Backlit keyboards are used for lots of different reasons. One of the main reasons is for people who work or game in the dark. They are ideal for people who use shared spaces such as bedrooms or dormitories, or for the gamer that wants to create a better atmosphere during their gaming session.
Whilst the design of the backlit keyboard have changed, there are two main types. There are ones that help you see the keys more clearly for easier and more accurate typing in any light condition and the ones that are designed to look unique. Backlit keyboards used for an office or work environment will usually be illuminated by a white light, and only the keys themselves will be lit when the keyboard lighting is turned on.
Backlit keyboards used for gaming tend to be multi coloured and the entire keyboard will glow at the same time.
Types of Backlit Keyboard
There are several different types of backlit keyboards, these are:
- Mechanical Backlit Keyboard
- Gaming Backlit keyboard
- Wireless Backlit Keyboard
Mechanical Backlit Keyboard
You may be asking what is a mechanical backlit keyboard? A mechanical keyboard uses physical switches under the keys to tell when the key has been pressed. When you press the key down, you press the switch down and the keyboard sends a signal to the pc to say you have pressed a key. The backlight makes the keyboard more visible in darker rooms and can aid with positioning.
You maybe saying that you know you have pressed a key because the letter has come up on the screen. Do you take in to account how hard you have pressed the key down?
Mechanical keyboards are better built and usually weigh more. They can take more of a beating and stand up to heavy usage. They are great for gamers as they have the click and non-mistakable tactile response, which gives you real-time feedback that other styles of keyboard are not able to compete with.
Mechanical keyboards are often specific switches, which depend on your purpose. Some will have to be pressed fully and some will be set to respond just as you touch the key. Writers usually prefer the short pressed key and gamers usually prefer the fully pressed (bottom out) switch to avoid accidentally pressing the wrong key.
Best Gaming Backlit Keyboard
As a gamer your keyboard is more than just a keyboard. It is your game controller. Most gamers use the mechanical style keyboard. This is because each key has its own spring-loaded switch.
Cherry MX black switches are the more hard-core type of switch, they need to be pressed all the way down (bottomed out). The key press is smooth and has a strong spring, which resets the key faster. These are ideal for double tapping keys. This type of key will also help prevent accidental key press.
The MX red switches are very similar to the MX black switches. They are slightly different in the respect of having a softer spring.
Cherry MX brown switches have the same actuation force as the red switches but feels lighter as it has a tactile bump to aid with typing. This keyboard is ideal if you want to switch from gamer to worker and back to gamer.
You can still find gaming keyboards that have the 3 membrane dome switches that feel soft and require a full press on each key. This can slow the speed down and you don’t get the sense that the key has been activated properly, giving you a doubt, has the key been pressed?
Most gamers use backlit keyboards as you can see the keys in a dark room but you can also adjust the colour and have multiple light sections on the keyboard. Backlit gaming keyboards also come with a separate backlight for arrow and W,A,S,D keys, as these tend to be the main keys used by gamers.
A good feature with the mechanical gaming keyboard is that the keys can be changed for different colour or texture keys, for a better gaming experience.
Backlit Gaming Keyboards have many other features than just well made keys, such as:
- Audio communication
- Touchscreen display
- Statistic tracking
- Text communication
Wireless Backlit Keyboard
You need a wireless keyboard that is reliable, fast and has the right features that makes your gaming or work session easier and more efficient. The right keyboard can improve the performance and efficiency of your daily tasks. You will need to consider connectivity options.
Connectivity is one of the main ways your keyboard interacts with the pc. A wireless keyboard allows the user to communicate with computers, laptops and tablets using Radio Frequency (RF), Infrared (IR) and Bluetooth. Wireless Bluetooth keyboards are being used more and more, and are becoming more popular amongst smart phone, laptop and tablet users.
Most Bluetooth keyboards are compatible with Android, IOS, Mac and Windows but please check before purchasing one. Bluetooth keyboards may not be compatible with some of the older type systems, even if the computer has a form of Bluetooth support. Bluetooth keyboards are often more compact than the RF models and are more portable.
Radio frequency (RF) uses two parts, a transmitter and a receiver. The radio transmitter is inside the keyboard and the radio receiver is plugged into the pc/laptop via USB port and this sends a signal allowing the keyboard to be used without the need for a wire.
Infrared (IR) uses light waves to transmit signals to other infrared devices, this type of wireless keyboard is not very common but can still be used. Most common wireless keyboards use 2.4GHz (RF)
A wireless backlit keyboard has numerous uses and gives your setup a unique look. Some keyboards will allow you to change the colour and brightness of the back-light on your keyboard. On some models you will also be able to change colour sequence to aid you.
Having a backlit keyboard can help you get your position on the keyboard which is more efficient when it comes to working and can save you being killed if you are using it for gaming.
While you use keyboards for typing and gaming. You want to pick a good solid backlit keyboard that will give you extra buttons for quick media control, volume control, or even app launching, If you experience any Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), a new keyboard can help eliminate that by giving you more support and a better posture. It’s great when a keyboard includes a wrist rest, but you can also buy these separately if need be.
If your keyboard is something you use all day, you should make sure it isn’t going to cause you any strain. Keyboards with adjustable height and tilt are always a good idea, so you can get it at just the right level for you.
The other factor is the feel of the keys. Some keyboards have more traditional raised keys. Mechanical keyboards are becoming more popular. They don’t wiggle around like traditional keyboards, and you are less likely to get one key that sticks down more than the others. Mechanical keyboards do tend to be a bit louder and more expensive though, so keep that in mind as you make your choice of backlit keyboard.