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Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > MAXXEON Pocket Floodlight > Test Report by David Wilkes

Test series by David Wilkes

Maxxeon WorkStar 220 Pocket Floodlight

Initial Report - May 31 2011
Field Report - Aug 17 2011
Long Term Report - Oct 11 2011

Tester Information

Name: David Wilkes
E-Mail: amatbrewer@yahoo.net
Age: 45
Location: Yakima Washington USA
Gender: M
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)

Biography:

I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions.  I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not including consumables, to under 30lbs (14 kg).

Product Information

Manufacturer:

Maxxeon Inc.

Year of Manufacture:

2011

Manufacturer’s Website:

www.maxxeon.com

MSRP:

US$29.97

Advertised Weight:

1 oz (28 g)

Measured Weight:

0.9 oz (26 g)
1.6 oz (44 g) with batteries

Dimensions:

Length 6 in (15 cm)  
Head Diameter  9/16 in ( 14 mm) 
Body Diameter 7/16 in (10 mm)

Product image front and Back
Image courtesy of Maxxeon Inc

Product Description:

The WorkStar 220 (hereafter referred to as the light or the flashlight) is advertised as being a pocket floodlight. It is a small, pocket size, handheld flashlight with a bright wide beam rather than the narrow beam of many small handheld flashlights. It uses an aluminum body and is water resistant.
The rugged WorkStar 220 LED Pocket Floodlight™ is designed for technicians for daily use in a demanding shop, manufacturing or maintenance environments.”

Initial Report

May 31 2011

Some of the features of this light are an orange peel finish reflector, T6 Aluminum body with Black Type II Anodizing, Bright white LED lamp, and rubber O-rings. The light uses 3 AAAA (Quad A) batteries and is rated for 2 hours of continuous use or 4 hours of typical intermittent use. The on/off button is located on the end, and features a rubber cover and two modes of operation (momentary & continuous on). The light comes with a 1 year warranty (I could not locate any details on the warranty).
Light on lined writing paper

Beam angle on paperThe light comes with one set of batteries included. This is good because so far I have not found these in any of the local stores I have visited. The light dissembles into 4 parts, end cap (with the switch), body, body extension (between the body and the lamp housing) and the lamp housing. Any of these can be opened to access the batteries. The batteries install like most other flashlights I have used, simply slip them in with the positive terminal towards the lamp end of the light (there is a drawing of how they go in printed on the packaging the light arrived in). The light is operated by pressing the button either partially or completely down. To use the light in the momentary mode, depress the button slightly and the light will go off when the button is released. For continuous use, depress the button all the way until it clicks and the light will stay on until the button is fully depressed again.

Lighting up a wall in a dark roomI inspected the light and dissembled it down to its individual pieces. I could see no obvious signs of flaws or defects. Unscrewing the individual parts was easy, but the threads felt firm. The gaskets looked to be in good condition. The lamp housing looks to be sealed, I could find no way to remove the lamp. When assembled the light feels solid and durable.

The first time I turned the lamp on I was looking directly into the light. I will NOT be doing that again. This light is BRIGHT! The beam from this light is larger than any pen light I have used. The manufacturer claims the custom designed reflector “creates a huge floodlight beam - no rings, no shadows, no hot spots”. While I can see a much brighter center beam and weaker outer beam and a small ring that is darker, I will say that the light is much more consistent than any other handheld flashlight I have used. And the beam is quite wide for such a small light.

The button is very easy to operate, with an audible click that can be felt as well as heard. I tested turning the light on and off a few times and the switch action was firm and consistent. The same goes for using the light in the momentary mode. The pressure needed to turn the light on momentarily or to the continuous was easy to determine.

I turned the light on and let it run continuously for 2 hours with no noticeable change in the light level.

I tested the light in a darkened room and it lit up almost an entire wall from only a few steps away. In a well lighted office I used the light to peer behind a computer and under some desks. The light is bright enough to be visible even in a brightly lit office, and quite effective in lighting small areas such as behind a computer or bookshelf. I placed the light in a sink full of water and operated the switch a few times. After removing it and drying the outside of the light I dissembled it and found no indication of moisture on the inside.


Likes:
  • Small & lightweight
  • Bright wide beam
  • Simple one button operation
  • Waterproof
Dislikes:
  • None so far

Field Report

Aug 17 2011
Use
  • 3 day climb up Mt. Adams Washington Cascades
  • 2 day climb up Mt. Adams
  • 12 mi / 19 km day hike (Hyak Washington)
  • 6 mi / 10 km day hike Cowiche Canyon (Yakima Washington)
  • Occasional use around my home/garage
During my trips up Mt Adams I used the light in my shelter (Bivy on the first trip, tent on the second) for a few short periods (less than a few minutes each). The day hike at Hyak involved hiking through a 2.5 mi / 4 km rail tunnel twice (repurposed for hiking/biking as part of the Rails to Trails program).

