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Programmable LED Taillights


Ben_Ricci

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I can tell you what the lights do, but I can’t say whether they’re truly programmable or merely “switchable:” the steady or blinking function can be changed on the fly by modulating the brake lever (as explained in the p3lights.com link). In my opinion it’s a pretty slick set-up. I bought mine because I wanted something more conspicuous than my ST’s generally wimpy taillight and I will probably use them with minimal blinking to as a means to enhance my brake light.

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Very interesting setup. I did not see in any of the discussion a direct brightness comparison with the Hyperlite kit in brakelight mode. In the pictures they look brighter, but can that be confirmed?

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fourteenfour

I would very interested on how they are wired in and how they don't affect the canbus. My dealer told me not to install hyperlites....

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I've seen the P3 lights at our local rally in daylight and they are VERY bright. I can only anecdotally say they appear brighter (and larger) than Hyperlights*, which a lot of riders at the rally had installed on their bikes. It would be interesting to see a specific measurement between the two systems. When the P3s are illuminated, they appear to be much larger than a relatively small bank of bright LEDs.

 

This system doesn't effect Canbus. I watched a set getting installed and it looked like easy job. The installation instructions are on the P3 website.

 

*I'm not knocking Hyperlights, but it was just my observation.

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My dealer told me not to install hyperlites....
I've had Hyperlites since my '05 was new. No problems whatsoever.
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From the pictures the P3's seem to be almost as tall as the license plate, which would make them much larger then the hyper-lites. That would justify the additional cost, I've always thought the hyper-lites were a little small.

 

The programmability and hazard-warning setting don't do much for me, I'll never use them after the 1st day. OK, maybe to thrill my riding buddies ooo.gif

 

Steve

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Jim VonBaden

I have a set, and my GF has the first set Jerry made.

 

They work fantastic!

 

Hyper-Lights-OFF.jpg

As running lights...

 

Hyper-Lights-Brake-ON.jpg

As brake lights.

 

These shots were at 25 feet, and with the camera NOT on night mode.

 

I can tell you from experience that these lights are incredibly bright and versitile. The flickering of them on running lights makes them very hard to ignore, and you can see them from a 90° angle

 

I will be installing mine tomorrow. The best part is that they are designed to work with the newest update on the bike computer, so it wont be affected by the duel power now applied to both filiments of the bulbs.

 

They are 3" tall, by 5/8" wide, and come with mounting brackets.

 

Jim cool.gif

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The flickering of them on running lights makes them very hard to ignore, and you can see them from a 90° angle

 

If the "Running" lights flicker or blink, watch out in California. Running lights must be a steady burn and you're allowed 3 blinks before a solid light on the brake light. I got pulled over with my brother for his rear running light flickering. My brake light blinked/flickered and the LEO was fine with that. I checked the CVC and the LEO was correct.

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The flickering of them on running lights makes them very hard to ignore, and you can see them from a 90° angle

 

If the "Running" lights flicker or blink, watch out in California. Running lights must be a steady burn

 

Its called pulse width modulation (I think) and on some autos (manufacturers) it's more noticeable/obnoxious then others (in darkness)

Cadillac seems to be the worse.

However on a bike obnoxious (visually) is a good thing.

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Jim VonBaden
The flickering of them on running lights makes them very hard to ignore, and you can see them from a 90° angle

 

If the "Running" lights flicker or blink, watch out in California. Running lights must be a steady burn and you're allowed 3 blinks before a solid light on the brake light. I got pulled over with my brother for his rear running light flickering. My brake light blinked/flickered and the LEO was fine with that. I checked the CVC and the LEO was correct.

 

The "flickering" is at a barely perceptle 50hz. It is only 10hz less than your household current. You can't really see it looking dead on.

 

Not like the programable flashing when you hit your brakes.

 

Jim cool.gif

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The web site says it does and the photos above are of a ZFE controlled brake light on a R1200ST (uses a single fillement bulb for both brake and running lamp).

