many have said before, this is one option I think is unnecessary. I have the lighting and it's cute but not worth the money. I wouldn't think twice about skipping it as an option and saving a G. I'd never miss it.
     
  17. jyc

    jyc Member

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    LiuPing, here's a link to a mod for trunk lighting off TeslaTap:

    Lights How to Improve Trunk Lighting | TeslaTap

    We did the frunk modification also. We still have some leftover wireless connectors that we can give you, since you're also in San Diego. It makes the trunk and frunk lighting dramatically better.

    As for the interior lighting, with a black interior, it can be pretty dark even with the extra interior lighting, though. Now if there were an option for extra lighting pointing outward from the center, that'd be great! It's too easy to block the light from the side when buckling a kid into a carseat. A center light would be perfect!

     
  18. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Wiring harnesses are rarely different for different options. Wires are cheap and changes are not. I find it very difficult to believe that the wires aren't there. Software not there - that is pretty funny. Obviously, Tesla can change the software pretty easily. It isn't like premium lighting required an extra processor.

    Dig deeper into Tesla - I really believe it could be retrofitted. Just the fact that they said the software wasn't there just shows how it is a bullshit answer.

    And aftermarket should be available for cheaper than Tesla (not cheaper than original price). The 7 hours quoted for labor sounds pretty reasonable so $1000 for labor and $500 or so for lights should do it. Now aftermarket would not be controllable by touchscreen.

    I'd expect in CA, that Tesla would do it for $2500 and aftermarket would be $1500. And then of course there are numerous less expensive options to light the car. If it bothered me, I'd buy a $100 in LED lights and go to town....
     

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