I still recall the days when most folks owned and used some type of D-cell flashlights, that held 2 of the big D sized batteries. And, while they were better than walking around in the dark, they didn’t throw a very bright light, nor was the light bright white – at best, they were yellow in color. And, to be sure, those old flashlight – that are still sold today – really used up the battery power in short order. I remember working as a cop, and using the Mag-Lite “police” flashlight, and the model I used (and I still own it) took 3 of the big D batteries, and it had a Krypton light bulb, which threw a whiter light than a regular bulb did. Still, it was lacking in many areas – especially size – it was big, and heavy.
Over the past few years, I’ve tested quite a few hi-tech flashlights, and continue to walk away amazed, at the small size of these flashlights, and the amount of light they put out, and the run-time of the batteries. One of the smallest lights I received recently for testing is the Maxxeon 330 Pocket Floodlight. Now, while this isn’t exactly a flashlight, it is considered a penlight, but not just any old ordinary penlight. I’ve owned quite a few little penlights, that fit in a shirt or pants pocket, via a clip, but none lasted very long, they were cheaply made, and they didn’t throw much light at all.
The Maxxeon 330 is quite a bit different than the run-of-the-mill penlights. First of all, it has 140 OTF (out the front) lumens, and it will temporarily blind a person if you point it at their eyes. Secondly, it takes three AAA batteries – many penlights take one or two AA batteries. Third, this thing is built like a tank, really tough. I also like the Realtree camo coating on the entire penlight – and it has a soft rubber coating and really allows you to keep a good grip on the light. And, we have a pocket clip, that can be slid up or down to adjust it to fit different pocket depths. The end cap is green and it glows in the dark, so this light is easy to find.
The light bulb inside of the Maxxeon 330 is a Cree XP-E, cool white, 3-watt bulb, and it is very bight, as already noted. The custom designed flood reflector creates a huge floodlight beam – no rings, no shadows, no hot spots. The lens is AR coated glass, and is easy to replace if broken – however it is fairly well protected in that, it is recessed back a little from the end of the penlight. The body of the 330 is T6 aluminum – strong stuff. Run time with 3 AAA alkaline batteries is 2 hours to half brightness, and 4 hours of useable light with typical intermittent use – impressive, to say the least.
Overall length of the Maxxeon 330 is 6 1/2 inches – just slightly longer than most pens and pencils and it only weighs 1 ounce – you will readily forget you’re carrying it. It has a click on click off button, and a half-press momentary on. And, it comes complete with three AAA batteries, too.
I’ve been using the 330 for two months, in my backyard – when I let my dogs out for their final “business” run – and my backyard isn’t nearly as big as my huge front yard is – still, it is about 50 feet across and 20 feet wide, whereas my front yard is 25 yards wide and about 200 feet long. My backyard is fenced-in, for a dog kennel. When I let the dogs out – and I have four German Shepherds – it is dark at night – can’t see the dogs without a light source of some kind. The Maxxeon 330 completely lights up my backyard – just like a real floodlight does. Of course, it isn’t super bright at the far end of my yard, still, I can easily see all my dogs, and my guest house that is next door. I can also see through the dense brush and trees behind my house, too.
I work on firearms all the time, either cleaning, repairing or doing “whatever” and I’ve found the 330 to be very useful for seeing inside of guns – it helps my aging eyes see things they might have ordinarily missed. Quite frankly, this little penlight is a real blessing to me, when working on firearms.
The Maxxeon 330 comes with a one year warranty against manufacturers defects, and it retails for $43.95 – a bit spendy you say might say, for a “mere” penlight? Well, once you get a 330 in your hands, and see how bright it is, you’ll want one…this is no ordinary penlight – this little penlight throws a floodlight of light, and does so for quite a distance. It easily lights up an entire room in my house, too. Be sure to check out the Maxxeon web site for full details and ordering information on the 330 – you’ll be as impressed as I was, and I’m thinking about getting another one or two – for around the house and for the wife’s purse, too. – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio