Shark APEX Uplight Review
Avg. rating = 86/100
The APEX Uplight bagless vacuum is another interesting machine from Shark. It is somewhere between an upright and a stick vacuum, but Shark has packed it with technology and features usually only found on their premier uprights. The Uplight has a HEPA filter, a sealed system, LED headlights, DuoClean Technology, Zero-M Technology, and the popular lift away feature. The vacuum even has retractable wheels that pop out when the unit is vertical, allowing it to stand on its own. So, does all this work while packed into such a small vacuum? For the most part yes, but the Uplight is not without issues.
|Best for...||Hard Floors & Carpet|
|Pet Hair Features||Yes|
|Approx. Weight||10.7 lbs|
|HEPA Level Filtration||Yes|
|Power Cord Length||30 ft|
|Motor Driven Brushbar||Yes|
We have the Shark APEX Uplight model LZ601 which is Forest Mist Blue in color. It's a very greenish blue - you can see it in the image to the right.
- Pet Multi-Tool (a two-in-one tool – a stiff bristle brush and an upholstery tool)
- Duster Crevice Tool (a crevice tool with about 10 inches of reach - a soft brush also slides to the end of the tool allowing it to be used on delicate surfaces)
- Manual & Quick Start Guide
|Source||Consumer Rating||# Ratings|
|Amazon||5 stars out of 5||1|
|QVC||5 stars out of 5||1|
|Walmart||4.2 stars out of 5||6|
|Best Buy||4.3 stars out of 5||25|
The following pros and cons are the result of owner comments as well as our own experience with the APEX Uplight.
- Very strong suction
- Can get under low furniture
- Designed for bare floors and carpet
- Long power cord
- Self-cleaning brushroll
- Can stand on its own
- Dual brushrolls
- Converts into handheld
- HEPA filter
- Compact and easy to store
- Small dust canister
- Hard to push on deep pile carpet
- Cannot adjust suction power
- Lift away feature is a bit heavy
- Hose may be short for some folks
- Doesn't maneuver as well as expected
- Brushrolls cannot be turned off
- Odd placement of power switch
You can see more Uplight owner reviews on Amazon.
The vacuum weighs 10.7 lbs. This is lightweight for an upright (example: Shark APEX = 16 lbs) and a bit heavy for a stick vacuum (example: Dyson V11 = 6.7 lbs). The Uplight is also a bit top heavy as the tank and motor are near the top of the vacuum.
We should be clear that the vacuum does move and turn ok on both carpet and bare flooring, but we just expected it to be easier.
We haven’t seen this feature before. It is likely the result of many people commenting that they wish their Shark stick vacuum (like any of the Shark Rockets) could stand its own.
Some folks have reported that they find the lift away pod rather heavy. We weighed it on our scale at 4 lbs 8.7 ounces.
There is a lot going on with this particular cleaner head. It has the following features:
- Zero-M Technology
- DuoClean Technology
- Burshroll active indicator light
- Retractable self-standing wheels
- 9 inch wide cleaning path
One should know that the brushrolls in this cleaner head cannot be turned off. In addition, the vacuum only has one speed so there is no way to slow the brushrolls down. They will run fast even on bare flooring. If you have delicate hardwood or something similar this could be an issue for you.
We’ve got several Shark vacuums with Zero-M Tecnology and they all do a reasonable job at removing hair from the brushroll. The technology essentially utilizes a specialized brushroll that stops hair from wrapping tightly on the brushroll. It also has a comb-like device that combs the hair out of the brushroll (while the brushroll is spinning) and the suction then sends it to the dust canister for disposal.
Below you can see a quick test we preformed. We placed long black human hair and short white pet hair on our low pile carpet and vacuumed the area with the Uplight. After the first run there was a small amount of hair wrap, so we ran the machine for another 30 seconds. The second run reduced the hair wrap but did not eliminate it entirely. Zero-M Technology works while you are vacuuming, so if there is hair wrapped on the brushroll continuing to vacuum will often remove it (or at least help to remove more of it).
This has become a very popular feature and you will find it on quite a few Shark vacuums today. This technology ads a soft rollerbrush to the front of the cleaner head. So the cleaner head has two brushrolls. The additional soft rollerbrush has the ability to pick up larger debris easier and it also does a great job on bare floors (continues to spin on hard flooring and helps remove stuck-on dust/debris).
We ran the vacuum over small, medium and large debris on our low pile carpet and pickup was very good. We were impressed. The debris consisted of powdered cheerios, flax seeds, chili flakes, split green peas, and fruit loops. See video below:
The APEX Uplight also has something that Shark calls “Anti-Allergen Complete Seal”. This means the vacuum body is sealed and no unfiltered air escapes. Essentially all the air entering the vacuum gets filtered before being exhausted from the machine. This is a very important feature if you want quality air filtration. Units without this may not produce clean air despite having high quality filters (unfiltered air can sometimes escape from cracks and/or poor seals in the vacuum).
The dust canister is easy to remove and easy to empty. It is a bit on the small side however and it only has a capacity of 0.68 quarts. We recently reviewed the Shark Pet Pro upright which has a dust canister capacity of 2.8 quarts. The Pet Pro is a full size upright however, so one would expect it to have a larger canister, but it does serve to show the substantial differences in volume and highlights that the Uplight will have to be emptied much more frequently than a machine like the Pet Pro.
The Uplight carries a 5-year limited manufacturer's warranty, and it is also a UL listed product.
If we had to sum up the APEX Uplight quickly it would be something along the lines of the following:
PET HAIR PICKUP = 7/10 - better than units without Zero-M but not perfect.
VERSATILITY = 9/10 - the vacuum has many, many features, especially for such a small machine.
EASE OF USE = 6/10 - everything works but usability is average and can sometimes be frustrating.
The manual is quite short, but it does cover safety instructions, assembly, different cleaning modes, using the lift away pod, accessories, emptying the dust canister, cleaning the filters, maintaining the cleaner head, other maintenance issues, troubleshooting, and info on the 5-year warranty. The manual is only in English and you can see a copy of it here: Shark APEX Uplight manual