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Does Roomba i7, i3 and 960 Need Light to Clean?

Last Updated Mar 14, 2022
White Roomba i7 vacuum on dark wood floors

You have made up your mind to buy a robot vacuum from Roomba i7, i3, and 960, which are most probably among the bestselling models in the market today. However, you might be wondering how much each of these requires light to perform the cleaning job accurately. 

The Roomba i7 and 960 need some light for their various sensors and cameras to see. The i3 does not require light and solely relies on the sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles. However, its mapping system is also different from the other two models, which affects the outcomes. 

Continue reading this post to learn more about how these models work and whether or not you should get the one that needs light to clean. 

How Much Light Does Roomba i7 Need?

As a whole, Roomba i7 can clean in low-light areas. However, its cameras and sensors may require some light to see perfectly. With Imprint Smart Map, it creates a map and follows them to clean efficiently and more smartly. 

If you want to buy a robot vacuum that offers more flexibility, never compromise over its self-mapping capability. 

Watch here a detailed video about i7’s unboxing, setup, and review.

Can a Robot Vacuum Work in the Dark?

Some of the older versions of robot vacuum can clean in the dark because of the following technologies and sensors: 

  • Infrared and Radio Frequency technologies to detect various things 
  • Advanced Floor Tracking sensors to vacuum carpet and hardwood
  • Reactive Sensor technology to determine accessibility under furniture 

Because of no camera, you can run these robots in the darker areas of your home without any trouble. However, buying such a model, like Roomba i3, will be a wise decision solely if you do not need the imprint smart map technology.  

What Is an Imprint Smart Map?

Three levels of wooden stairs

Imprint Smart Map ensures that the robot vacuum can:

  • Create a complete map within two runs.
  • Save the map in the cloud instead of built-in memory. 
  • Remember various portions of the house.
  • Clean a specific area without visiting unwanted zones. 
  • Customize the map according to cleaning requirements. 

Hence, it will open up new ways to clean the home according to your lifestyle. Remember that the i7 or above models feature this technology, so do not expect it in i3 or 960 models.  

After learning how much light these robot vacuums require, let us discuss why you should get the i7.   

Is the Roomba i7 Worth the Money? 

Roomba i7 works better than most of the other models available on the current market. It learns layouts of the home quickly and perfectly clean areas with many obstacles or challenging surfaces. Moreover, its mapping technology provides complete control over the cleaning process. 

Undoubtedly, the Smart Mapping enhances the cleaning efficacy of a robot vacuum according to the unique structure of your home. Hence, Roomba i7 will allow you to select specific areas whenever needed. Moreover, you can keep it safe from being stuck into wires by creating “keep-out zones” on the map. 

It comes at a high price but includes some features to justify its cost. 

Powerful Performance and Pick-Up

Roomba i7 can pull in stubborn messes and dirt with its premium three-stage cleaning system. The manufacturer also claims it features up to ten times more suction power than the older series. Hence, it tackles all cleaning tasks without requiring any human intervention. Moreover, Roomba Replenishment Kit also comes at an affordable price.  

Creates Personal Maps

It learns the layouts of all portions and builds a map with the VSLAM navigation. Due to this feature, Roomba i7 cleans areas perfectly by moving in the most accurate rows. When its battery runs low, it returns to recharge itself and then resumes the job where it has left off. 

Cleans Messes in a Few Moments

This robot vacuum cleans the messes around the home within a few minutes. With a request via the iRobot Home App or voice assistant will launch it to clean the area. If you want clean crumbs in your kitchen, for instance, simply saying “Robot, clean the kitchen” will be sufficient. It will go there without cleaning any other areas and execute the job rapidly. 

Provides Full Control

After creating a map, i7 will not forget the bedrooms, kitchen, and other areas of your home. Therefore, you can assign a specific cleaning task whenever and wherever required. With map customization, you can tell the robot about the sensitive regions in your home, like play areas, pet bowls, etc. 

Suggests Personalized Schedules

This robot vacuum will learn when and where you clean often. Later on, it will allow you to create personalized schedules and keep your home always tidy. Moreover, you will also get suggestions for extra cleanings during the pet shedding or allergy season. 


Several features of Roomba 960 and i3 make them the best models for people living in small apartments. However, i7 is the one that makes the cleaning process convenient by creating a map. You can get any one of these that suits your budget and cleaning needs.
If you would like to learn more about Roombas, take a look at this article.