 

There are three wires to hook up.

1. Ground.

2. Switched power

3. Brake lamp (+)

 

Since it's hooked to switched power we can assume all of the circuits are driven by this and the brake + signal is only used to tell the lights when they should go to brake mode. Should't draw any extra power from the ZFE.

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The installation instruction say that for the R1200RT, connect the red wire to a switched power lead. This means that when my battery charger is plugged, in the P3's tail light will be lit.

 

I connected my Autocomm's relay to the rear accessory socket and it has this problem. It's not a big deal for the autocomm since we're talking about milliamps, the P3 must draw much more then that. Probably enough to keep the battery from charging.

 

Is there a better place to get switched power?

 

Steve

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The installation instruction say that for the R1200RT, connect the red wire to a switched power lead. This means that when my battery charger is plugged, in the P3's tail light will be lit.
I had a similar problem with the dual-function Hyperlites. If you use the running lights feature, which draws power from the auxiliary plug, those lights come on whenever the battery charger cycles through a charge phase. With the Hyperlites, the current draw is negligible, but I found it irritating to see those lights on at odd times, so I put a quick-disconnect in the line, which I simply unhook when I plug in the battery charger. With your setup, the drain may be more substantial, making an alternate power source or a disconnect more important.
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I've seen others that use the 'side light' aka parking light as the switched power signal to a relay. There are some premade harnesses that do this.
That's the solution! Thanks!

 

Steve

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The current draw for the P3 Lights is 100ma from the tail light (or alternate switched power) lead.

 

For the R1200RT and other bikes that use a single-filament tail/brake light bulb, I think the best source of switched power for the P3 lights is likely to be the parking light bulb, as discussed above.

 

The reason for this is two fold:

- the lights will not go on when the battery charger cycles on and off, which they would do if the aux power lead were used

- the emergency flasher function of the P3 lights will operate properly with the bike's key set to parking light mode. This could be useful if you need to signal a warning to oncoming traffic, but want to remove your key.

 

Jerry Skene

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I installed my set tonight. HOLY S###! That's got to be illegal. I like it. Looks like a ball of fire when your a few car lengths back. The flicker is more noticable than I expected. But it works.

 

Loud Lights save lives.

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While the brake lights on the P3 are indeed very bright, they are within the legal limits prescribed by federal regulation 571-108, which deals with automotive lights.

 

Glad you like them.

They're designed to be seen.

 

 

Jerry Skene

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Thanks for designing and making the P3 lights available Jerry. In my opinion they are an ideal complement to Motolights: Motolights up front & P3s in the rear are a huge step toward increasing one's conspicuity. The installation and seamless integration are on par too—not to mention unobtrusive styling. Good job! thumbsup.gif

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GoGo Gadget

I was wondering the other day if the MotoLights being full of water helps with conspicuity. With the water sloshing around in there, it creates a flickering effect. That probably helps, right?

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The current draw for the P3 Lights is 100ma from the tail light (or alternate switched power) lead.

 

For the R1200RT and other bikes that use a single-filament tail/brake light bulb, I think the best source of switched power for the P3 lights is likely to be the parking light bulb, as discussed above.

 

Where would you suggest switched power on a R1200GSA.

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Terry;

A common source for this is the front running light - the small light inside the headlight housing.

 

Jerry

 

I've used the front running light on my RT and LT for all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, but it seems like a long way from the tail end. What about the diagnostic plug under the seat?

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The running light would be better because you could leave the P3 in emergency flasher mode without the key in the bike.

The quad strobe is very official looking.

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Jim VonBaden
Jim,

 

Does this set-up work fine with CANbus?

 

It is designed to work with the canbus, and the most recent upgrade which uses the twin filiment bulb as like a single filiment bulb!

 

3600 miles so far, through all kinds of conditions, and good to go! thumbsup.gif

 

Jim cool.gif

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Jerry,

 

Here's a question;

 

I"ve installed the Kisan "TailBlazer" bulbs on a "05 R1200RT. They work fine when applying the brakes but of course your lights can serve as both running lights as well as provide increased brightness when the brakes are applied.

 

Will your "Programmable LED Lights" work in conjunction with the Kisan Bulbs or will I have to remove them?

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Jim VonBaden
Jerry,

 

Here's a question;

 

I"ve installed the Kisan "TailBlazer" bulbs on a "05 R1200RT. They work fine when applying the brakes but of course your lights can serve as both running lights as well as provide increased brightness when the brakes are applied.

 

Will your "Programmable LED Lights" work in conjunction with the Kisan Bulbs or will I have to remove them?

 

I'm not Jerry, but I have a BRAKE light, and the P3 lights work fine with them.

 

I can't see any reason why they wont work for you too.

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS I now have 3K miles on mine in all kinds of weather, and they work great! thumbsup.gif

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Returned from vacation & your R1200 Maintennance video had arrived. clap.gif

 

Thanks, it's everything I hoped for and then some.

 

The reason I asked about combining the Programmable LED Taillights with the after-market Kisan bulbs (both compatiable with the CAM BUS system) is both flash the Brake light; I wasn't sure if that would negate each or create some kind of excessive load on the system.

 

I really like the Kisan bulbs for making applied brakes more noticeable but want more "full-time" rear lighting to go with it.

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The P3 Lights will work fine with other aftermarket lights such as the Tailblazer. The current draw is minimal, so they will not overload the circuit.

 

The tail light brightness is higher than the stock bulb, and the brake light brightness is much brighter than other lights. In addition, the modulated tail light feature makes he tail light much more conspicuous.

 

It might be a bit unnerving to following traffic to see both sets of brake lights flashing at different rates though, so you might want to disable the flashing on one set or the other. On the P3 Lights, this is a simple matter of activating the brake 4 times within the first 5 seconds after turning on the ignition.

 

To turn the flashing back on at a later time, activate the brake 5 times for a 4-flash sequence, or 6 times for a 4 fast/4 slow sequence within the programming window.

 

Full details on this programming sequence can be found at:

 

http://www.p3lights.com/Programming.htm

 

Jerry Skene

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It might be a bit unnerving to following traffic to see both sets of brake lights flashing at different rates though, so you might want to disable the flashing on one set or the other.

I disabled the flashing on the P3 and kept the Brake! in it's shortest flash mode.

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Jim VonBaden
It might be a bit unnerving to following traffic to see both sets of brake lights flashing at different rates though, so you might want to disable the flashing on one set or the other.

I disabled the flashing on the P3 and kept the Brake! in it's shortest flash mode.

 

I keep both the BRAKE and the P3 lights flashing, and it isn't too distracting.

 

Also, just back from 3100 mile trip with significant rain, and no issues at all with the lights.

 

Great job Jerry! thumbsup.gif

 

Jim cool.gif

 

PS Thanks Mike!

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R4ND0M_AX3

 

Can you remember which wires were the ground, taillight and brake light on your ST?

 

I'm guessing: brown = Ground; black/gray = Brake Light; and red/gray = Tail Light.

 

I'm also a bit confused on the instructions, which state: "-the RED wire connects to the Tail Light wire (connect this wire to a switched power lead on the BMW R1200RT." This doesn't make sense to me. Can you clarify from your installation experience?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ben

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Never mind. dopeslap.gif I figured it out: Brown = Ground; black/gray = Brake Light; and red/gray = Tail Light. Very simple installation. The hardest part was stuffing everything behind the taillight and under the seat--and that wasn't difficult at all. (Very sweet Jerry.)

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Glad that it worked out Ben.

 

On the R1200ST the P3 controller will fit in from the rear, beside the tail light reflector. There is no need to remove the seat. I'm pretty sure it will also fit under the seat.

 

Thanks for the wire colors; I have added them to the installation page.

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