Does Keyboard Light Drain Battery?

Backlit keyboards have turned into the defacto standard for any laptop that’s worth it’s salt. Otherwise, how else are you going to be churning out those long hours in the middle of the night when there’s no actual light? This begs the question, do those keyboard lights drain your battery?

Yes, turning your keyboard backlight on does drain its battery. However, the amount of drain is quite insignificant as low-power LEDs are used in your backlight. You can expect a difference of 1-2% if you don’t use the light at all.

In this article, we’re going to go over exactly how your keyboard light drains the battery amongst other common causes of battery drain.

What Causes Keyboard Lights To Drain Battery?

Your keyboard light consumes energy to emit light. That energy is taken from your battery. So, the light in your keyboard, just like any other component – drains some battery. However, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the battery drain is actually quite significant.

To prove that, we did a simple test. We used our Macbook Air M1 as a testbench and set the Keyboard Brightness to 100%, 50%, and 0%. Here were our results:

No Keyboard Light50% Battery Light100% Battery Light
Battery Timing (HH:MM)14:1514:0314:00

From our results, it is clear that there is no significant change in your battery life if you turn your keyboard light on or off. Therefore, if you really need to use your keyboard’s light, go ahead and do so! Do note though, that there is still some battery drain no matter how insignificant that’ll follow.

Types Of Keyboard Lighting On A Keyboard

As of yet, there are two common methods of keyboard lighting on a keyboard. Both of them use LEDs, but, one is more complex than the other:

  • Single Light Illumination: This is the most common type of lighting. In it, your keys can fluctuate in brightness and will always illuminate in a single color. There are no effects of any sort present.
  • Per-Key RGB Illumination: If you’ve ever seen a mechanical keyboard, you’ll already know what RGB is. In this method of illumination, you gain the ability to set static colors or move through the entire spectrum using various effects as well.

Do RGB Lights On A Keyboard Drain More Battery?

Yes, RGB lights on your laptop’s keyboard will drain more battery. This is because a lot more energy is consumed rapidly switching the colors of your LED from one to the other rather than keeping them static.

However, if you were to keep your RGB keyboard’s color free of any dainty effects and would instead just use a static light, then, you will end up using the same amount of battery on your keyboard since they’ll inherently be showing the same light.

So, if you want to have a keyboard light while also not draining your battery quickly, then turning off RGB and using static lights is the way to go.

In our case, our Glorious Model O Wireless lasted about 30 hours lesser than its actual rated time just because of all the RGB effects we have turned on. In the same way, our Razer Viper Ultimate also lost tons of battery life due to our custom Synapse lighting.

Do Keyboard Lights Drain The Battery Of A Wireless Keyboard?

Yes, any backlight on your keyboard will drain its battery due to higher energy consumption. Just like laptops, your battery has to output more energy in order to satiate the growing demands of all the LEDs that are glowing white.

However, just like laptops – they don’t really take much up in terms of battery. Wireless RGB keyboards though – will drain a lot more battery simply because they consume tons of energy with all the effects that they come with as well.

Do Keyboard Lights Wear Out Your Laptop’s Battery?

No, keyboard lights do not wear out your laptop’s battery. Just like any electrical equipment that comes with a Lithium-ion battery, they have a fixed lifespan. You using, or not using a feature for that matter will not affect the longevity of your battery in any way.

So, you can use the keyboard backlights to your heart’s content. Your laptop’s battery will slowly degrade as all components with no difference made just because you have glowing keys.

Can Keyboard Lights Go Bad On A Laptop?

Yes, keyboard lights can go bad on a laptop. But, unlike popular opinion, it is not because they are being used heavily. While yes, every LED has some shelf life, they tend to last much longer than most other components in a laptop do.

So, if you ever do have an issue with the LEDs in your keyboard, there’s a high chance that the fault is due to something else rather than your keyboard light being used constantly. It is good practice though, to not use your keyboard lights unnecessarily especially because it has some impact on your battery.

Related Articles:

How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last?
Best Mechanical Keyboards Under $100
Are Mechanical Keyboards Too Loud For The Office? 
Does Bluetooth Keyboard And Mouse Impact My Laptop’s Battery Life

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Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

Few years back I started to work from home, I needed a keyboard, I researched mechanical keyboard from A to Z. After that I needed a monitor, after that I needed a mouse, after that I needed desk, chair and other accessories. I did so much research and I figured this can't all go to waste and I started writing about what I know. Keyboards, Monitors, Mouses and other accessories. You can also at WolfofTablet where I cover a lot of stuff about iPads and Android Tablets. In the free time I like to play PS5 and iOS games.

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