Roomba Red Light: meaning and solution

roomba red light
A Roomba with a light ring that shines red light. ©
In short: a Roomba with a red light indicates a problem. By clicking the CLEAN button, you will hear an error code. This error code indicates exactly what is going on. In many cases, the Roomba has a low battery level, needs to be emptied or there is a blockage. In the worst case, the battery must be replaced.

Consumer robot manufacturer iRobot has equipped its Roomba robot vacuum cleaners with a striking light ring on top of the robot vacuum cleaner. Smart, because that way you can immediately see that something is wrong with the vacuum cleaner. The robot vacuum cleaner often switches itself off automatically to prevent damage.

The light ring can shine in different colors. A Roomba with a red light is a common situation. With a red light, the robot vacuum cleaner indicates that there is a problem.

Why is my Roomba's light ring glowing red?

Let's start with the question of why the light ring glows red. Before I can answer this question, it is good to know that the light can light up in different ways. For example, the Roomba light ring can blink (flashing red light) or it can stay lit (solid red light).

The Roomba light ring can blink (flashing red light) or can stay lit (solid red light).

The Roomba light ring can blink (flashing red light) or can stay lit (solid red light)….

Light effectEffect descriptionCause
roomba red light effect 1Red light stays on (solid)A problem. Click at the CLEAN button for the error code.
roomba red light effect 2Red light flashesBattery too low to start
roomba red light effect 4Red light rotates clockwiseLow battery level (below 15%)
roomba red light effect 5Red light waves downDust container is full

Let's quickly see what we can do to fix the problem behind red light.

Roomba red light stays on (solid)

It is very important to press the CLEAN button on a Roomba with a red light that stays on as you will also hear an error code. This error code can help you identify the problem. I have made a complete list of all Roomba error codes.

The problem in many cases has to do with poor maintenance of the robot vacuum cleaner. Regular cleaning of the robot vacuum is necessary. This often goes further than just emptying the dust container. I've written a complete guide to cleaning a Roomba here.

cleaning irobot roomba i3 evo
Cleaning a Roomba goes beyond just emptying the dust container. ©

Roomba red light blinks or spins

When the Roomba's light ring flashes red, the battery level is too low. It is important to charge the iRobot Roomba right away. It is in any case advisable to charge the Roomba after every cleaning: this even has a positive effect on the Roomba battery life.

Even when a Roomba's red light is spinning, there is a problem with the battery level. A light ring spinning clockwise means the battery level is below 15%.

The Roomba does not charge or has a low battery level more and more often? Then check whether the contact points of the robot vacuum cleaner and of the charging station are clean enough.

Red light ring waves down

Finally, the red light ring can also wave downwards. In that case, the dust container is too full. Empty the dust container immediately and also check whether the filter at the dust container is still clean.

Tip: check ‘Robot Health' via the iRobot app

What many do not know is that the iRobot app indicates when specific parts need maintenance. You will also find a button with ‘Robot Health' under information about your robot vacuum cleaner. This indicates exactly how many hours the efficient filter and brushes will last and when they need to be replaced. By keeping a close eye on this, you can prevent a red light in the future and significantly extend the life of the robot vacuum cleaner.

Robbert Tigchelaar
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar has made testing vacuum cleaners his life's work. He has dedicated himself to conducting fully independent and valuable tests of vacuum cleaners to provide consumers with honest advice. His expertise in vacuum cleaners has been highlighted in The Washington Post and the Daily Express.

  1. I have a Roomba Red Light and it’s been giving me problems lately. I read your blog post and it seems like my Roomba may have a problem with the power cord. I followed your instructions and it seems to have

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