For at least a few years prior to reviewing this light I had not used a hand-held flashlight. Instead, I have used various headlamps. So I was surprised at how much I like this light.

The small size of this light makes it easy to store in the top pouch of my multi-day backpacks as well in the small gear bag that I use to help me avoid losing some of my smaller items. And this is how I carried the light on my two trips up Mt. Adams, on the first trip in the top pouch of my backpack and on the second in my small gear bag. The small size also makes it easy to stash in a pocket. On both Mt. Adams trips, after setting up camp I simply slipped the light into my jacket pocket for later use.

Tent PocketAs far as actual use goes aside from the 2hrs I left it on when I first received it, and then the two trips through the rail tunnel,  I have not had it on for more than a few minutes at a time. Around the house I have used it to look behind bookcases and my computer as well as for looking for things in my garage. At camp I used it to locate items and to check the time when I awoke during the night (both trips I ended up going to bed before dark). Much to my surprise I have yet to drain the original set of batteries.

The bright light and wide beam make this light useful for the above-mentioned tasks. Since it is small and easy to keep in a pocket, it has been on hand when needed.

I normally am not a fan of lights with a push button switch on the back as I have had cases when they would get turned on during storing (such as in the pocket of a backpack with other gear). So far this has not been a problem for this light. In addition, the switch has remained firm but easy to use. When I need light for just a few seconds I simple depress the button with the flat of my thumb and the light comes on but does not go in to the point that it clicks and stays on. If I want the light to stay on I simply push a bit harder or shift my finger so I am using more of the tip of my thumb to get the button to click to the on position.

I tried using the clip to attach the light to a strap on my backpack so it would be handy if needed, but I did not trust it to stay on so I choose not to carry it that way.

Blair Witch Project?While looking for sources for the AAAA batteries this light uses I discovered that 9V batteries are made by combining 6 of the AAAA batteries into a single case. I purchased a 9V battery (they are readily available in just about every store I have visited) and used a knife to dissemble it (not something I would recommend as I came close to slicing open my hand a few times in the process). While I did find 6 AAAA size batteries inside the 9V battery case, I could not get the Maxxeon light to work with them until on a hunch I inserted them backwards. So if I can’t locate some AAAA batteries I could always pick up and dissemble a 9V battery.

Aside for the difficulty in locating batteries (I still have found only one store that carries them) I have found the light to be functional and reliable. In fact, there have been a few times, such as at work, when I have wished I had the light with me (such as trying to read a label on a computer and find a small item that I lost under the seat in my vehicle). So in addition to carrying it in my pack, I have started carrying it in my work vehicle.

Long Term Report

Oct 11 2011
During the final two months of the test, I have carried the light on two short bike rides (trying to recover from an Achilles heel injury) after dark, one weekend family camping trip, and numerous times at home, at work and in my vehicle. Unlike the hike through the rail tunnel, my use has been for very short durations, a few seconds to maybe 5min.

During the family camping trip, I used the light primarily for lighting the way on the long walk to the campground bathrooms. Around the house and at work I have found this light to be quite handy when I need some illumination  for things like computer cables, or replacing a bulb in the trunk of my wife’s car. It has quickly become the first light I reach for around home.

I finally replaced the batteries a few days after the Hyak tunnel hike using the batteries I obtained by dissembling a 9V battery (installing them backwards as noted in my Field Report). What prompted me to replace the batteries was that I noticed the light just did not seem as bright as I recall it being. After replacing the batteries I was again reminded of how bright this light is. Something I like about the better LED lights I have used, this one included, is that the light dims well before completely failing, as this feature provides me ample opportunity to replace the batteries before they go completely dead.

For my bike rides, while I have lights on my bike, I like to bring an additional light along in case one of them fails or I have to correct mechanical problems. Luckily on these two trips I did not have to use the light, but its small size allowed me to easily fit it into my under seat tool kit (tucked into the holster of my multi tool).

I continue to look for places that sell the batteries for this light, but except for two drug stores, I have yet to find any in my town.

After using this light over the last few months, except for the batteries not being as readily available as other sizes I have been quite pleased with it. Despite being held in my teeth, rolling around in my vehicle console, being tossed into a sack with my other small gear, it is showing no signs of wear. Even the rubber cover over the switch, something that could be a weak point, looks almost new.

While it is unlikely I will be willing to give up the hands free convenience of a headlight for backpacking, I do intend to carry this as part of my standard daypack “essentials”, and plan to continue to use it for camping. But I believe where it will see the most use is in my vehicle (I often have to work at night) and around the garage.


This concludes my Report. I would like to thank the folks at Maxxeon Inc and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test fine this product.

 



Read more reviews of MAXXEON Inc. gear
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Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > MAXXEON Pocket Floodlight > Test Report by David Wilkes



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