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Lumie Zip Battery Replacement

A long time ago about 2009, I purchased a portable SAD Light to help with my late Wife’s Seasonal Affective Disorder. It was called the Lumie Zip: https://web.archive.org/web/20090925110232/http://www.lumie.com/shop/products/zip

We have a large light box for home use which helps, though the portable one was handy for travel, courses, working away or even at the desk at work during the winter months.

Whatever your thoughts, these lamps provided some benefit for those suffering from SAD.

Although like most stuff, they’ll eventually fail. In the case of the Lumie Zip the inbuilt rechargeable battery was no longer holding a charge upon reaching the useful life of the battery.

After contacting Lumie, they informed me the unit wasn’t user serviceable and don’t offer a repair service since it’s old tech.

That’s frustrating, because other than the battery, everything else was working, the LEDs functioned and at £125 for an LED Lightbox was expensive to just throw into recycling.

The Lumie Zip has sat in my drawer for a few years now, when I thought, sod it… Took a screwdriver to the unit and discovered the battery is a 2200mah 3.7v 18650 Li-Ion battery.

All it needed was an 18650 Battery with JST Connector (about £10) which are readily available from places like Pimorini. https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/lithium-ion-battery-pack?variant=23417820359

You may need a plastic spudger to open the case once the four screws have been removed from the back. Check the orientation of the Red and Black wires on the JST connector and it really is as simple as unplug the discharged battery and connect the replacement.

Put the case back together, and leave for a full charge which can take up to around two hours, and et-voila a fully working Lumie Zip.

This is a simple fix and took all of five minutes to complete. It’s saddening that corporations are creating unnecessary digital waste for the sake of a rechargeable battery. I’m sure a service charge of £20/£30 would satisfy most users, prolonging the life of such a useful light, especially at the retail price they charged for such a unit.

It’s clearly a poor design decision not to have a user removable battery, given the prevalence of 18650 Batteries in various form factors.

Although a little late, the Right to Repair law comes into play this summer 2021 which may encourage big business to return to a model that allows replacement consumables and simple repairs.

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