How to Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit?

How to Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit

How to Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit?

Hi, my name is Mike Phelan and I work as an estate agent in the city of Kansas. Despite being a casual estate agent, my hobbies are not as duller. I love to hike and camp around with a group of my friends and it really cheers me up to observe nature and its aspects around.

Away from modern civilization, living and camping with dependency on gadgets and old school methods is always a refreshing experience. In this article, I will explain in detail about, How to Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit?

I also write my own blog too about my experiences and I got quite following and liking over the internet for my blogs. I love to write on a laptop that features a backlit keyboard.

But recently I have encountered a very unusual situation, and I decided to share all the details here. I had an ASUS laptop before and recently switched to Dell core i5 because of hardware failure in ASUS one.

So, I went to the official store of Dell and bought a new Dell laptop for myself but I didn’t check and realized one thing even though I checked and carefully bought a laptop, that matches my need of computing, compatibility, and flexibility in movement (as I climb mountains and go camping a lot, mentioned above already).

But upon next trip within a sec, I realized my blunder. And I came to the realization that my brand new hi-tech dell laptop doesn’t have a backlit keyboard.

Yes, a backlit Keyboard.

It might sound a bit stupid, but if you feel it’s a silly realization then I’m sure you have never been in a situation where it’s all dark and you have to type on a keyboard and you just cannot differentiate between alphabetical keys and other keys. You can read here about the best laptops with a backlit keyboard.

How to Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit?

In this article, I will discuss in detail about backlit keyboards and is it possible to add it later. To give you guys a clear picture on it let me explain what the heck is this backlit keyboard is?

So what are these backlit keyboards basically?

As you can make a guess from its name, these are keyboards built in a laptop to provide an assist to users who need to type or work in dark hours, night times or in less light areas. For general users or those who work in daylight or less well-lightened areas, it is not the point to ponder usually.

However, for those who camp like me, or work late at night and have to keep lights off so others don’t get disturbed, need such features because they work like a charm for them.

It enables assist not only while typing but also creates a pleasant effect on viewing. For hardcore gamers, it’s a must-have option to keep their game interaction quick and precise. Nearly all professional gamers use external backlit keyboards to enhance their gaming.

These keyboards don’t remain ON all the time, they have automatic settings to get offline after some inactivity period. Also, you can regulate these settings manually too. Microsoft Windows, unfortunately, doesn’t have this feature to control settings manually.

We are dependent on manufacturers that either they will give us access to settings or we will be dependent or forced to accept whatever settings they offer.

So this is the basic concept and definition of backlit keyboards, and after finding out that I’m not having this feature in my brand new laptop, despite its being a high tech computing product, I am in depression, agony and I want backlit option because I really need it.

Imagine writing an article in the night while camping on a hill or at a mountain with the limited supply of camping lights and your companions are not very fond of using camping resources in such a bit wasteful way, that I just need light to watch my keyboard so I can type.

A backlit keyboard is all that I need to avoid such hustle, so my next task is to find a way to have this installed in my new laptop as soon as possible.

Best Ways to  Make Laptop Keyboard Backlit

So I have started to search over the internet and have found very fewer solutions to my disappointment. There were some DIY methods, alongside some mechanical solutions and easiest advice was to change the laptop, and that was not acceptable at any price for the time being. So, let me explain some methods to enlighten your people too about it:

Replace laptop keyboard

A first possible option to make laptop keyboard backlit, which is recommended is to replace the keyboard of your laptop with a backlit one. You can ask official store and can look for any original replace but it is not a final option for you because usually, you cannot find such substitute easily.

It will take a lot of time and usually, still there are no official upgraded components will be there. And replacing it with other unofficial or relative component can cause a lot of compatibility issues. So, as per my opinion and experience, it’s a NO.

Attach external backlit keyboard with a laptop

The 2nd option is to attach an external keyboard with this required spec. You can either buy one or make one with a bit of creativity to keep the cost less. But it will require a lot of work to make this happen.

I have read quite DIYs on it but removing whole keys and then using an iron solder to paste LED lights and the sorting some mechanism to get those LEDs to glow and eventually putting all buttons back, is not an appealing idea for me

 The cost of material and technicalities are not a welcoming sight for a person like me. So, if there should be a DIY, it must be an easy one so it could dominate the thought of buying a new backlit keyboard.

So, after a brief period of searching over the internet following is the only simplest DIY to make a backlit external keyboard by self.

The material you will require is an El-Wire (a thin copper wire that produces light) and a keyboard with a built-in USB port so you can plug the El-Wire plug in it.

Just take the whole keys out and place the whole El-Wire around the keys and carefully replace the keys back and connect the El-Wire plug in a USB port and this will serve your cause like a charm.

Check keyboard settings

Meanwhile, there can be some technical issues you might face while having laptops with built-in backlit options, like turning them ON or off or sometimes they simply just stop working, etc.

For such problems, you should try basic troubleshooting like reinstalling drivers, windows update, etc. Like in HP Pavilion, you need to press F5 or F12 to turn this feature ON and OFF.

In MacBook, you need to check it under System Preferences and in Dell its ALT+F10 or Fn + Right Arrow or Fn+F10. So in short systematical approach is different in various brands. And if still, the problem doesn’t solve, don’t call 911, consult a professional or official service center of a particular product, because it might be happening due to a hardware failure.

In addition to this I would also shed a light on the laptops that offer best-backlit keyboards as follow:

1: Apple MacBook PRO

This is the best in the market. Every MacBook contains a backlit keyboard. It is quite expensive but yet the best If it is affordable for you.


Among the Dell series, this is one of my favorite with backlit and specs, giving MacBooks a competition.


An absolute monster within a budget, an 8th generation i7 chipset and a 15-inch display with a backlit keyboard (definitely).

So, from all of the discussion we made above we can clearly understand what are backlit keyboards are. And how can we try to have or make them as per budget or requirement? Also, we can evaluate the following advantages & disadvantages of backlit keyboards as follows:

Advantages of laptops with a backlit keyboard

  • Backlit Keyboards are versatile in comparison to other old school basic keyboards.
  • Backlit Keyboards are useable in darkness, unlike other basic ones.
  • It improves the working efficiency a lot as you can view the keyboard more clearly and you can strike the right keys sharply.
  • Many manufacturers provide a multi-light feature, like adding the cherry on the cake. Bringing a very colorful and pleasant experience.


  • These are deficiently expensive than other keyboards and laptop who doesn’t possess this feature under their keyboard section.
  • Backlit means more power consumption and if you are not plugged in, the battery will get drained within no time.

Meanwhile as an alternative third part product also available to solve this case in a unique way too. People have used glowing stickers (keyboard keys set are available very easily online) and pasted them over the keys and results are mind-blowingly satisfying.

Also, we can use USB lamps and attach them on the right USB port and direct there light on the keyboard, a very cheap solution but still very handy.

Some companies have also provided an external little LED light that pops out at the top of display but again such versions are less (only HP and IBM tried these, but it works)

So, my conclusion is to either develop a habit or to go and buy a keyboard with backlit features. It depends on the requirement and the budget of you, so choose wisely, act wisely and have a good day.


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