Tesla Model S HID xenon headlight upgrade from 25 watts to 35 watts

The Tesla Model S 2012-2016 was, or still is an innovative car, but the HID xenon headlights are unfortunately not. The headlights suffer from this low light output because they used a 25 watt ballast in the EU version. This system doesn’t generate a lot of power in comparison with the normally used 35 watt systems. And a not-so-great HID xenon projector. This combination results in low light output.
Such a bad light can be dangerous in bad weather conditions (or even in good ones). Upgrading the light output is a big wish of a lot of Tesla owners. But don’t worry, there is quite a simple solution to upgrade the lighting.

The Tesla Model S Low power 25 watts HID xenon system

Normally 35 watt HID systems are used with a higher output (around 3200 Lumen). But in the EU 35 watt systems require a washing system and automatic height adjustment.
Tesla decided to not add these systems and to opt for a less powerful 25 watt HID ballast (only around 2000 Lumen). In combination with D8S 25 watt HID xenon bulbs. This system does not need to have washing and adjustment systems. Maybe they decided this to save costs, but it is a real downgrade for the light output.

Tesla Model S light upgrade kits

You can replace the D8S bulbs with new D8S Osram bulbs for example. But this usually is only a minor upgrade for the light output.
For a big upgrade of the Tesla Model S headlights, there are 2 major upgrades possible.

Stage 1: Replacing the 25 watt ballasts with 35 watt ballasts (with new D1S HID xenon bulbs).

Stage 2: Replacing the Original Visteon bi-xenon HID projectors with new and better Aharon 3" Bi-xenon projectors.

The stages can be done separately, or you can do the 2 upgrade stages at one time. Doing them both at once gives the best upgrade, the best bang for your buck/effort is the stage 1 kit. The choice is yours!

When you have a Tesla Model S with the 25 watt system, you are probably interested to upgrade it for more light output and safety.

Stage 1 Tesla headlight upgrade from 25 watt ballast to 35 watt ballast system.

Upgrading the original 25 watt with new 35 watt ballasts is almost a plug-and-play solution. It offers a guaranteed upgrade with minimal effort! Not only the light in the 'hot-spot', which is the center of the light pattern that shines down the road, is improved. But also the width is improved.

What is needed to upgrade the Tesla headlight?
For this upgrade, you need the 35 watt ballasts and D1S bulbs. Because you can’t use the original D8S 25 watt bulbs with a 35 watt ballast. For a guaranteed improvement and good fitment, we use high quality Osram bulbs. Via the following link you can order the stage 1 ballast upgrade kit.

For output and safety this really is a nice addition to your Tesla. We have made these output shots to show you the difference in light output and width.

Tesla model S - Stage 1 25 watt osram ballast vs 35 watt ballast with Tesla Visteon HID bi-xenon projector


What needs to be done to install the kit and upgrade the Tesla Headlight?

The old crappy 25 watt ballast needs to be replaced by the powerful 35 watt version. This is an easy job because the 35 watt version has the same shape and connectors, so it is a direct replacement.

Because the D8S bulb base is different from the D1S. The new D1S bulbs need to be modified to fit the D8S projector. Fortunately, this is very easy. It can be done with a drill, multi-tool/grinder, or even with a plier.

We have made this video to show you how to replace the 25 watt Osram ballast used by Tesla, is replaced with a 35 watt version. And how to modify the D1S to fit the D8S projector.

Stage 2 Tesla headlight upgrade - New and improved HID bi-xenon projectors

Visteon is the maker of the Tesla Model S headlights. Their bi-xenon HID projectors are not bad, but the Aharon Optimus NT definitely performs better. Especially when the headlights are older and used with 35 watt ballasts. With the EU spec 25 watt ballasts, we see low deterioration of the projectors. But used with 35 watt ballasts, the projectors chrome layer gets dull over time because of the heat and UV radiation.

With the new Aharon projectors you get a better projector design and a fresh chrome layer in the reflector bowl for a better light output. It is also a bi-xenon projector, so used for low and high-beam.

The kit contains everything you need, including new projectors, mounting brackets and hardware and headlight butyl.

When you have already upgraded to 35 watt, you can keep using the D1S bulbs. Or when you already have the OEM 35 watt D3S version, you can also keep using your D3S bulbs.

You can order the repair and upgrade kit here:

The headlight needs to be opened to mount the projectors so this is more work than replacing the bulbs and ballasts. The headlights need to be removed from the car, they need to be opened, new projectors need to be mounted and they need to be closed again with headlight butyl. To help and give you an idea, please watch this video we made regarding this process of retrofitting the Tesla Model S headlights with a new HID xenon projector.

The Tesla Model S headlights are sealed with permaseal which is harder to open than butyl which is also used to seal headlights. The type of permaseal used is not the hardest, so opening the permaseal headlight is definitely doable. You will need to take your time and patience*.

The original headlight leveling system keeps working. This is done on the complete inner part of the headlight, to which the projector is mounted to.

*Also be careful with using screwdrivers, pliers, knives etc. retrofitting is on your own risk and you can harm yourself. When applying heat with a heat-gun also be careful to not apply too much heat in one spot and definitely stay away form the lens to prevent melting the plastic.