I have a laptop with non-backlit keyboard. Are there any hacks available so that I can view the keys in dark?

  • How to replace the keyboard is outside the scope of this site, but edited to look for some trick, shortcut, or other novel method of illuminating a keyboard to achieve the same effect is well within the context of this site. Jul 7, 2016 at 16:46
  • They are pretty specific and need a connector that is probably not available if the laptop was not designed for backlit. Search on the full name of the laptop and backlit keyboards. Regular key are opaque so I don't there is a hack to make it backlit.
    – paparazzo
    Feb 16, 2017 at 19:21

3 Answers 3


If the light from the screen isn't sufficient to be able to see your keyboard in a dark room (it should be, unless you work in a black background with very little light color), you might try mounting a USB powered LED light on the screen in a position to shine on the keyboard.


There are glow-in-the-dark materials that can be cut into key-cap size.

Print the letter on each with a fine tip permanent marker to keep your fingers free from the inked mark.

The glow should help you find the right key in the dark for a little while after the lights are off. Some materials and colours are visible longer than others.

  • Are there any ready made ones ? Jul 8, 2016 at 16:46
  • @newguy I really doubt it. Try Data-Cal Corp., datacal.com, 1-800-223-0123. They make keytop overlays and keyboard templates.
    – Stan
    Jul 8, 2016 at 17:16
  • 1
    The "permanent" pen will still rub off after a while. You can cover each glow-in-the-dark key with a square of clear Scotch tape to prevent that. (The ink is on the glow-in-the-dark material, and the clear tape is on top of that.) Jul 8, 2016 at 21:52

Found this video hack of how to create a backlight for your keyboard using USB el-wire - very helpful!

The demonstration uses a desktop keyboard, but instructions indicate same method and recommendations can apply to a laptop keyboard, as well.

USB el-wire offered in variety of colors at CoolGlow.com for ~$16.00 @ 3 yds. Amazon offers 10 ft. @ ~$10.00. You can also search the internet for "USB el-wire" for more options.

Hope this helps.

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