Maxxeon WorkStar 220 LED Flashlight Review

Maxxeon WorkStar 220 - Small body, big light!

Maxxeon WorkStar 220 - Small body, big light!

LED flashlights continue to amaze me. I’ve been using them for half a decade now, and they are still getting better – more light from fewer diodes and smaller power requirements, for longer times. The WorkStar 220 from Maxxeon is no exception.

Filling almost the same form factor as penlights of old, it’s powered by three AAAA batteries, and has a push-button switch on the bottom. That’s where the similarities end, however. Rather than showing you a patient’s tonsils, or the serial number on the back of the tower computer under your desk, this baby will highlight your new puppy half-way across your yard on a moonless night. Think I’m kidding? Take a look at these two pictures, taken just seconds apart.

Without Light

Without Light

With Light

With Light

The square light on the left is our neighbor’s window, and the light on the right is the carport light. The reflectors of several cars are shown in the second photo, in addition to a fenced herb garden, sprinkling can, and one of the dogs. It’s not as dramatic with your daylight vision and computer monitor burning into your retinas, but at midnight, trying to find pitfalls and runaways, it makes a lot of difference!

Let’s compare the WorkStar 220 to the light I have been using, a Coleman unit with no model number. It takes 3 AAA batteries, and has a magnifying lens, yet look at the difference in the light. Maxxeon is the further light back.

Comparison

Comparison

The unit itself has a metal barrel with a knurled grip at either end. The switch on the end is a push-button, that has cross-hatching for positive action, and will give a flash on a half-push, or lock on with a full push.
Push-button on end.

Push-button on end.

The reflector behind the LED on the opposite end is dimpled, in order to even out the light distribution.
The business end - Note the dimpled "orange peel" reflector

The business end - Note the dimpled "orange peel" reflector

The light produced is not only bright, but color-true and even. Many small penlights have good illumination, but their fields of view are uneven, or there are hotspots within the lit-up areas that are brighter than others. This causes some things to be in shadows that are not really there. The field lit from the WorkStar 220 is fairly evenly distributed, as well as far-reaching. It’s not as bright or even as the WorkStar 1400 I reviewed a while ago, but at $30, rather than $140, it’s quite nice.
I have been using it on late-night walks with our new puppy for several weeks now, and have been amazed at how much detail is pulled out from the gloomy depths of shadows. While AAAA batteries are not the most common types, they are still available in many hardware stores and office supply houses. Getting this much light in a pencil-thin package cannot be done without this type battery, however, without moving to a custom or rechargeable battery, which would more than likely raise the price. So, while this is my one drawback, it’s not a huge one. I’ve been using the cells same in another light for a few years, and have never had trouble finding them.
 

Product Information

Price:$29.99
Manufacturer:Maxxeon
Retailer:available in many stores, online and IRL.
Requirements:
  • none
Pros:
  • Bright, even light
  • Small, sturdy package
Cons:
  • Batteries are not in every store
Posted in: Gear, Reviews

4 comments… add one

  • Ajax July 12, 2011, 9:39 pm

    The Quark Preon2 has better output, multiple modes and uses AAA batteries.
    The Streamlight Stylus Pro is also a choice but with lower output.

  • RG July 16, 2011, 4:52 am

    Gotta love the thin pencil look and weight but those AAAA batteries might be impossible to find overseas if you travel and don’t have time to run around to find them in foreign places.

  • John Armstrong July 16, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Just got one of these pocket floodlights – I am a auto tech and this ligt is awesome!

  • Keith July 17, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Pry open a 9 volt alkaline, and you will find 6 AAAA batteries inside. You may have to bend the contacts a little to make them fit, but I think a 9v might be easier to find, and probably cheaper too…

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