MAXXEON WorkStar 2000 Floodlight Review
I don’t know about you, but it seems like every project I get myself into extends until dusk. That’s precisely when the sun starts going down and it gradually becomes harder and harder to see what’s going on, particularly when I’m outdoors. The MAXXEON WorkStar 2000 Floodlight may sound like an infomercial product name gone terribly wrong, but the Cree LED-based light itself is incredibly “spot on”. Yes, pun intended, darn it! This tool aims to add a ton of versatility to the worklight category, taking into account such popular features as a long run-time, versatile beam placement, and ample brightness. With the included belt clip and dual rare earth magnets, the 2000 can also be placed just about anywhere to keep you in the spotlight… literally.
MAXXEON WorkStar 2000 Floodlight Build Quality
First and foremost, the MAXXEON WorkStar 2000 Floodlight is a sizable worklight, but it’s also ergonomic in its ability to position itself nearly anywhere and put out a ridiculous amount of light. With the head extended to its vertical position, the unit is a full 10-1/4″ long and around 2-1/2″ wide by 2″ deep. If you ask my 8 year-old, it’s precisely the size of a Jedi lightsaber… and nearly as cool. Take the articulating head, for instance. You can rotate it a full 360 degrees. And we don’t mean back and forth until it stops… you can spin it around as many times as you want. The contacts from the LED bulb to the switch and battery pack are not based on wires that will twist and break. You can also tilt the head forward and back a full 180 degrees. As you can imagine, this means that you can place the beam of the WorkStar 2000 just about anywhere you want. You can even affix it to a tripod, using the threaded 1/4-inch mount on the bottom.
The switch on the MAXXEON WorkStar 2000 Floodlight is a red plastic button that works in two modes: High and Low. High mode puts out around 300 lumens at the full 5W of power, while Low mode emits around 75 lumens. While you can cover more ground with High, Low will consume less battery power and allow you to run the light for up to 8 hours. And the switch is smart, too. Double-pump it and it will switch from High to Low mode for you. But the next time you turn on the flashlight, it will remember which mode you were in, until you double-switch it again. We liked this function as it gave us a lot of flexibility.
Flip the work light over and you’ll notice two rare earth magnets that can ease out a little to ensure the WorkStar 2000 can adhere to any remotely flat surface. A metal belt clip can also affix to the light, and the magnets work in such a way that you can leave the belt clip on your belt while you remove and replace the light at will.
The LED is a Cree XP-G, Cool White, 5W lamp that has an expected life of over 60,000 hours. This is a common LED that has been used in a variety of products since 2009 and it is one of the workhorse models that has gotten a lot of testing and distribution. It’s the Ford F-150 of LEDs. Maxxeon protects this system (it makes it more usable outdoors) by mounting it in a sealed aluminum heat sink assembly, which protects the LED from dirt and fluids.
The battery pack that drives this flashlight is actually a 6AA NiMH pack that the company says is user-replaceable. That’s pretty cool, though we’d expect at least a few years of use out of a standard NiMH pack before having to worry about anything. There’s also not really a memory effect, though it’s not quite as resilient (by nature) as lithium-ion. Recharging can be done via the included AC wall charger or the included car charger. Both will take up to 3 hours to fully recharge a depleted battery, though we went from under 20% charge to over 80% charge in a relatively quick amount of time (around 30 minutes). The WorkStar 2000 has an onboard red/green LED that will flash to tell you the charging status and when you need to recharge the battery. You can’t both charge and use the light at the same time, even with the 12VDC vehicle charger.
Testing and Use
We grabbed this light for use on a variety of residential tasks, including shedding some light at dusk on an electrical panel we were working with. We also loved how we could suspend the light from a nail by it’s 3-inch hook and thus deliver light to anywhere inside of a shed that didn’t happen to have any hard-wired lighting. The WorkStar 2000 doesn’t have an adjustable beam for its light output, but that’s what makes it such a nice work light. It provides a ridiculously large beam of light that is nearly free of hotspotting. Since the beam ratio is 1:2, you get a 2′ diameter beam for every 1′ away you are from a wall or obstruction. In a small 10′ shed, that meant we could literally light up the entire enclosed space by simply hanging the WorkStar in the corner and pointing the LED to the opposite side.
The way the head spins and angles with almost no effort, makes the 2000 a joy to use. It’s quick to adjust and you never feel like you have to baby it. About the only downside is that it’s kind of big and we imagined that the tool would be a lot cooler if the head folded completely down into the body, rather than jutting out at a 90 degree angle. This isn’t a big deal, however, and when you think about the light output vs. the size and weight, it beats the heck out of most of the bulb-based incandescent work lights you’ve ever used. On top of that, the output is so large and even that it actually plays out well as an alternative to halogen lamp work lights. To test this out, we went out back and pinned the light up in the yard, shining it outward and doing some evening work that we’d normally have used our halogen twin-head work light. We also liked the way the belt clip worked magnetically, allowing you to keep the clip on your belt and simply remove the flashlight.
Recharging worked as expected, but it does take every bit of 3 hours to recharge fully, and that’s a shame. The good news is that you can ramp up pretty quickly from 20% to 80% charge – it’s the final road to 100% that takes forever on the NiMH battery pack. The inclusion of the car charger means that this might make an excellent automotive light to keep on-hand or even store in your car’s cargo area.
With all the features this technician’s flood light has, maybe Maxxeon should have called it the FlexStar 2000. Overall, this is a light that will find its way into the automotive space fairly quickly – or at least, it should. The pull-out hook and magnetic back make it infinitely flexible and the articulating head means you can get the light exactly where you want it. Since the beam is also clean and wide, you also don’t have the mess of a center hot spot that adds unnecessary contrast to the rest of what you’re looking at. Instead, you get a nice, even light over the entire work area. This is a great light that every serious handyman, contractor, or pro could stand to have in their vehicle, shed or workshop.