Review: ElectroStar Wireless Signal Pod Turn Signal

A while back, ElectroStar sent us their Wireless Signal Pod Turn Signal for review.  ElectroStar is an LED company by background – their parent company, Buztronics, manufactures LEDs for a very wide variety of uses (RL, you should get some scooter lights!) – so we were happy to test out the Signal Pod.  The Signal Pod retails for $49.95, a price ElectroStar justifies given its wireless capability (a wired version sells for $10 less), and comes with the Pod unit, a control unit, a seatpost-mount bracket, and pre-installed batteries. With the controls, you can signal a right turn, left turn, or turn your “hazard” lights on by having everything blink (though I’m not sure I want people to start thinking of me as a hazard as I go down the road!).

All lights blazing

Out of the box, things looked good – the LEDs were very bright, and the wireless signal works from well over the required distance (I tested it at up to 30 feet).  It mounted to my bike fairly easily as well, and the signal buttons were pretty intuitive.  I also liked that the turn signal was sequential – each chevron lights up in sequence, making it very clear which direction you’re turning! Unfortunately, that was where the good things ended (had I known this, I would have taken more pictures earlier on… sorry folks!).

Pod controls

One of the advertised features is that the Pod beeps when the turn signal is on.  While some sort of noise is definitely a good feature since you can’t see it, the beep is incredibly annoying.  It’s not bad if you’re taking a turn on the go, but sitting at a traffic light for a couple minutes is somewhat brutal.

The noise wasn’t the worst part though – the worst part was that it only has a seatpost mount, and when I got on my bike the backs of my legs hit the pod!  I’d like to say it’s because I’m just so muscular, but I’d be lying…  I’m sure it works for some bikes, but it didn’t work for my commuter… and I’d never thought it was an unusual design.

All set up... and in the way

Determined to get this thing through a more extended test, I jury-rigged a setup (using an old piece of PVC and an extra stem I had laying around) to attach the mount to the back of my Burley trailer.  I had trouble getting the signal mount off my handlebars though, and ended having to cut one of the bolts off.  Before I could get a replacement bolt in, my kids (ages 9 months and 3) bumped into the signal pod (still mounted on the back of the trailer) a couple times and broke that bracket.  SO… that was the end of the test for me – and somewhat of a deal-breaker, since if my 3-year-old can break something by walking by it, I know it’s not going to stand the test of staying on the trailer for a long time.

Signal Pod on the Burley

While I can’t give this a huge thumbs-up as is, I think there are 4 things that could make these some killer lights:

1. Different brackets.  Almost everything else I buy to put on my bike (lights, fenders, computer, etc) comes with multiple mounting options or at least a flexible fit system – I think this should too.  I’d especially like to see a rack-mount option – most commuters use rear racks, and what’s on the rack often blocks the view of a seatpost.

2. Durable construction.  I won’t say I never break stuff… but I don’t usually break stuff unless it’s on my mountain bike and I crash.  These lights are meant for commuting – they should be able to take a hit from another bike in a bike rack, for example.  Currently, the brackets just aren’t durable enough.

3. Incorporate some bar-end signals for forward and side visibility.  When sitting at a stop sign, I still had to use hand signals, since those coming from other directions couldn’t see the light.  I’d be excited to buy something with that capability – and ElectroStar already makes bar end lights.

4. Change the beeping noise!  Yes, it’s a minor complaint, but I was frankly relieved when I didn’t have to listen to it anymore.


  1. Ghost Rider

    Turn signals for bikes have been long overdue…there’s a definite call for them, but the ones I’ve seen so far miss the mark considerably. It’s a bummer that the bracket on this one is flimsy, and also a bummer that no provision for rack mounting is included.

    The wireless concept is cool, and that sounds like it worked well on this unit…but I’d still really like to see a) signals that can be seen from front, rear and sides and b) something durable enough for daily use…including various mounting options for areas other than the seatpost.

  2. BluesCat

    Hey, Matt! I did a review on Commute by Bike for the wireless Signal Pod: Signal Pod Rhymes With Hot Rod (sort of). I got video there for ya!

    Agree with almost every single one of your comments! Only thing you didn’t mention is how retro cool the Signal Pod is!

    My 18-month-old granddaughter grabbed the Signal Pod display on my Giant and torqued it all the way around sideways (I know it was her: it was covered in her favorite yogurt). The mount didn’t break.

    Like you, I wish I could mount it on my rack or — better yet — on my recumbent seat back! How KOOL would THAT be!

  3. Mike Myers

    Yes, it’s a good idea, in theory, but I think hand signals are much more effective.

    I signal, but I don’t use the “official hand signals”, because nobody knows what they mean. Instead, I point. Left hand points left for left turn, right hand for right turn, and I point straight ahead if I’m going straight.

    Gosh, I’m getting to sound like a retrogrouch. I’ll be riding in a deerslayer cap before long…

  4. Matt (Post author)

    BluesCat – Thanks for the video… like I said above, I would’ve gotten some more pictures and video of it if it hadn’t broken so soon!

    Revealing my age here… but I haven’t been around long enough for the Signal Pod to be retro cool 😉

  5. Matt (Post author)

    Mike Myers – Holding your right hand out for turning right is now an accepted hand signal, I believe.

    I think hand signals are great for clear communication, but they’re sometimes difficult to use effectively while maintaining full control over your bike. Signaling a left turn while coming to a full stop, for example, is always tricky (especially as it deprives you of the ability to use the front brake).

  6. Rob

    Agreed. Every time someone does the right-turn-as-90-degree-angle thing, I wonder who they’re saying “hi” to.

    I’ve stuck to hand signals, but I don’t have any reflective material on my gloves, and something that lights up in the dark would be nice.

  7. dieter schmied

    Just saw you review and I THINK YOU NEED TO think about the goal of the light. I don’t need to warn oncoming cars that I am turning; I don’t turn in the path of an oncoming car.

    I want to tell those behind me who I can’t see or hear and I only want to be sure they can see my signal.
    And I don’t want to forget that the signal is on so that the cars behind me thinking that I forgot to turn it off. Forget all that other crap.

    The question you did not cover: Can it EFFECTIVELY be seen in night and day and by some old guy with failing eyesight!

  8. Matt

    Dieter –

    If I can’t mount it where I need it, and if it doesn’t hold up to everyday wear and tear, the questions you pose don’t matter ’cause it’s not on my bike!

    Also… please think through your comment about turning in the paths of oncoming cars. Unless you only ever make right-hand turns, you ARE turning across traffic at some point, and need to signal that intent!

  9. art

    I use the signal on a 28 Chevrolet Coupe. Its mounted on a PVC pipe inside the car and can be seen through the rear window as a safety device (old cars have few lights of any kind). I had their first version but like version 2 better. It is bright, efficient, and safe. Only problem is you have to turn it ON and OFF, which version 1 did not require. I’ve mentioned to Buzztronics that they would have a killer device for old cars like mine if they had a dual unit (one mounted on back of car and other mounted on front of car-like on the steel bumpers) that would work off one controller. They said they were working on one over a year ago but have never seen anything come of it.

    Just a creative way to use a great wireless turn signal in a different way.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *