Fixing the Logitech Spotlight

The Logitech Spotlight presentation remote is a sleek piece of hardware. It is comparatively small, fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and the buttons come with a very satisfying, albeit for my taste a tiny bit too loud, click. But most importantly, the brushed aluminium design feels sturdy, high-quality, and elegant. Exactly the piece of gear that you buy because you want a reliable, long-lasting device that does not fail you.

Imagine my irritation, when I pulled out my Spotlight after several months of not using it – and it just didn’t charge anymore. Not with the supplied USB-C cable, not with any USB-C cable. Regardless of which cable and power source I tried, the remote remained silent and also didn’t show the pulsating light at the top that would indicate that the device is being charged.

Now, further imagine my disbelief and bewilderment when a quick online search brought up this tutorial on YouTube of how to “fix” this issue:

Tldw; Because of how the Spotlight is engineered, it will die if you not charge it regularly and there is no way to reset it or bring it back to life in any other way. Even if you plug it in for hours, it won’t come back to life because it doesn’t even have that last little spark of electricity in it that would allow the device to recognize that it is being charged. The only solution presented in the video: soldering two wires to the contacts of the battery and then charging it with an external charger – after forcefully opening (and possibly damaging) the device. What a mess.

But then, one of the comments drew my attention:

“I charged very briefly (1 Minute) by using just 2 AA batteries, that was enough to give it the boost to wake up. Amazing advice, thank you so much!”

That didn’t sound all that bad anymore! Charging it briefly with a few AA batteries? I can try that. So I got to work – and ultimately brought the remote back to life. If you happen to have a Spotlight as well and ever run into the same problem, I hope this helps. Here’s a short guide:

1. Carefully remove the back plate:

Spotlight Back Being Lifted

I used a tool from iFixit they call Jimmy, which has a very thin steel blade, to open the back and lift it up a little bit at the middle of the device. Do this very slowly – the back plate is just glued onto the frame, but it can break, especially at the upper end, where it has a plastic latch. Then, I used opening picks to carefully lift up the back plate all around, ending at the top.

Using Plastic Opening Picks To Remove The Back
Logitech Spotlight With Back Cover Removed

2. Lift up the plastic foil covering the battery contacts.

A Yellow Plastic Foil Is Removed From The Battery Contacts

3. Build a charger

If you’re like me and don’t happen to have something like a (LiPo) battery charger at hand, connect two or three AA batteries in series, e.g. with some tape, so that their contacts are touching each other. Also attach two wires, one on the positive and one on the negative terminal of your “battery pack”.

Two Battteries Connected With Black Tape

4. Engage!

Now, hold the cables to the contacts of the Spotlight’s battery. The hot, positive wire should touch the positive contact (that’s the one with a little red cable connected to it) and the negative wire the other terminal.

Holding Two Cables To The Contacts

I had to try twice but only held the cables onto the contacts for about 30 seconds, which was enough to provide a tiny spark of life. You won’t see or hear anything yet, though. But now …

5. Plug a USB-C cable into the remote

It should reward you with a very satisfying vibration to let you know that it is indeed back from the dead. Also, the pulsating LED at the top should now be back. 🥳

The Spotlight On A Table Charging Again

6. Put the back plate back in place and press it on.

Happy charging – and happy presenting! Oh, and don’t forget to regularly charge this touchy little piece of hardware in the future.


13 Webmentions

Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott Dug out my Spotlight and plugged it in immediately after reading this. Thank you!
Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott Is your Spotlight also a lockdown victim?