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What Do the Lights on Shark Vacuums Mean? [Green, Red, Off]

Written by James Hall |

green light on shark hoover

Shark floorheads have a brush roll indicator light to show you whether the brush is turning correctly. But what do the different lights mean? And how can you fix any errors? Keep reading to find out.

Shark vacuum cleaners are durable and reliable machines. But, like all vacuum cleaners, they may sometimes suffer from errors or other issues.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the most common reasons for the various indicator lights on Shark vacuums. We’re going to focus on the brush roll indicator, but we’ll also discuss what flashing headlights might mean.

Important: Shark produces a wide range of different vacuum cleaners. While the indicator light colours are fairly standard across their range, the meaning and solutions may vary depending on which model you own. Check your manual for specific instructions.

What Do Shark Vacuum Lights Mean?

You should check your vacuum cleaner’s manual to find out what indicator lights mean for your specific model, but for most Shark vacuums the lights indicate:

  • Green light – The brush roll is on and turning correctly.
  • Solid red light – The brush roll is not turning correctly. This is often due to a blockage in the floorhead or tangles around the brush roll.
  • Flashing red light – This usually means that the motor has overheated causing suction to shut off.
  • No light – The brush roll is not turning as the vacuum is switched off. May also indicate an unknown error.

Green Light: The Brush is Working Correctly

When the brush roll is functioning correctly, the indicator light will show a solid green. This means that the vacuum hasn’t detected any issues and that the brush is turning correctly.

Solid Red Light: There is a Blockage

A solid red light usually means that there is a blockage within the floorhead that’s preventing the brush roll from turning freely.

Switch off the vacuum and unplug it from the mains supply. Then tilt the vacuum back and look for a blockage or tangle in the floorhead.

If the vacuum has string or hair tangled around the brush roll, you can usually cut this away with scissors. Larger blockages at the air inlet may require you to remove the baseplate – check your manual for how to do this.

Make sure that the floorhead is properly reassembled before using it, as this can be another source of errors.

Note: A red light may also be caused by a broken vacuum cleaner belt. The belt drives the brush roll, so a broken belt will prevent it from turning. Fortunately, it’s usually straightforward to replace a vacuum belt.

Flashing Red Light: Motor Overheating

Many Shark vacuum cleaners have an automatic shut-off system to protect the motor against overheating. When the vacuum detects overheating, the suction motor will switch off and the brush roll indicator light will flash red.

Here’s how to solve this issue:

  1. Turn off and unplug the vacuum (if you’re using a corded model).
  2. Empty the Shark dust cup. Check all the inlets and outlets for any blockages that might have caused the vacuum to overheat. Clumps of hair are a common culprit!
  3. Check the filters for clogging and clean/replace them if necessary (make sure they are fully dry before putting the filters back inside the vacuum)
  4. Allow the vacuum to cool for around an hour before using it again.

To prevent overheating, avoid overfilling your vacuum cleaner and don’t use it for long periods of time without allowing time for cooling. It’s also important to clean your Shark’s filters at least once per month to avoid clogging.

Tip: Shark vacuums may also switch off on their own if the hose isn’t connected properly. Double check that the hose, wand, and other parts of the vacuum are properly clicked into place.

No Light: No Power or Other Error

A blank indicator light usually just means that the vacuum is switched off. However, it can also indicate an error when the vacuum has power and is switched on.

If this is happening to your vacuum, we recommend emptying the dust cup, cleaning the filters, removing any blockages in the floorhead or brush roll, and checking the entrance and exit to the dust cup for clogs. If this doesn’t solve the issue you may need to contact Shark’s support team.

Flashing Headlights

Shark vacuums often have headlights for illuminating dust and dirt. However, these may flash if there is an issue with the brush roll.

In most cases, flashing headlights are due to the brush roll not being replaced correctly after cleaning. Make sure that both sides of the floorhead lid are correctly locked into position to prevent this error.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes a Shark to Get Blocked?

Blockages can be caused by a variety of factors. Vacuuming large items, overfilling the vacuum, or failing to clean the filters can all lead to blockages.

Vacuuming damp material can also cause clogging, along with being potentially dangerous if water reaches the motor. Never vacuum wet or damp material with a vacuum cleaner that isn’t designed for this type of cleaning.

How Often Should You Clean a Shark Vacuum’s Filters?

Shark recommends cleaning the pre-motor filters around once per month. These filters are subjected to more dirt than the post-motor filters, so they need to be cleaned more regularly.

For more information, take a look at our guide to cleaning Shark vacuum filters.


Shark vacuum cleaners often have a brush roll indicator light. This shows whether the vacuum’s brush roll is functioning correctly or whether there is an error.

A solid green light shows that the vacuum’s brush roll is spinning correctly. In contrast, a solid red light indicates that there is a blockage that’s preventing the brush roll from spinning. A flashing red light also indicates an error, but this is usually related to the vacuum overheating.

Do you have any questions about the indicator lights on a Shark vacuum cleaner? Please let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help.

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