Buying a new laptop isn’t an easy task. You have to worry about what specs you’re looking for, what brand name is the best value, and how much you’re willing to spend on it all. And once it’s all said and done, you may realize that you’ve forgotten to buy a laptop with a keyboard backlight!
Backlit keyboards add a sense of style and grandeur that you can’t get anywhere else, while also providing some cool functionality for your laptop. And if your laptop keyboard isn’t installed with LED lights then don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to add dynamic lighting to your keyboard or transform your keyboard interface.
We’ll be covering how you can turn your PC, 2-in-1 laptop, or whatever device you may have into one with backlit keyboards. If you’re at home and comfortable, sit back and read through our guide!
What Is A Backlit Keyboard?
Backlit keyboards are an extremely trendy addition to any laptop or PC. They function the same as a normal keyboard, except backlit keyboards have zoned backlighting or LED lights. This means that the spaces between your keys are lit up with RGB lighting, and the keycaps have parts that are translucent to allow for the light to shine through.
You can create an aesthetic atmosphere if you plan on playing in dark rooms if you have a new laptop with backlit keyboards. This can upgrade your setup if you’re using your laptop for gaming or planning on working with lots of data.
We recommend you choose zoned backlighting for your backlit keyboard. Not only will you receive more colors to play around with, but the visual segmentation of your keys and colors will also break up any monotony. Keep in mind that your computer model may not come with this feature, so keep an eye out!
Why Would You Need A BackLit Keyboard?
Backlit keyboards are becoming a necessary addition to any work or gaming setup, and it’s natural to ask why you would even need to own a backlit keyboard. Let’s break down some of the top perks of owning a backlit keyboard.
Design combines functionality and aesthetics, and if you own a keyboard with a backlit then you’re familiar with the latter. Backlit keyboards come well-designed, with the ability to change the colors of the keys. You can even opt to go full RGB and have your keyboard cycle through colors!
Usable in The Dark
This one is obvious but an underrated feature of a backlit keyboard. You won’t believe how helpful it is to be able to type freely in the dark without needing an external light source. Whether you’re working on a video at night without any lights or are traveling on a plane overnight, using your keyboard without lighting is a treat!
If you have an external keyboard for your tablet or a 2-in-1 laptop, making it backlit is ideal for being able to see your keys in dark and dim settings without disturbing anyone else. What’s more, you also won’t have to strain your eyes if your keyboard illuminates itself!
When you own a backlit keyboard, there’s a degree of customization that you can employ to make your keyboard truly your own. Not only can you change the colors of your keyboard backlight but you can also transform it to cycle in various ways – flash, soft, and even pulse!
So if you’re interested in frequently changing your brightness, being able to adjust features and colors, or want a flexible keyboard then a backlit keyboard is for you!
4 Ways To Transform Your Keyboard Into A Backlit Keyboard
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what keyboard backlighting is and why you should have one, here are four budget ways to transform and emulate a backlit keyboard! Read on to discover our top tips:
Add A USB Lamp
A USB Lamp is a way to light up your keyboard on the go without too much hassle. Although it’s not the same as a backlit keyboard, having a way to illuminate your keyboard still makes all the difference.
You won’t have to strain your eyes when designing your Cricut Explore Air 2 or working on your computer science project. It’s connected to the USB port, with the ability to power up and make your keyboard bright.
Just make sure to not have the USB lamp brightness brighter than your laptop monitor as it can be distracting.
Glow In The Dark Keyboard Cover
Another way to emulate a backlit keyboard is by adding a glow-in-the-dark keyboard cover on top of your keyboard. While this isn’t the perfect replacement for a backlit keyboard, it still acts as a way of lighting up your keyboard in the dark for you to use.
It also acts as a useful implement since you can take it off and place it back on easily. If you’re a college student who is going to work late at night or plan on gaming into the early hours, then this is a great choice for you, a gamer.
Purchase An External Keyboard
If you’re sold on a backlit keyboard, then it may be worth purchasing an external keyboard to use. If you have a cooling pad for your laptop or want to use an external keyboard to offer your work and study with a bit more flexibility, then it’ll be well worth the purchase.
We recommend that you get a backlit keyboard with RGB lighting with full flexibility, ones you can configure and enable several cool additions with. There are plenty of amazing models for you to choose from,
Add A Light Up Mouse Pad
Did you know that you can add to your laptop by having a light-up mouse pad? While this isn’t a perfect replacement for a backlit keyboard, it still can complement your setup by letting you have more options for lights.
If you’re planning to game, ideally with a laptop that has an i7 processor, then having an external mouse is a great choice – so you may as well enjoy a light-up mouse pad too. Even if your laptop isn’t an i7 with 16 GB RAM, then it’s still worth a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often receive quite a few questions about backlit keyboards for laptops. If you’re still undecided and want some of your more pertinent questions answered before you go out and invest in a backlit keyboard, then read through our frequently asked questions!
If you’re all set, then you may be interested in knowing about the best laptops for Google Classroom or how to remove stickers from your laptop.
Do All Keyboards Have a Backlit In Laptop?
No, not every laptop comes with a backlit keyboard. If you’re looking for a new laptop, it should say that in the product description like for the HP Envy. Some laptops only have specific keys (like the fn button) that are backlit, like the “WASD” keys.
If you’re planning to use your laptop as a monitor, then there’s no point in having a backlit keyboard but if you are going to use it frequently – it’s well worth it!
Can You Add RGB To A Laptop Keyboard?
Not easily. If your laptop keyboard comes with RGB lights then fantastic, but if they don’t then it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to add this kind of backlighting to a laptop keyboard. You can’t easily upgrade your Chromebook to have a multi-colored keyboard unfortunately, you’ll need to purchase an external keyboard for that.
That being said, if your child is asking for a backlit keyboard, make sure to read through our article for some budget ways to transform your keyboard.
Can I Change My Laptop Keyboard?
Dependent on what you’re changing exactly, you can change your keyboard. If you want to add to your keyboard, like transform it into a backlit one, then it may be quite an expensive process.
Fixing your keyboard is extremely easy though, so fret not if you split or broke a few keys. That being set, if you’re set on a backlit keyboard, then buying an external one is the best thing to do for you.
There you have it! Hopefully reading through this guide has given you quite a few options to transform your keyboard into a backlit one if you don’t want to go out and purchase one for yourself. There are plenty of tips you can take away, and it’s well worth it to get a backlit keyboard so you can work away in the dark without hassle.
Like our articles? Feel free to check out the top 13-inch laptops under $500 or the best gaming laptops with long battery life.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.