After my friends go to sleep they turn off the light at night. So I can't see my keyboard of my old laptop that has no LED under those key. It slows down my coding practices and other works significantly.

Is there any good suggestion for this? TIA.


Edit: As @James Jenkins and some others suggested, there are several types of USB Light that might be very useful I think. Like this one:
USB Light

Google it...

  • 1
    Hi Shafin, Welcome to Lifehacks. Be sure to visit tour and help center to find out how best to enjoy this site.
    – Stan
    Jun 29, 2020 at 21:56
  • Any reason you can't just buy external keyboard, e.g. this? Jun 30, 2020 at 12:56
  • 1
    Working on a computer in a dark room causes eye strain, avoid this if possible.
    – Hobbes
    Jul 2, 2020 at 12:40
  • @ShadowWizardisEarForYou Then I would lose the privilege of using a laptop :*). Jul 4, 2020 at 6:21

5 Answers 5


There are a number of products that plug into the USB port to cast light on the keyboard. But that is not a life hack solution, it is product recomendation.

The life hack solution is to tip the screen forward so the light from the screen lights the keyboard.


Go to another room / area where you can turn on the light: kitchen, bathroom(?), balcony, porch...

This has a double advantage:

  • it helps you use your laptop;
  • the light from the laptop's screen will not bother your room-mates.

A higher tech alternative is to use a forehead lamp. Some of them even have the ability to adjust the light intensity. However, every time you will look around, you will "blind" your room-mates.


I'm not sure if you're already able to, but an alternative solution is to learn touch typing. This has the advantage of being faster as well.

(This answer has been typed without directly looking at the keyboard, but admittedly not in complete darkness.)

  • 1
    Good luck touch typing F3, F8, F12, ^, &, [], home/end/insert/delete/pgup/pgdn and all the other common keys that weren't part of that answer. Though if the OP only types letters and punctuation it's a reasonable solution.
    – piojo
    Jul 1, 2020 at 3:15
  • I'm on a Mac, I don't use the function keys. Brackets and punctuation are more difficult than letters but still doable. It takes a bit more practice :))
    – Glorfindel
    Jul 1, 2020 at 4:56
  • As long as you use only one keyboard layout (including all the non-letter keys) you can easily learn the keys you need. It only gets confusing if you use several different ones.
    – Willeke
    Jul 4, 2020 at 13:05
  • @piojo it's not impossible to learn the entire keyboard. I used to go to uni with a guy whose touchtyping was off the scale; to the point where he could be looking at you while typing his essay, you say a key (I chose asterisk on the numpad) and he'd pick his hands 6 inches in the air then drop an index finger on the key you asked.. Then go back to typing his essay, while still looking at you. It was kinda unnerving actually
    – Caius Jard
    Jul 4, 2020 at 20:22
  • In addition, get familiar with a good text editor and working environment leaving the mouse in the box. Build muscle-memory terminals like tmux and true editors like Emacs or vim, and note some of the vim-bindings are so extensible and popular that you find them in file browsers (vifm / ranger), net browser (vimum-FF / Tridactyl), IDEs like Visual Studio Code.
    – Buttonwood
    Jul 6, 2020 at 16:26

Not exactly a hack. Search online for "luminous keyboard stickers". Make sure however they use Light Charged Paints as described in this article that warns against old-fashioned radioactive paint.


I claim no scientific or medical knowledge on this subject so I suggest doing your own research before buying.


There are a multitude of devices intended for illuminating a book or kindle, that are a battery and switch with a built in clamp, a flexible neck and a white LED. One of these should fit your laptop lid

That's if you don't fancy buying, or making, an "led on one end of a flexible metal arm, and a USB plug on the other"

In terms of stuff you already have, perhaps use some string to make a necklace, tuck it behind your phone in its protective case (or even just tie it like a gift wrap so it holds your phone) then sling your phone round your neck with the torch activated. You could keep it plugged in to remain charged. If you have a desk stand you could put your phone in that. If you don't have a desk stand, you could make one (shape one out of modeling clay, cut a slot into a potato etc then wrap it in sarin wrap so it doesn't contaminate the phone) or repurpose a phone holder intended for a car (one that clips your phone to the AC vents) so it holds your phone at the top of the screen, looking down onto the keys

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