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  1. #1
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    Blackburn Flea front light

    Anyone use one of these? I got the USB rechargeable one for Xmas last year. It pretty much sat unused since then, until last weekend when we woke up to some dense fog and I wanted to throw it on the bike just so I could be seen a bit better by cars coming at me. Well, as you could probably guess...it was dead, surely from sitting unused for the past 5 months. So I plug the USB attachment into my Mac, attach the Flea (it attaches with tiny magnets) and I see the lights flashing, which indicates that it is charging. Later that day, I unplug it from my computer, hit the button to turn it on, and...nothing! It's like it never even charged, even though I saw the lights flashing that would indicate that it was charging. I'm stumped. So now I have a brand new, never used Flea light that I cannot get to charge. I would return it, but I'm sure the receipt is long gone by now. Any ideas???

  2. #2
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Bad charge? Mine has been working for over a year..it does cut out randomly

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    Anyone use one of these? I got the USB rechargeable one for Xmas last year. It pretty much sat unused since then, until last weekend when we woke up to some dense fog and I wanted to throw it on the bike just so I could be seen a bit better by cars coming at me. Well, as you could probably guess...it was dead, surely from sitting unused for the past 5 months. So I plug the USB attachment into my Mac, attach the Flea (it attaches with tiny magnets) and I see the lights flashing, which indicates that it is charging. Later that day, I unplug it from my computer, hit the button to turn it on, and...nothing! It's like it never even charged, even though I saw the lights flashing that would indicate that it was charging. I'm stumped. So now I have a brand new, never used Flea light that I cannot get to charge. I would return it, but I'm sure the receipt is long gone by now. Any ideas???
    IIRC you have to hold the button down for a while the first time you use it.

  4. #4
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    IIRC you have to hold the button down for a while the first time you use it.
    Yup.

  5. #5
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    You have to turn it on then hold the button until it shuts off. Do not let go of the button when turning ot on - this turns off demo mode.

    Dim flashing lights mean it is charging. Bright flashing lights mean full charge.

    Other than that contact Blackburn. Those things supposedly have a "lifetime" warranty.
    My ride - a 2008 Giant OCR C2

  6. #6
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    This wasn't the first time that I turned it on...so it was already off demo mode. It just basically sat for 5 months unused, so when I finally went to use it, it was dead. What I think happened is, I left it charging on my computer almost the whole day (I simply forgot about it..doh!)...so I'm pretty sure I killed the LED's by doing so (it states that in the instruction manual). I could not find any information on replacing the LED's, so I'm fairly certain that it is toast. I'm planning on replacing it with a Knog light - at least I can't overcharge that one, since it runs on 2 AAA's batteries.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Did you try holding the button down anyway? Maybe the battery was extremely low and it reverted back to demo mode.

  8. #8
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Why not telephone blackburn?

  9. #9
    ozi
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    Warranty is a joke!

    I encountered the same problem both the front and rear lights and contacted them since there was a lifetime warranty.

    I inquired in October 2012 and have been told that they were out of stock and order would come in 12/07/2012. It was late but I said ok and returned the defective lights. Today, December 13th, I sent a follow up email to see the status and I have been told that the the product won't be in until January 7th 2013. i wonder what they are going to say in January when I ask for the status. February 7th, March 7th?

    Anyway, this is my experience with the return/exchange with Blackburn Design (not Amazon). Even though, I like the look of the product, I won't buy it again or recommend it. There are many competitive products out there, most likely better quality and hopefully with a better customer service.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozi View Post
    I encountered the same problem both the front and rear lights and contacted them since there was a lifetime warranty.

    I inquired in October 2012 and have been told that they were out of stock and order would come in 12/07/2012. It was late but I said ok and returned the defective lights. Today, December 13th, I sent a follow up email to see the status and I have been told that the the product won't be in until January 7th 2013. i wonder what they are going to say in January when I ask for the status. February 7th, March 7th?

    Anyway, this is my experience with the return/exchange with Blackburn Design (not Amazon). Even though, I like the look of the product, I won't buy it again or recommend it. There are many competitive products out there, most likely better quality and hopefully with a better customer service.
    I have had two Blackburn Flea rear lights fail after only a few weeks of service. I returned the first one, and the second promptly failed in exactly the same way - it would turn off without me pressing the switch. I was curious, and I am an electrical engineer, so I decided to sacrifice the $30.00 and open the light ( you can't open it without destroying the shell ). I found out that the battery hangs from a tiny solder joint which breaks, causing the battery to lose it's connection to the circuitry. The breakage appears to be from repeated impacts as your bike goes over bumps, causing the weak solder connection to fatigue and fracture. If you tap on the light, the battery may temporarily make contact through the broken solder joint, causing the light to work again, only to fail again after you hit another bump. In my opinion this is a major design defect in the Blackburn Flea. The front light appears to be less prone to this failure since the battery is sitting on the solder connection rather than hanging from it.

  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Bad charge? Mine has been working for over a year..it does cut out randomly
    The re-chargeable battery may need replacing. I have seen other rechargeable electronics behave the same way.

  12. #12
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    The re-chargeable battery may need replacing. I have seen other rechargeable electronics behave the same way.
    Unless the manufacturer has updated the design recently, the battery cannot be replaced. On my Fleas ( 2 rear red lights, 2 front white ) you can't open the shell to access the battery without cutting it apart, which effectively destroys it. This is another feature of this particular light that I find undesirable.

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