There are many gadgets that you can get for your racing setup, and to be honest, once you finally do get them, you will realise that most of them are not really as great as you had thought they would be. There are a few things though that, compared to their price, will improve your experience massively and this is one of them
I received this LED Flag from 3D-Simgear in Germany. They specialise in Dashboards and LED flags, mounted into 3D printed cases.
This post is not sponsored by 3D-simgear but they have donated the LED flag.
LED Flag V3
What are LED Flags
To be honest I had never really looked enough into LED Flags to know exactly what they did. I took the name too literally, thinking that they simply flashed the colour of the flag if there was one. As flags (unfortunately) don’t really matter on iRacing, unless they are black, I didn’t think they were worth much more than the gimmick effect. I soon realised that they are much more than that though.
I saw one of these in SIMCON 2021 mounted on top of the wheelbase where it not only showed the flags, but also what gear you’re in, as well as blink when you reached the rev-limiter. That was a whole lot more than just a flag indicator and it got me interested! Since then I have learned that all LED flags more or less can do the same things, as they depend on the same software. Nonetheless, there are big differences between them anyway!
You need to install Sim Hub, which is a free software that converts telemetry from the game, into data that can be used for things like LED flags, wind simulators, seat shakers, dashboards and overlays for your screens or even stream.
The functionality of the LED flags is set by Sim Hub, so they all more or less have the same features. I was able to make this show what gear I am in, blink when I reach the rev limmiter, show flags and even warn me when there are cars on the sides of mine (similar to a spotter). The differences compared to others, really show in the details, such as the cases they are mounted into, as well as the quality of the parts used.
I had never used Sim Hub before trying to set this LED flag up so for me it was two new things is one. It took me very few minutes to install the driver and figure out how to link it to Sim Hub. I was instantly blinded by the power of the LEDs that are used in this version. Luckily, one of the many options for customisation in Sim hub, is to turn down the brightness to a more comfortable strength. Many of the LED flags that I have seen are pretty dim, have too small holes for their LEDs and too much space between those holes. The version from 3D Simgear seem to have hit the sweet spot!
The 3D print quality is not perfect. The characteristic layering if obvious and maybe a bit more than expected from a company that makes 3D printed products. The overall quality is not bad though, and it feels both strong and well designed, with 2 large mounting holes on each side for easy mounting. It is just the finishing touch that is lacking a bit, but personally I don’t notice it at all once it’s mounted and running.
You can chose to buy the optional USB mini cable, or save the money and use one that you may already have. Please note that it is an USB mini not USB micro.
Is it worth it?
Lets be honest. This won’t make you faster, safer or even better at driving. But it will make your driving more fun and immersive. I had to remove mine to take a few pictures. I forgot to put it back on before joining a practice session and to be fair it felt a bit empty or amputated not having that small LED flag there, even though I have a rev limited on my dashboard and even in-game! Compared to the price I would definitely say it is worth at least trying it but make sure you try a good one, like this one from 3D Simgear.