The Reason Why Vacuum Cleaners Have Headlights

Sure, some people might chuckle at the notion of vacuum cleaners sporting headlights, deeming it frivolous. But I’m here to tell you, those little beams of light are no laughing matter.

In reality, vacuum cleaner headlights have a purpose beyond mere gimmickry. They shine light at a different angle than your regular overhead fixtures, making dirt, dust, spider webs, and hidden debris pop out like stars in the night sky.

What’s more, these handy headlights can save the day by spotlighting items you don’t want to suck up, like sneaky coins or misplaced jewelry lurking in your carpets. Trust me; it’s been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. So, while some may scoff, I’m a firm believer that vacuum headlights bring real value to your cleaning game.

Origin Of Vacuum Lights

The origin story of why vacuum cleaners have headlights is a bit washy.

Some report that homes of the past didn’t have many power outlets, so they would use an adaptor made to screw into a light socket. With no light in the light socket, you needed light from somewhere, and thus many vacuum cleaner manufacturers included it in the vacuum cleaner.

Another report was that light bulbs were never that bright, and many still are not to this day, and the extra light from the vacuum cleaner was needed, especially cleaning under furniture.

The last reason I could find why vacuum cleaners started getting headlights was that it was a sales gimmick. It could certainly be seen as a gimmick and seen as “cool,” but it’s shown itself to be helpful in our modern world.

They’re Super Useful – Proof

If you have a choice of getting a vacuum cleaner with or without headlights, always go with the one with headlights.

This is especially true today since many vacuum cleaner lights use bright LEDs; some even now have lasers; the brighter the light, the better.

To understand why having lights on your vacuum cleaner is so great, take a look at the pictures below.

As you can see, even with regular household lights on, the headlights of the vacuum cleaner show more dirt that you would otherwise miss. How many more crumbs do you now see since the headlights were turned on?

The reason why the headlights are so effective is that they are at a different angle and brighter than the overhead lights.

While you can buy brighter light bulbs for your home, most people don’t. Bright lights are fine in the kitchen and bathroom where you need them, but most people don’t like bright lights in their bedrooms or living room as it’s harder to relax, and it hurts your eyes.

Allow You To See Under Furniture

Honestly, one of the features I’ve come to appreciate most on a vacuum cleaner is the inclusion of headlights. Why? Because they let you peer into the darkness under furniture.

Without these lights, it’s so easy to overlook the sneaky dust bunnies and accumulations of dirt hiding beneath sofas or beds. While the room’s overhead lighting might illuminate most spaces, they often fall short when it comes to those under-furniture recesses. The headlights on a vacuum bridge this gap beautifully. In my view, if you’re serious about getting every nook and cranny clean, especially under furniture, vacuum headlights aren’t just an accessory—they’re a necessity.

But I Clean Everything?!

I get this one often; many people think the headlights on a vacuum cleaner are pointless because they clean everything anyway.

The problem is that you don’t clean as well as you think you do.

People are predictable; they vacuum in the same pattern and direction. People are also lazy and often skip corners and sections without realizing it.

I see people vacuum and often stop or avoid a particular section of walls. But give them a vacuum cleaner with headlights, and they start to see the spider webs they missed in the corners along with the other dirt.

Or I let them vacuum like normal under their bed, but then I tell them to get the flashlight out after they thoroughly clean, and they can still see the hair and dirt that shines back that they missed.

Getting a vacuum cleaner with headlights can be a real eye-opener.

Shows You Things You Shouldn’t Vacuum

The headlights on vacuum cleaners are not always about what you miss, but what you should avoid.

Headlights on a vacuum cleaner will shine on objects that shine back, so you avoid vacuuming them up and potentially damaging your vacuum cleaner.

Things like coins and jewelry will shine when hit with a light.

These are things you should avoid vacuuming up, especially jewelry, as it can damage them and your vacuum cleaner. These objects tend to hide in the carpet fibers, especially high-pile carpets, and sucking them up is not good.

What Should You Buy – Light Or No Light?

It’s not the end of the world if you get a vacuum cleaner without headlights.

But you won’t regret getting a vacuum cleaner with headlights.

The vacuum cleaners with headlights these days have bright LEDs, or some even have a laser that works vastly better than the old school filament bulb ones.

Once you go with headlights on your vacuum cleaner it’s hard to go back.

What Is The Best Vacuum Cleaner With Headlights?

My favorite vacuum cleaner, in general, has headlights, and it’s the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum (Amazon Link Ad).

I’m not the only one who loves this vacuum cleaner; here is an excellent video on it here.

Cleaning In The Dark

Having headlights on your vacuum cleaner is not an excuse to vacuum in the dark.

The headlights on a vacuum cleaner amplify what your home lights miss. However, they’re not a replacement for not having lights on when vacuuming.

Dyson Laser

It’s not common for Dyson vacuum cleaners to have lights, but on a few models, they’re starting to come with a laser light.

You can learn more about the laser system Dyson uses here in this video.

LED vs. Laser vs. Lamp

If you get a vacuum cleaner, you’ll find that there are many headlight options.

The best option will be LED, but the laser is cool and often finds dirt the LED will miss.

The old-school lamp lights are okay and better than nothing, but you can’t beat the brightness and longevity of LED.

The good news is that most vacuum cleaners will have an LED for a headlight these days, so there is no need to worry too much.

How To Replace Bulb

Most vacuum cleaners that use LEDs don’t have an option to replace the LED bulbs and must replace the whole assembly.

For the old-style lamps, you can easily replace the bulb, as this video shows you how.



Hello, I'm Lee from ""! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

2 thoughts on “The Reason Why Vacuum Cleaners Have Headlights”

  1. I use a canister vacuum. Been trying fruitlessly to put a flashlight on the want without using duct tape. It’s difficult to attach a tube-shaped item to a tube. Any ideas?

    • You could try LED Strip Lights, they have a sticky back and will hang onto the vacuum cleaner. You’ll need battery powered ones, and you can cut them to the size you need.


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