Do Light-Up Keyboards Use More Electricity?


So, you have finally decided to switch from a traditional keyboard with printed keycaps to a light-up keyboard that comes with LED or RGB lighting. Of course, the first thing that must have crossed your mind is the power consumption of the LED lighting in the backlit keyboard.

Do light-up keyboards actually use more electricity than others? You might be wondering right now. That’s precisely what I’m here to clarify for you. In this article, I will talk about what light-up keyboards are, whether they use more electricity standard keyboards, power consumption of standard vs. light-up keyboards, and everything in between. 

I’m also going to talk about the benefits of light-up keyboards and whether you should be getting one. So, make sure you read this article till the end before you make a buying decision.

Do Light-Up Keyboards Use More Electricity?

What are Light-Up Keyboards?

If you’re fairly new to the terminology keyboard enthusiasts use to describe different kinds of keyboards, then you might not very well know about light-up keyboards.

Well, to put it bluntly, Light-up keyboards are the keyboard devices that come with some amount of LED backlighting that is more than simply a couple of indicators. This means that these keyboards are designed to emit light when they’re switched on.

Many kinds of Light-up keyboards can be found in the market right now. Let’s take a look at some of the more common light-up keyboard types you might find in the tech world.

  • LED Backlit Keyboards – If we talk about backlighting, the most common type is LED backlighting. LED Backlit Keyboards to have a single-colored LED frame that emits whichever light is programmed into them. 
  • Zone Backlit RGB Keyboards – When we come towards RGB lighting, we have a combination of multiple LED lights that can emit all the colors in the RGB scale. However, Zone Backlit RGB Keyboards only offer different zones of RGB lighting on the keyboard and not completely customizable lighting.
  • Fully Individually Backlit RGB Keyboards – Fully Individually Backlit RGB Keyboards come with individual RGB lights on each keyboard switch that provides them with complete lighting freedom. You can change whichever key to whichever color you like using the proprietary software. These keyboards are usually the priciest in the light-up field.

Do Light-Up Keyboards Use More Electricity?

A question that has been asked a lot of times is, do light-up keyboards use more electricity than other keyboards; All there is to say to that is, yes but negligible amounts.

This means that input devices with USB connections like a keyboard use such little power already that any slight increase in that power is so little that it is overruled or not considered at all. So even though you might think that your light-up keyboards are using a lot of power due to the LED lighting, the LED lights use just a fraction of electricity compared to the actual working keyboard and thus aren’t power-hungry.

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The main relation of a device with excessive power consumption is how hot the device gets. If it is getting very hot, it is more likely that the power consumption for that device is a lot. This is something you should keep in mind while dealing with electronic devices.

Power Consumption: Light-Up vs. Standard Keyboards

Now that we know that light-up keyboards do not use significantly more energy than other devices, I believe it will be good to discuss exactly how much energy keyboards actually use.

Have you ever wondered why your 500W power supply can run your PC, headphones, mouse, and keyboard all at the same time; Well, it is simply because of the minimal power requirement of USB input devices.

A standard keyboard that you might end up using will require about 2.5W per hour from a 500mA at 5V USB port that it is connected to. This is miserly increased at a decimal fractional level where the 2.5W number remains the same virtually.

Why is this? The amount of power required to light up the LEDs on a light-up keyboard is just under 0.00055W, and when added up to the power requirement of a standard keyboard, this is a negligible change. In fact, most keyboards won’t even require as much as 2.5W per hour to power up. At resting times, keyboards can work well even at around 0.5W per hour, which is quite brilliant. 

Pros of Light-Up Keyboards

So, you’re finally thinking of investing in a stylish light-up keyboard for your computer setup; Well, to help you make the right decision, here’s a list of pros that come with light-up keyboards that you would definitely like.

  • Aesthetic Visuals – One of the biggest pros of buying a light-up keyboard is the visual appeal. These keyboards are designed to look great, and the lighting is meant to give them a pop that matches the computer setup of the owner perfectly if the color scheme is properly chosen by the keyboard enthusiast.
  • Keycaps are lit – In some light-up keyboards, the keycaps are laser printed or double-shot. Still, in most light-up keyboards, the keycaps have clear shiny legends that allow for keycap legend illumination, which works wonders for the people using the keyboard, especially in a dark setting where they don’t want to highlight themselves.
  • Perfect for Gaming – If we talk about gaming, then the subtle lighting of these keyboards can come in quite handy. In fact, if you imagine yourself in a room where your partner is sleeping right next to you, you wouldn’t want to turn the lights on and wake them up. Well, with these lit keycaps and adjustable brightness, you can see what you’re playing and be considerate at the same time.
  • Incredible for working in the dark – If you’re a late-night freelance worker, having a home desktop setup is a must. And then getting a light-up keyboard for that setup is even better, honestly. You’re going to be able to see all the letters and the elements of the keyboard without having to disturb anyone and bringing attention to yourself.
  • Premium Quality Features – When we say that light-up keyboards are great, we mean it. Most of the keyboards that come with LED backlighting are premium in quality and offer more than just backlighting. They are considered better because they also provide other features that might not be available in standard keyboards.

Cons of Light-Up Keyboards

Well, not so fast. Make sure you know the cons and problems you might end up facing due to buying light-up keyboards. Lucky for you, we’ve made a list of them so you can make the right final buying decision.

  • Expensive – A problem that many budget gamers and workers face when they’re thinking of purchasing a light-up keyboard is that they’re generally more on the expensive side of things when they’re good quality and they come from a prized company. This doesn’t work well if you don’t have a big budget for the keyboard.
  • Not for everyone – LED lighting is pretty cool to most people. But if you’re one of those people who don’t like shiny bright lights on their peripherals, then getting a light-up keyboard is just going to be a waste of money, especially if you’re going to keep the light of the keyboard turned off at all times.
  • Low-priced ones are choppy – Saying that most keyboards that come with backlighting are premium quality and expensive is right. But some light-up keyboards have just the imitation of backlighting and nothing else to offer. These choppy keyboards can be a terrible investment and might not work for a long time. That’s why you should stay clear of them.

Are Light-Up Keyboards Worth It?

Finally, we arrive at the article’s question: should you buy a light-up keyboard for your personal computer setup; Well, it honestly depends on what you want. If you’re a fan, you should definitely get it. On the other hand, if you don’t like RGB, probably this isn’t going to be the best option for you.

Then we also have the topic of whether you can afford it or not. If you can, and it lies in your budget, then you’re going to enjoy this investment, but otherwise, light-up keyboards might not ring the bells that you want them to. So, it’s your decision.

Conclusion

Light-up keyboards, contrary to popular belief, don’t actually use more electricity than standard keyboards. Although, in wireless form, these keyboards might actually take more battery off the keyboard’s life. I assure you that getting a good-quality light-up keyboard will be a great decision for you and that you’re going to love this investment and become a member of the keyboard enthusiast community.

I hope you learned a lot from this article and that you’re going to keep this knowledge in your mind when you buy the next keyboard for yourself. Have a great keyboarding experience!

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