Think backlighting isn’t worth the added cost? Think again. When ordering a keypad, you may want to choose backlighting for the following reasons.

#1) Improved Visibility

Backlighting will improve the keypad’s visibility. You’ll have an easier time seeing the keypad at night and in low-light conditions if it features backlighting. There are different types of backlighting, but they will all illuminate the keypad from behind. Most backlighting systems consist of bulbs or diodes that, during use, generate light. You can rest assured knowing that the keypad will be easy to see if it features backlighting.

#2) Enhanced Aesthetics

There’s no denying the fact that backlit-keypads are aesthetically pleasing. Some of them, in fact, produce colored light. Rather than producing white light, a backlit-keypad may produce blue, green or red light. Colored light offers a uniquely stylish appearance that many users prefer.

#3) Conserves Space

Backlighting doesn’t take up a lot of space in keypads. Some backlighting systems are designed to conserve space. Edge-lit light-emitting diode (LED), for instance, is a space-saving backlighting technology. It consists of side-firing LEDs. The LEDs are placed along the perimeter of the keypad where they project light inward.

#4) Fewer Input Errors

Another reason to consider backlighting when ordering a keypad is fewer input errors. Input errors can occur with all keypads. Maybe you accidentally press the wrong button, or perhaps you press the same button two or three times. Input errors such as these may be attributed to poor visibility. If you struggle to see a keypad, you may press the wrong key. Backlighting will improve the keypad’s visibility, however, so that input errors are less likely to occur.

Types of Backlighting for Keypads

With backlighting, keypads benefit from improved visibility, enhanced aesthetics, space conservation and fewer input errors. There are different types of backlighting for keypads, though.

One of the most common types of backlighting for keypads is electroluminescent (EL). EL backlighting consists of phosphor compounds that, when exposed to an electrical current, generate light.

Some keypads use LED backlighting. LED backlighting consists of small semiconductor-based diodes. As electricity travels through the diodes, they will release photons, which are essentially light particles.

Light guides are commonly used in conjunction with EL and LED backlighting. Also known as light guide foils, they are thin sheets of a light-propagating material. Light guides will take the light generated by the EL or LED backlighting system and distribute it throughout the keypad’s interface