Instead of throwing away something, you should try to fix it, because the root cause might be simple to fix.

I recently attended AWS Summit 2019 and VMWare kindly gave away these cool Mini Cinema Lightboxes! They are great decorations for a wedding or dinner party.

Mini Cinema Lightbox

Unfortunately, when I put in the batteries and flipped the switch, the light would not come on. I popped the batteries into another electronic to double check that the batteries were fine. I considered throwing away the lightbox since I got it for free and I thought the LED might be broken. I decided not to because that’s incredibly wasteful and thought it might be something simple. I took at crack at trying to fix it.

The hardest part was opening it up without breaking the plastic. There’s no diagrams available for what’s inside so I was scared if I used too much force, one of the pieces would snap. After some fidgetting, I noticed that the top and bottom bars need to come off by pushing parallel to the lit surface. Opening the Lightbox

After opening up the lightbox, the root cause was obvious: Obvious Issue The wire was not connected to the casing that held the batteries. Maybe at some stage during delivery the box was knocked hard enough for the soldered wire to come loose.

I reconnected the wire to the casing: Fixed

That fixed the issue: Fixed


Lesson learned is that you should not assume a root cause until you’ve done enough investigation. Always try to open your broken device and fix it before throwing it out.