The R/C hobby allows many of us to live out our dream car fantasies on a more “affordable” budget. The “scaler” scene especially caters to this level of dream-fulfillment. This category thrives on turning a scaled-down on or off-road machine into a visual showcase of 1:1 proportions. It’s been my favorite area to explore, and one that many other hobbyists have found a home in as well.
One of the easiest ways to add scale flair to any radio-controlled vehicle is through LEDs. Much like the R/C landscape, there are many options for adding lighting to your rig. One of the newer players in this arena is Powershift RC Technologies, who offers unique, high-powered LED light fixtures for a variety of scale R/C applications. The man behind the magic, Jonathan Baskins, was kind enough to send me a set of his Big Square Pods for a hands-on review.
- 2 Powershift RC Technologies “Big Square Pods” LED pods – $15.99
Hands-on with the Powershift RC Big Square Pods
While I’ve had experience adding LED lights to my fleet of scale rigs, this was my first experience with a multi-LED cluster. Each Big Square Pod is packed with nine LEDs and is nestled inside of a 3D printed enclosure. The enclosure itself is designed well and features a thick case to help protect the LED cluster from trail-time impacts.
The Big Square Pods are available in a variety of colors (blue, yellow, red, pink, and white) as well as a carbon fiber-infused option ($3.00), for added strength and durability. No matter the color scheme of your radio-controlled machine, it should be easy to find a color option that matches your machine.
When it comes to wiring these LEDs to your rig, there are two options available when you purchase your pods. The base option has exposed wire leads, which will allow you to wire up your own connector and get as creative as you’d like with your wiring scheme. The second option is to upgrade to a pre-wired connector ($3.00). With this route, you can specify the type of connector you’d like and it will ship to you ready to install.
Power to Light the Way
Throughout my experience in adding LED lights to various R/C cars and trucks, I’ve never encountered a more power-thirsty set of lights such as these. It’s recommended that you use a two or three cell LiPo battery to power these (direct connection), however you can also get by with a lower-power pack. It should be noted, however, that your mileage may vary if you choose to go this route.
At the time of my review, I was unsure what vehicle I’d install these Big Square Pods onto, so I wired them up for power with the best battery option I had available (NiMh). Even with this lower-power option, the light pods lit up brighter than anything I’d ever seen or experienced before. My most LED-laiden rig is my Axial SCX10, which features an multi-LED light bar. One Big Square Pod LED cluster will put that to shame and I can only imagine the amount of light that two of them would put out.
This is an impressive amount of light wrapped in an impressive and durable casing. Ultimately, what more could you ask for?
Are the Powershift RC Big Square Pods right for you?
Much like the vehicles on which their mounted, there are more options for R/C LED lighting than you can shake a stick at. Within this sea of seemingly endless possibilities, there are some products that shine brighter than others (pun intended). I’d rank the Powershift RC Big Square Pods near the top of that list, both in actual illumination and in how they’re constructed.
The fit and finish of these light pods is second-to-none and the amount of light which pours from them is as amazing as it is blinding.
If you’ve been looking at lighting options for your scale radio-controlled vehicle, focus your search on these LED pods. At $15.99 per pair, you’d be hard-pressed to find a higher-quality solution at such an economical price. And if you’re not digging the Big Square Pod “look”, Powershift RC offers other LED lighting packages which I can only imagine pack in the same level of quality and brightness.