Dyson thinks it’s a Jeep

The Dyson V8/10/11 is almost undoubtedly the best cordless stick vacuum on the market, but it does lack at last a feature here and there that even much cheaper vacuums often bring. I’m still not totally convinced they’re NECESSARY, but after trying a $160 Amazon competitor the other day with lights on the motor head, I kind of enjoyed being able to see the hot spots of dirt on the wood floor.

Unfortunately, that vacuum didn’t quite hold up so I caved and bought a refurbished Dyson V10. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the light thing just yet.

Which is why the soft roller on my vacuum now looks like a kitted out rock crawler.

Dyson soft roller head with a light bar, looking like a jeep

The first prototype is a 3D printed light bar mounted magnetically at the ends to some 3D printed brackets, themselves 3M command stripped to the head. The magnets (10mm by 3mm) all have kapton tape over them to provide a high friction surface to hold angle while experimenting. Also, I might make the bar relocatable to multiple heads.

Power supply view of the vacuum head with light bar

At the moment, power is provided via 12V boost converter from a small 1S LiPo pack. Eventually, I’d like to tap off the electrical supply of the head itself, but that’s 26V so bulky conversion electronics are an unfortunate necessity either way.

another view of electronics on head

Another interesting design deficiency of this and also all the other lighted vacuums I’ve tried: the lower the light is, the better, to the point where putting the light directly on the ground illuminates dirt with MUCH higher contrast than even an inch or two off the deck. Of course, putting the light bar on the ground would block the vacuum from vacuuming stuff, so that’s not plausible. I could mount a light on each side instead, but that makes snugging up against walls an inch more difficult.

One possibility is to put a lens in front of the light bar, to narrow the vertical focus and direct more of the light forward in the plane of the bar, instead of down onto the ground and up onto the closest wall. Having just bought a new resin 3D printer, that sounds like a fun experiment, but I suspect the results will be less impressive than simply lowering the position of the source.

The mechanical design is obviously a work in progress, but you can find it here on Thingiverse. To print the omitted mounting bracket, I simply mirrored the one below in my slicer.

screenshot of light bar 3D model
May have just copied the light bar on Katelyn’s jeep…

Conclusions

  • Works about as well as other vacuum lights
  • Probably not worth the effort to actually make
  • With the right improvements, might be worth while.

Next Steps

  • Try locating the bar lower, and see if it actually gets in the way of use.
  • Try printing a linear planarizing lens (is that a word?)
  • Tap the motor head internal power supply, so the light automatically turns on and off with use.

Update:

Check out Part 2.

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