DIY fiber backlit keyboard

In honor of the 17 inch aircraft carrier of a laptop I ordered, I started looking for a backlit keyboard mod that might come close to the one on my powerbook. I found this mod that used fiber optic cable, a single 10,000mcd white LED, some epoxy and simple current regulation to light it up. The original write up is here, and a great looking blue version as well. I’d like to see it this with a control circuit like this one.


  1. Wolf says:

    Though the existing solution of switching the led according to the backlight probly works fine for most all scenarios, if you had to have it keyboard controled, the earlier overhead light tutorials controler setup could probably be addapted to this mod with next to no modification

  2. Tom Parker says:

    The english is the best ever! Pretty cool idea though!

  3. ... says:

    Why would you shine the light between the keys? Now you are staring into the led whenever you look down on the keys…

  4. jeicrash says:

    Good for a start, although i’d probably just use a few leds and take apart an old laptop monitor and cut the defusers down the kb size instead of running fiber optics, too much room for breaking or as you stated (Scratches).

    Good mod though. Keep it up.

  5. FRS says:

    According to the link it’s a single 1,000 mCD LED, not a 10,000 mCD as will states. Looks cool, too bad by keys are opaque.

  6. s1efe says:

    What happened to the design challenge? You 5crewed us! Shame on you! Mod is good, has LEDs

  7. “Why would you shine the light between the keys? Now you are staring into the led whenever you look down on the keys…” by: …

    The LED light source is covered from view when the keyboard is covering it, is not seen.

  8. Holy cow, this is a neat mod. I used to like IBM thinkpads for the reason that they had the ThinkLight.

  9. Nauman says:

    pretty good idea. i like cuz its a cheap and easy project

  10. Katie99 says:

    Forgive me for the silly question; I don’t know all that much about this kind of thing. Would it be possible to ever turn off the lights?

  11. heymeoverhere says:

    Another simple idea might be to get some letter stencils and a can of (or product similar to it) Nite Lite from Duplicolor, remove the keys, apply stencils, and paint.
    One would think the ambient light from the laptop screen alone would be enough to keep the keys glowing once this stuff is applied. Never tried it, but I might.

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