Can Robot Vacuums Work In The Dark?


deebot robot vacuum is scanning the area in the dark

For busy individuals, especially working parents, finding time to clean the house during the day can be a real challenge. The good news is, with advancements in technology, smart vacuums can now quietly work in the dark. Users can easily set cleaning schedules or control the robot remotely, taking one less task out of their busy schedule.

Wonder how robotic vacuum cleaners work in the dark? Here, we will look into their navigation methods, and certain features that are important for a smooth operation in low-light conditions.

How Robot Vacuums Work In The Dark


Auto vacuums are considered  self-driving motors indoors. There are 3 parts that make them work in the dark. Starting with perception, smart vacuums receive surrounding information with their sensors and cameras. After that, the information will be sent to its “brain” to analyse, create a virtual map, combine any cleaning instructions and identify a cleaning route.   Therefore, most robotic vacuum cleaners that incorporated infrared sensors or similar can usually function in the dark.

Having said so, some models work better than others in low light environments, thanks to the use of advanced technology. Top-tier models like DEEBOT combine LiDAR with an industry-leading DToF laser sensor,  the same components used in self-driving cars. DToF laser sensor works well in low light environment since it relies on self-emitted light pulses, rather than ambient light. When encounter highly reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, glass or smooth metals, they can cause scattering of lights or generate misleading return signals, affecting the accuracy of distance measurement. Robotic vacuum cleaners typically employ multiple sensors like bumpers, drop sensors and ultrasonic, together with algorithms to address these issues to enhance navigation and mapping performance.

Best DEEBOT Robot Vacuums That Work In The Dark


Advanced DEEBOT like X1 Family uses its self-developed TrueMapping 2.0 Technology to navigate and map, while the AIVI 3D technology are utilized to detect and dodge obstacles simultaneously. AIVI 3D technology also includes HDR dynamic range imaging technology and can accurately capture environmental images and semantic information in a dark environment. Powered by these technologies, they can plan cleaning paths based on the condition of your floors and recognize dust, hair, and debris precisely while avoiding edges, furniture, and walls.

By pairing the technology with advanced components such as dToF laser sensors and LiDAR, DEEBOT can operate and navigate in low-light conditions. As an upgrade from laser scanning, the dToF laser uses an amplifier to enhance the signals, doubling the scanning range. This technology enables robotic vacuum cleaners to recognize obstacles down to 2mm, significantly improving mapping accuracy.

The collected data will then generate a virtual 3D map on the ECOVAS HOME mobile app, which users can access to control and monitor their DEEBOT in real-time. Moreover, it is noted that a smart vacuum and mop combo can further enhance the hands-free cleaning experience. Here are the top three DEEBOT robotic vacuum cleaners that perform well in the dark.


DEEBOT x1 omni white robot vacuum navigating

The DEEBOT X1 OMNI is a flagship model within the DEEBOT family. Designed by JACOB JENSEN DESIGN, it features AIVI 3D, which utilizes AI computing power and an astrophotography-grade RGB camera with autopilot technology to enhance obstacle avoidance and human recognition capabilities. Its optimal TrueMapping 2.0 technology also allows the robot floor cleaner to create and save a map of your home.

The powerful 5000Pa2 suction power and OZMO Turbo 2.0 Rotating Mopping System allow this model to sweep, suction, and mop for a deep and efficient clean. It is paired with the All-in-one OMNI Station, which automatically cleans and dries the mopping heads, empties the large 3L dustbins, and refills the water tank, reducing the need for frequent disassembling and washing.


deebot robot vacuum t20 omni is self-cleaning around the kitchen area

The DEEBOT T20 OMNI is the new addition to the DEEBOT series. Using ultrasonic sound, it recognizes carpets and the Auto-lift Mopping System lifts the mopping plates when a carpet is detected. It is also the first model that washes the mop in 55℃ hot water, effectively dissolves stubborn stains, removes odours, and keeps it fresh for future cleans.

Powered by OZMO™ Turbo 2.0 Rotating Mopping system with massive 6000Pa1 suction power, DEEBOT T20 OMNI can effectively deep clean and remove stubborn stains on the floor. The All-in-one OMNI Station also empties the dustbin, cleans and dries the mopping pads automatically, making it a truly hands-free experience even in the dark.


