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HQ Sweet Sixteen light ring

edited April 2013 in Ask An HQ Expert
I've now had four or five light rings fail on my Sweet Sixteen. At my most recent service (March 2013), my dealer replaced the connector piece and/or the wiring too on the advice of HQ, but only a few hours into using my machine again, yet another light ring has started flickering/strobing. She said if this one went, then she was stumped and something might have to be done to 'a board'. She's currently away so I can't call her. If I have to return my machine to her, it's another 3- to 4-hour round trip (the freight is WAY more expensive than the fuel to get to/from her dealership in the city).

This small part has cost me a lot of time and money -- in trips to/from Perth, in postage, in frustration at not being able to use my machine as intended, in time taken to swap out a light ring either by her or by me.

I love my machine and my dealer provides awesome support and service, but I'm thwarted at every turn by this darned light ring. I'm also not alone. Several members on the informal Yahoo! Group for the HQ_Sit_down_Model have reported light rings that have failed, but I'm the only one in that group who's had more than a couple fail.

What do I do next? Please don't suggest that I call HQ headquarters as I live in Western Australia and the time zones don't match.

If there was a faulty batch, has HQ changed their supplier of these light rings? If so, how do I get one of the newer ones?


  • Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one, my dealer told me I was the only person he sold a machine to that had problems with the light. I started having problems as soon as I bought the machine, they flickered and went off, they changed it, then did something on the board thingy, using the parts from the display one is the shop! After a week or so it started doing it again so I just put up with it then bulbs blew again (6) and I just put up with extremly poor lighting, used a OTT lite. Handiquilter had a stand at AQC in melb and I asked them about lights and they said that they had re-sourced a supplier as original lights had, been problematic. THAT's for sure my girlfriend has a new machine and it is much brighter lights, they said new lights are brighter and slightly different shape.Was advised that lights should be replaced under warranty as they had been faulty from start and told to contact dealer, which I did, they ordered new lights and charged me $137 for them, was told by Handq I could install myself, dealer told me I would not be able to. I am busy trying to finish a quilt for a show and cannot affort time to drive 1 hour and leave machine for repairs etc, machine just serviced but they claimed not to have noticed any flickering but it drives me crazy. My machine is about 1half years old how old is yours, new machines lights much better!! good luck.Pamela
  • Oh yeah, you know if things are faulty they are recalled and repaired, would have been nice to have been notified and had lights replaced if they knew that they were an issue!
  • My Sweet Sixteen is just on two years old. I wrote some instructions for changing the (old) light ring here: I got permission from my dealer (who got the OK from HQ) to do so, and have since replaced at least two myself as it's a day's trip to take the machine to the dealer, and if I have to leave it, it's another day's trip to get it again.
  • Does anyone from HQ actually answer questions here? I asked this question over the weekend, and already two full business days have gone by with no response from HQ.
  • RhondaB,

    My apologies for the delay in answering your question here. Our educators answer these posts on this forum, but I had offered to respond to you and the delay is entirely my fault.

    You are correct that we experienced a problem with some of the original light rings on the HQ Sweet Sixteen, and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused some of our owners. Unfortunately, that instability didn't show up in our initial testing. In the beginning, we thought we had an occasional problem, but the failure rate of this ring became a concern for us as we heard from more of our owners. Please know that many owners haven't had a problem, but ANY failure is too much as far as we are concerned, so we took steps to correct this.

    We have changed suppliers and we are very happy with the current light ring and are happy to provide you with a replacement. Please contact the retailer from whom you purchased your HQ Sweet Sixteen. Some owners do the replacement themselves, while others prefer to bring their machine to the technician to do it. There is no charge for the light ring, but it should be ordered via your local retailer.

    Best regards,
    Brenda Groelz
    Director of Marketing & Education
    Handi Quilter, Inc.
  • Thanks for getting back to me, Brenda. And for acknowledging that there's been a problem with SOME of the original light rings.

    I have been in contact with my dealer (the awesome Michelle!), and will be getting my replacement shortly.
  • I now have my replacement light ring (new design/supplier), and so far it's working well. Also, on the advice of my dealer, I've added a surge protector to the power outlet just in case fluctuating power may have contributed to my issues. There's no evidence that's the case, but it won't hurt to have it on.
  • Hi Brenda, I spoke to the girls at the Handiquilter stand at the AQS show in Melbourne Australia and they told me that the shop that I purchased my machine from should replace my light under warranty especially as I had it repaired within 2 days of purchase and had problems with it ever since. I was advised to contact my dealer and explain this, which I did, was told that they were having "Handiquilter training' during the week and it would be discussed". They got back to me alright when the new light was in stock and informed me that it was not covered under warranty and that I would have to pay $137 for it. Now the lighting is absolutely abysmal with the old light as so many bulbs have blown and others constantly flicker that I have no option but to pay. I told the technician that I was not impressed with this as the machine had been faulty since purchase but he did not care in the slightest.
  • Pamela,
    I have asked for help from our global sales department. You should hear from someone soon.

    Best regards,
    Brenda Groelz
    Director of Marketing & Education
    Handi Quilter, Inc.
  • Hi Brenda, I purchased my Sweet Sixteen in January 2012. My HQ rep is about to replace my faulty Sweet Sixteen light ring. He ordered it back in August 2012 when all the lights on my machine went out. A few days later they came back on intermittently and because my rep is 1 ½ hours away and I use my machine professionally everyday, I elected to just live with the flickering lights. For some time now four lights have been completely out and the ring must be replaced. Could you tell me if a light ring ordered back in August 2012, would be from the new supplier? I would hate to waste my reps time installing a new but still faulty light ring. Thank you.
  • Ann, you are very astute! I would ask the Rep to order a NEW replacement light ring, which was redesigned and features a different style of LEDs that aren't susceptible to outages. In fact, we've had no failures since we switched to the new light rings. BTW, this is within warranty, so there should be no cost, (at least in the U.S., I can't speak for all of our distributors internationally). If you rep still has the ring he ordered in August, 2012, it is likely to be one of the original light rings.
  • Brenda, I just received an email from my Rep and he has ordered another replacement. Thank you!
  • Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. (Sorry it took me so long to notice.)
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