Pod trouble light
Pod trouble light. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Glen Konorowski

The conventional trouble-light may soon be extinct. Hand-held and self-powered trouble-lights might not be a new idea, but ones that last for close to eight hours and are light enough to handle with ease, are. For the past six or so months I have had the opportunity to test just such a product.

Called the “Pod Light”, it is fairly standard in size at about 40 cm long (15 in.) and 5 cm (2 in.) thick excluding the large swivel hook on the end which is the size of a coat hanger hook.

Unlike most trouble-lights, the Pod uses light emitting diodes (LEDs) to illuminate the area. LEDs require very little power to function efficiently and that allows the tightly packed, small nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries to last for a long time. In fact, the Pod has 28 LED lights built into the upper end of the unit surrounded by a mirror like metal finish to reflect the light.

As well, at the top end of the Pod by the hook is a single LED light that allows it to be used as a flashlight.

The Pod is constructed of a durable and hard wearing plastic and rubber with an impact resistant polycarbonate lens covering the LED lights. A clip-on magnet allows it to be placed on a flat metal surface on the body of the vehicle you are working on.

Pod trouble light
Pod trouble light. Click image to enlarge

Each Pod Light comes with a 110-volt adapter/stand for recharging and a 12-volt charger for your car or truck. One special feature, which I discovered quite by accident, is that the Pod Light will turn off automatically if you leave it charging in your vehicles, so as not to drain your battery.

The Pod Light works as a trouble-light, flashlight and an emergency flasher as well. By clicking the Pod Light “On” switch once, the trouble-light comes on. Two clicks and the trouble-light goes off and the flashlight comes on. Three clicks and the main bank of lights will flash on and off. This clicking can be a little cumbersome at times, but it really keeps things simple.

I put the Pod Light to good use soon after I received it. A couple of used cars I was interested in could only be viewed at night in a garage with no power. The clean white light of the Pod LEDs allowed my friend and I to really get a good look at the car. Thanks to the Pod Light, we found a gaping hole in the frame saving me time and work. On another occasion, the flashlight came to the rescue when I dropped an earring I was holding for my wife between the seats of our car. By directing the light I was able to find the earring with little trouble.

Under the hood, the Pod Light passed the test by giving me light for two four-hour stints while working on a project car in the driveway. Even when the batteries on the Pod Light did die, I just plugged it into its 110-volt adapter (corded section) and it functioned quite well.

Like most trouble-lights, the Pod works best in confined areas such as under the vehicle or under the hood. But in open areas, such as when you walk around the driveway looking for that dropped small socket, it doesn’t do that great a job. In regular day to day use, the Pod Light held up quite well even when accidentally dropped.

A built-in light lets you know when it is recharged, which takes about two hours. After I lost it for about four months, it still turned on and worked well for three to four hours before running out of good light.

After months of use I have to say I like this product and would definately buy another one. Besides using it in the garage, I have used it in the house quite a bit too.

The Pod Light lists for $84.95. To find a retailer near you, you can e-mail sales@canbilt.com.

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