DEEBOT n10 plus robot vacuum cleaning

The DEEBOT N10 Plus is another vacuum and mop combo in the DEEBOT series. The 4300Pa3 suction power and the OZMO™ mopping system allow it to effectively removes dirt and dust stuck between floor crevices and in carpets while mopping without over-wetting the floors. The fan motor design uses glass fiber material to optimize energy efficiency and durability while keeping the volume down, making it ideal for night use.

It comes with an auto-empty station that holds a 2.5L ECOVACS DEEBOT Antibacterial Dust Bag* , while the E11 filter ensures a 99.99%4 antibacterial rate with two antibacterial agents. When activated carbon is added, the filter can absorb the unpleasant smells produced by normal household waste.

*ECOVACS DEEBOT Antibacterial Dust Bag is a treated article.
ECOVACS DEEBOT Antibacterial Dust Bag contains active substances Silver nitrate(CAS No.:7761-88-8, EC NO.:231-853-9).

Factors Affecting Robot Vacuum Performance In Low Light

deebot robot vacuum is charging at the docking station after cleaning routine

Navigation Sensors:

Most robotic vacuum cleaners with laser-based and infrared detection sensors are able to ‘see’in the dark. That being said, robotic vacuum cleaners with optical sensors, which require a certain amount of light to operate, may have trouble identifying objects and may zigzag or fall over stairs in low light conditions.

Obstacle Detection Sensors:

Robot floor cleaners that use infrared sensors may have difficulty detecting obstacle in low light environment in comparison to well-lit condition, and may bump into furniture and walls. Models with older cliff sensors may also have issues differentiating dark surfaces as an edge, and will not clean over it.

Debris Detection Sensors:

Smart vacuum cleaners use sensors to detect dust and debris. Models with optical sensors may not work well in low light conditions and will not pick up small debris. It is important to always keep the sensors clean for optimal performance.

Surface Reflectivity:

Some automatic vacuum cleaners do not work well on reflective surfaces and shiny objects like glass and mirrors. For example, they may take a glass coffee table as an obstacle-free zone and run into it, causing damage to the table and the automatic vacuum. The glare and reflections will cause confusion with the robot vacuum’s sensors.

Battery Life:

Since it is harder for the self-cleaning vacuums to work in low light, it may need to use more power to work, thus draining the battery faster. Yet, smart vacuums can be more energy efficient than upright vacuums.


Another concern when using an auto vacuum in the dark is the noise. The last thing you want is to be disturbed by a noisy robotic vacuum cleaner during your sleep. Check if the robot floor cleaner has a quiet operation, especially if you live in an apartment where the noise may easily be heard through thin walls. It is also noteworthy to avoid smart vacuum cleaners that use a bumper sensor, as it may create noise when bumping into walls, edges and furniture.


Do robot vacuum need light to work?

Most robotic vacuum cleaners with infrared sensors do not require light to work, however, some models may perform better under well-lit conditions.

Can DEEBOTS work on dark floors?

Yes, DEEBOTS work well on dark floors, thanks to their TrueMapping technology and advanced components such as dToF laser sensors and LiDAR.

How do robot vacuums work in the dark?

Robotic vacuum cleaners use different sensors to navigate, detect obstacles and recognize cliff in low light environments. For example, DEEBOTS combines their TrueMapping technology with dToF laser sensors and LiDAR, allowing them to navigate and recognize obstacle and debris without light.


  1. 6,000Pa: This data comes from ECOVACS laboratory. The suction power of DEEBOT T20 OMNI can reach 6,000Pa.
  2. 5,000Pa: The data is based on testing from the ECOVACS laboratory. The suction power of DEEBOT T10 OMNI, DEEBOT X1 OMNI, DEEBOT X1 TURBO and DEEBOT X1 PLUS can reach 5,000Pa.
  3. 4,300Pa: This data comes from ECOVACS laboratory. The suction power of DEEBOT N10 and DEEBOT N10 PLUS can reach 4,300Pa.
  4. 99% antibacterial effect on common bacteria (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus). Test data from a third-party authoritative laboratory.

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