Computing

How to Control Keyboard Lighting: A Comprehensive Guide by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

There are various methods to control the lighting of your keyboard, and the specific steps can differ depending on your laptop or peripheral manufacturer. To provide some clarity, we’ve compiled six potential ways to turn your keyboard backlighting on or off. Read on to discover the most suitable method for your laptop or desktop keyboard.

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Press the Dedicated Button for Keyboard Backlighting

Some keyboards, such as the Logitech G Pro desktop keyboard, feature a dedicated button to toggle the keyboard light. Look for a button in the upper-right corner of the keyboard with a sun icon and rays. Similarly, certain laptops also have a dedicated backlight key, although the icon on it can vary.

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Press the Increase Brightness Button

For MacBook users, certain models allow you to activate the backlighting by pressing the Increase brightness key. This key resembles half of a sun with three rays. Press it until you achieve the desired brightness level. To turn off the backlight, press the Decrease brightness key, which looks like a half-circle outlined in dots. These instructions apply to MacBooks running MacOS High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey.

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Bill Robertson/Digital Trends

Press the Assigned Function Key

Windows laptops often require you to press a Function key (F1 to F12) to activate the keyboard’s backlighting. The specific Function key can vary based on your laptop’s brand and model.

For instance, Dell notebook PCs offer three possible key options, such as F6, F10, or the right-arrow key. In some cases, F5 is also an option. Determine the backlighting control key by locating the Illumination icon, resembling a half-sun with rays, on one of these keys. If you can’t find this icon, your Dell PC does not have keyboard backlighting. However, if you spot the icon, press the associated Function key (you may need to press it along with the Fn key). By pressing this combination (Fn + function key), you can cycle through different brightness levels for your Dell PC’s keyboard until you reach the desired level or turn it off.

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HP notebook computers follow a similar pattern to Dell laptops. Press an assigned Function key (such as F5, F4, or F11) with or without the Fn key to adjust brightness or turn off the backlight. Look for a backlight icon on the assigned Function key, resembling three dots with rays emanating from the first dot.

To identify the keyboard shortcut or Function key assigned to your laptop’s backlighting feature, refer to your PC manufacturer’s support site or manual for specific instructions.

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Use the Touch Bar

For certain MacBook models, you can control keyboard lighting through the Touch Bar. Tap the Arrow icon on the Touch Bar to expand the Control Strip. To activate backlighting, tap the Increase brightness button. To turn it off, tap and hold the Decrease brightness button, resembling a half-circle outlined in dots (not rays). These instructions apply to MacBooks with Touch Bars running MacOS Monterey and Big Sur.

Adjust in Control Center or Windows Mobility Center

Depending on your device’s manufacturer and model, you may be able to turn on and adjust the keyboard light through your PC’s control panel menu.

For specific MacBooks, open Control Center, select Keyboard brightness, and adjust the corresponding slider. This method is compatible with certain MacBook models running MacOS Monterey or Big Sur.

For certain Windows 10 PCs, access the Windows Mobility Center in the Control Panel. To do so, navigate to Control Panel > Hardware and sound > Windows Mobility Center. In the Windows Mobility Center, find the Keyboard brightness (or Keyboard backlighting) setting and adjust the corresponding slider to increase or decrease brightness.

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Use the Keyboard’s Recommended Software

Some keyboards come with dedicated software or apps that allow you to control and customize the settings of your laptop or desktop keyboard. For example, Razer laptops and peripherals utilize the Synapse app, which lets you customize the lighting effects of your Razer gaming laptop’s keyboard or your Razer desktop gaming keyboard. You can adjust the brightness of the keyboard light or configure the settings to keep the light on or off during sleep mode.

Most high-quality gaming keyboards offer back-end software that enables you to adjust the RGB lighting of individual keys or turn them on or off as desired.

Enable Keyboard Backlighting in the BIOS

In certain cases, if the dedicated keyboard light buttons on your laptop don’t function correctly, you may need to check your device’s BIOS settings and ensure they’re configured correctly. It’s also possible that your BIOS requires an update to the latest version. When performing these actions, carefully follow the instructions provided by your device manufacturer. Refer to the specific instructions published online by manufacturers like HP or Dell to address these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my keyboard backlighting turn on?

There are several possible reasons why your keyboard backlighting may not activate. Consider the following:

  • Your device may not support keyboard backlighting. Confirm with the manufacturer if your device is designed to have backlighting and ensure you’re using the correct keyboard shortcuts, buttons, or settings to activate it.
  • Some laptops, like MacBooks, utilize light sensors for backlighting in low-light environments. Ensure you’re not obstructing these sensors.
  • It’s possible that the backlight is working, but the brightness level is set too low. Try increasing the brightness using the methods described above.
  • Updating the BIOS to the latest version or adjusting its settings correctly may resolve the issue. Follow the specific instructions provided by your device manufacturer.
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Does keyboard backlighting drain the battery?

Yes, keyboard backlighting requires power, and it can contribute to battery drain. To conserve battery power, consider turning off the backlighting or configuring your keyboard lighting settings to automatically turn off when the computer sleeps or the display is inactive.

How do I change the keyboard backlighting color?

First, ensure that your keyboard supports changing backlighting colors. If it does, consult the manufacturer’s instructions on how to make the change. Typically, this involves opening a recommended desktop app, such as the HP OMEN Command Center or Razer’s Synapse app, and customizing your lighting settings within the app to add colors to your backlight.

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For more information on keyboards and other electronic products, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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