Maxxeon Work Star Jr. and Cyclops Work Lights, by Pat Cascio

If you have a need for some extra light when working on cars, firearms, or just about anything, we have tested two outstanding portable light sources– the Maxxeon Work Start Jr. and the Cyclops. We are covering both in this article.

Portable Lights

We have come a long, long, long way, when it comes to portable lights. It wasn’t all that long ago that we had a two cell, D battery, inexpensive, plastic flashlight. While these were barely okay when it came to lighting things up, they fell far short of what we have today in the way of portable lights. First off all, we have much better batteries, and secondly we’ve really grown leaps and bounds when it comes to LED light bulbs.

Hi-Intersity Light for Gunsmithing Work

I don’t do a lot of gunsmithing these days. There is just not a lot of time or great pleasure from it. Yeah, I still work on my own guns and at times make a simple fix for a friend’s guns. However, that’s about it. Still, I’ve found that the older I get the more light I need to work on things, especially small things, like gun parts. I usually turn on a magnifying, lighted lamp on my head. These go by different names, but I just call ‘em “gunsmith goggles”, for lack of a better term. While the small, white light thrown by this setup is usually sufficient for most work, I find at times that I’m reaching for a hi-intensity flashlight, and it is difficult to hold a firearm, parts, plus an extra light. It even gets frustrating at times.

Maxxeon Work Lights

The folks at Maxxeon  sent me a couple of their brand new work lights to test for our readers. One is the Work Start Jr., and the other is called the Cyclops. Maxxeon is world famous for various lighting devices, and I’ve tested quite a few of the years and never been disappointed in any of them. They always amazed me at how much light they produce.

The Cyclops

We’ll take a look at the Cyclops first, and it is a dandy, hand-held device. However, it also has a magnet on the base, and you can attach it to anything made of metal, leaving both of your hands free. The Cyclops is a USB rechargeable LED work light, and it fits nicely on your hand. The sample came fully charged, but I still put it on the charger just the same.

Low and High Settings

Now, here’s what I really like about the Cyclops; it has two intensity settings– low and high. On the low setting, it throws 16 lumens, which is sufficient for many chores; however, on the high setting, it has 420 lumens, which is so bright that it will easily blind you if you look directly into the light.

Operates For Five or More Hours With Each Charge

The Cyclops will operate at the low setting for five or more hours, and on the high setting for two or more hours. That’s a good long time for a device that throws so much light. Recharge time is three hours, and you can recharge it with the USB cord plugged into your computer, or use your cell phone charging cord and plug it directly into the wall. Also, I’m sure any cell phone charging cord that you can plug into a car outlet will work, too. There is a red/green light that lets you know when the built-in Li-ion battery is fully charged.

Work Star Jr. 5200

Next up is the much larger Maxxeon Work Star Jr. 5200. This one really throws some serious light on whatever you aim it at. Keep in mind that both of these lights are meant for close-up use. They do not focus for long distance use. The 5200 has a built-in stand with rubber bumpers on it, so it won’t scratch any surface you place it on. It also comes with a very strong magnet that you can attach to the base. The beam ratio is 3:1, which means that if anything is placed two feet from the light, then the beam diameter will be six feet. Once again, this is meant for close-up work. However, you can also purchase a stand for this light as well.

Three Intensity Settings

The 5200 has three different intensity settings. On the lowest setting, it produces 300 lumens. With the medium setting, it produces 600 lumens, and on high it produces 1250 lumens. We are talking super, super bright light, and if you can’t get whatever chores done on the high setting, then something is wrong. This light operates on a 10-watt COB LED light. It will last just about forever.


There is also a battery indicator, letting you know how much charge you have left. Once again, like the Cyclops, the battery is built-in; you can’t remove or replace it.

The charging jack can be plugged into any wall socket. Charge time is about three hours. Now, here’s what you’ll really appreciate; the Workstar 5200 will operate for nine hours on the low setting, five hours on the medium setting, and two hours on the highest setting. Wow, I’m impressed, to put it lightly. That is a lot of bright light in a portable setup, which lasts a lot of hours.

My Wife’s Use of Portable Lights

My wife is the one in the family who really appreciates and just about “collects” all kinds of flashlights and other portable light sources. She already claimed the larger 5200 for herself and played around with it quite a bit. She is always losing something in the utility room, and more often than not that “something” falls behind something else. Yet, a portable light source is a must-have. Also, when nightfall came around, she attached the 5200 to the side of the refrigerator and turned it on, on the lowest setting. It more than lit up the entire kitchen. On the highest setting, it threw enough light into the living room from the kitchen. The Cylops didn’t do quite as well, but it was no slouch at all. I used the Cyclops in my office, with the lights turned off, late at night, and I could easily work in my office with just that light alone.

Cyclops Proven Itself As Great Source of Light

I’m keeping the Cyclops on the end table, at the end of my part of the sofa, along with a couple “regular” flashlights. We lose the power out in the boonies more times than I care to think about each year. The Cyclops has already proven itself as a great source of light when the power goes out. I will also use it in my office when I need a good strong source of bright light.

Workstar 5200, a Lot of Light

The 5200 will end up in the utility room, and my wife will make great use of it, too. Like I said, she’s always looking for something with a small flashlight that isn’t bright enough. Even though she collects all kinds of lighting sources, she’ll grab for the small flashlight that doesn’t give her enough light.

I can also see either one of these Maxxeon portable lights being taken on a camping trip on the weekend. With careful use, they could last all weekend long. And, they will throw a lot of light where you need it.

Prices on both lights are very reasonable. Be sure to check out the Maxxeon website for more details, and be sure to check out some of their other lighting devices. I bet you’ll find more than one of their products that you’ll want. Their lights are that good, if you ask me.


  1. The Maxxeon website identifies the light as The Lumenator Jr MXN05200 and lists it for $89.94 retail. The website also list several accessories that are available for the light, including a tripod that allows you to attach three of the 5200 model lights to provide 360 degree brilliance.

  2. usb charging things work great, but I don’t like ’em – when the charge is down you can’t just slap in a few more batteries and go, you have either to wait for it to charge or just do without.

  3. As a late Baby Boomer, flashlight technology advances during my lifetime seem some of the most incredible! (yes, I know…computers, cell phones, smart phones, HD TV, microwaves all have their place, but most all have a down side that LIGHT doesn’t suffer!). Will be sure to pick up one of these ASAP.

    Other lights that have impressed me in the last few years (excluding very nice weapon lights) are the OttLite portables (their plug-in desk lamps are great too), and my most recent favorite, the NEBO Big Larry. I picked one up in a gun store for $25 a couple of years ago, and have since bought many for friends, at lower prices. It has a very bright light, dim light, and a flashing red emergency light – all in a stick design, with a strong magnet on the end. I don’t even use my drop light for under-car work anymore – just take the Big Larry (really only about 1″ x 7″) under with me, stick it to the frame, and get to work! I highly recommend it!

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