I can’t say I’m a true flashlight nut, but I do appreciate having something reliable to light up the night. I’ve owned several Maglites of various sizes, as well as several other name brand and off brand lights.
The Maxxeon WorkStar 330 Hunter’s Pocket Floodlight leaves them all in the dark.
The light has a rubberized RealTree camo print coating. While the camo pattern is nice and all, the coating itself immediately grabs your attention, as well as your fingers. It has an almost-but-not-quite sticky feeling. From the first time you hold it, you have no worries about dropping it, even if your hands are wet.
The Maxxeon Pocket Floodlight takes 3 AAA batteries, which are included. What is really nice is these batteries are Energizers, not some no name brand. You unscrew either end of the light to insert the batteries and the battery placement diagram is right on the package. Though, if you miss seeing it and put the batteries in wrong, it is a simple matter to reverse them so the light turns on properly.
At 6.5″, it is a bit longer than other flashlights of this general size. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.
The on/off button is at the butt end of the light. You have two options, either press it lightly and hold or press it firmly until it clicks on. The button is a little stiff but I like that as it will help prevent the light from being turned on in your pocket or pack.
There is a pen clip on the side of the light, so you can keep it secured in a shirt pocket or attach it to the brim of a ball cap.
The threaded joints as well as the glass lens have embedded O rings, making the light water resistant. The on/off button is also covered in rubber, completely sealing the inner workings of the light. The cap on the button is also glow-in-the-dark, though it didn’t glow all that brightly for me. But, really, if you need a glow-in-the-dark button to tell you which end is which on this light, you have some serious issues.
Using the Floodlight
Information provided by Maxxeon states the Pocket Floodlight puts out about 140 lumens. I have no real way to test whether it is truly 140 lumens, but I can tell you this. If you accidentally shine it into your eyes, your reaction is going to be along the lines of OH MY GOD, TURN IT OFF! followed by rapid blinking as you try to get rid of this floating ball of light that seems to now be permanently part of your vision. This is an extremely bright light.
What is really cool about this light is that there are no “hot spots” or shadows. With most pen lights and other flashlights, you’ll get a bright spot in the center, then it sort of fades out around that. With the special reflector Maxxeon has devised, here you get a bright light that is consistent from side to side. It also shines at sort of a 1:1 ratio, meaning the circle of shining light is roughly the same diameter as the distance between the light and the object. In other words, holding the light 12 inches from a wall gives you roughly a 12 inches diameter circle of light.
For comparison purposes, I took both the Maxxeon Pocket Floodlight and one of my Mini Maglites outside at night. Standing about seven feet away from my grill, here is what the Mini Maglite illuminated.
From the same distance, here is what the Maxxeon Pocket Floodlight showed:
Drawbacks to the Floodlight
There are few downsides to this light, in my opinion. With other pen lights, you can twist the lens and the light adjusts narrow or wide. There is no such adjustment here. I don’t know that it is truly needed, though.
This light also isn’t great for distance. It is a flood light, meaning it, well, floods the area with light. This is as opposed to a spotlight, that allows you to focus the beam onto a specific area. Again, not a bad thing as long as you understand that going in.
Information from Maxxeon states the battery life is about 2 hours to half-life and 4 hours total of useable light. Admittedly, I’ve not used a stopwatch every time I’ve turned the light on but I can say I’ve spent a LOT of time playing with this thing outside at night and it has yet to even noticeably dim.
With the batteries installed, the Maxxeon Pocket Floodlight weighs in at about an ounce. Heavy enough to where you’ll know it is in your hand, yet light enough to carry in your pack or pocket without concern.
The Maxxeon Pocket Floodlight retails for about $45, plus shipping. This product would make for an excellent addition to any survival kit, particularly one stored in a vehicle so as to not only provide light for repairs but also to signal for help.