Model 3 Light Upgrade

One of the upgrades I made to my Model S last year was to swap out the rather dim factory LED lights with brighter units from Abstract Ocean. I found these lights to be a real benefit for seeing what was in the trunk of my Model S at night as well as the brighter puddle lights on the bottom of the doors we helpful to passengers getting in and out of the car. I wanted the same thing for my Model 3 (I should have swapped out my lights before trading in my Model S as they are the same exact units but oh well…) I ordered up the lights and a few other goodies from Abstract Ocean and the box arrived promptly:

I also ordered some carbon fiber wrap and a glass screen protector but I will cover some of those items in a future article. For now, here is the factory trunk lighting in the Model 3, it is “ok” but really on the dim side, especially if you are trying to find something in the lower sub trunk section.

In the trunk there are 2 lights up underneath the trunk deck on either side. These lights are simply pushed through the trunk lining material but as I discovered in order to secure them on the back side they have a plastic black rectangular ring that the light units actually snap into. Using a plastic pry tool or thin blade screwdriver you are able to pop these units out fairly easily BUT be mindful to hold onto the black retainer ring on the back side with your finger so it doesn’t get lost. While the lights will pop into the trunk lining material they won’t stay there long term without the black retainer ring.

Unlike the bottom of the doors or other places on the car that these lights just snap into, getting the lights to snap back into the black retainer ring was HARD. I had to work my fingers in behind the trunk lining and hold the black retainer ring while I worked the light into the ring. This is a place where having a second person with you to help push in the light while you hold the retainer ring would probably make this job easier. If anyone finds an easier way to insert the lights into the retainer rings by all means share in the comments below. Once I replaced the light on the passenger side I took this photo so you can compare the lighting on each side, new light on right, original light on left. It is no contest in terms of brightness.

I then replaced the light on the other side of the trunk and took this picture, compare it to the image a few images above where the trunk was lit with the stock lights, amazing difference.

I then moved around the car and replaced other factory lights with the newer brighter Abstract Ocean lights including the front trunk (Frunk) and the bottom of the rear door puddle lights, glove box light, etc. I chose not to replace the front footwell light because I don’t want those to be too bright when driving at night, but that’s a personal preference, you may want to replace them. I also chose to do something different with the puddle lights for the front doors, I chose to do a set of custom Tesla “T” lights for the front driver and passenger doors. Here is the package from Abstract Ocean:

As you can see, they are simple plug and play units, although they do have some adjustment to them, mine did not need any adjustment at all, I simply popped out the factory puddle lights and popped these ones in, you only need to attach the wire that connects to the light unit and that is a simple clip. Once installed this is what my front puddle lights now look like:

Abstract Ocean also offers puddle lights that say “S” or “X” or “3” and I might get a different set for the rear doors but for now I simply installed the brighter lights for the rear door puddle lights. Overall I’m happy with the look and the quality of the Abstract Ocean lights, I’ve never had a problem with them and if you need greater detail installation help they have some nice videos on their website that you can follow. Please leave any questions or comments below!


  • I did this on my Model S. I really like how it looks, and I wish it was stock on all doors of all the vehicles . . . if anyone needs help doing this, I’m happy to offer advice and I could help. Once you’ve done a few sets, I bet you could swap them out in under a minute – literally! It is not very hard at all – I just watched a couple YouTube videos and I am “nearly a pro” after the second light went in . . . . and if anyone needs the stock ones – I’ve got them lying around somewhere.

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