It’s not uncommon for keyboards to have backlighting. Whether it’s an built-in keyboard or an externally connected keyboard, it may be designed backlighting for illumination purposes. Backlighting will illuminate the keys from underneath so that they are easier to see and use. Unless you’re familiar with the technology, though, you might be wondering how backlighting works in keyboards.

What Is Keyboard Backlighting?

Keyboard backlighting consists of a lighting system that’s designed to illuminate the individual keys on a keyboard. Most keyboards feature solid-colored keys. When used in a dark or otherwise dim environment, you may struggle to read the legends on these keys. Backlighting offers a solution. It will illuminate the keys from underneath, thereby allowing you to read the keys in dark or dim environments.

Backlighting for keyboards uses a simple method of operation. They are designed with a lighting system underneath the keys. Consisting of multiple bulbs, this lighting system projects light upwards. Some backlit keyboards have transparent key legends, meaning the light will travel through the key legs. Other backlit keyboards simply project light around their respective keys. Regardless, backlit keyboards provide illumination that makes the keys easier to see.

Benefits of Keyboard Backlighting

Why should you choose a backlit keyboard over a traditional keyboard? The main benefit of backlighting for keyboards is improved visibility. It’s nearly impossible to use a keyboard in dark environments. If you can’t read the key legends, you won’t be able to type the correct keys. With backlighting, however, you’ll have a light source at all times. Even in dark environments, the backlighting will illuminate the keys.

Many people prefer backlit keyboards over traditional keyboards simply because they are more aesthetically pleasing. You can find backlit keyboards in different light colors. Some of them produce red-colored light, whereas others produce blue- or green-colored light. There are even backlit keyboards that produce multi-colored light. In other words, the color of the light changes periodically.

The Different Types of Keyboard Backlighting

The most common type of keyboard backlighting is light-emitting diode (LED). LED backlighting involves the use of many small LED bulbs. The LED bulbs are embedded behind the keys where they illuminate them from underneath. When used for keyboards, LED backlighting is long-lasting and energy efficient.

While LED is the most common type of backlighting for keyboards, it’s not the only type. There are several other types of keyboard backlighting. Electroluminescent (EL) is another backlighting technology that’s commonly used in keyboards. It requires more energy than LED backlighting, but it’s still used in many keyboards nonetheless.