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Light Up Your Day: Wireless Illuminated Computer Keyboards

A wireless keyboard provides a lot of mobility and freedom of use, but an added backlight further enhances the experience for all computer users. Typing in the dark on a keyboard without backlit keys can be slow and frustrating, especially for those who don't know the key positions by heart. Gaming in the dark can be equally frustrating, so large tech companies like Apple, Razor, and Logitech have created a number of keyboard and keypad solutions with added backlighting. The selection is so vast, aside from the standard membrane models, you can even find wireless backlit mechanical keyboards.

What is the Standard Range of a Wireless Keyboard?

The operational range of a wireless keyword largely depends on the communication technology it uses. Three major wireless technologies are used to integrate the modern backlit keyboard with a computer

  • Bluetooth
  • RF (radio frequency)
  • IR (infrared)

IR allows a maximum of 12 feet distance but the receiver needs to be in visual sight. Bluetooth and RF keyboards can handle obstacles in front of the receiver, and they are a better fit for long-range communication. Still, keep in mind that in many use scenarios, even 8 feet away from your computer is too far away.

Do I Need to Get a Receiver?

IR and RF keyboards come with a receiver that you can plug into your USB port. Since IR requires a line of sight, the IR receiver usually has a cord to allow you to position it correctly.

Companies like Logitech and Afortech provide an RF unifying receiver, which allows you to connect multiple wireless devices of the same brand, without using up separate USB ports. However, note that RF signals from other brand devices will require a separate USB receiver.

Bluetooth receivers are not usually included with a keyboard, so make sure your computer has a built-in Bluetooth antenna.

How Long is the Typical Battery Life of a Wireless Illuminated Keyboard?

Battery life can vary a lot, depending on illumination intensity and the number of keystrokes per minute. Some keywords allow you to choose how backlit you want them to be, and even allow color-shifting effects that use up more power. Other keyboards even use hand proximity technology to save battery life when you are not actively using them

To avoid worrying about how much energy your backlit keys are using, choose a model with an integrated rechargeable battery that charges via a Micro-USB port. Many of the backlit keyboard models can be used while charging with a simple USB to micro USB cable.

Do the Keyboards Work on All Operating Systems?

Most of the modern wireless keyboards are designed to work on both Mac and PC, so it won't make much of a difference if you are running a Windows-based, Linux-based, or iOS-based system. Stickers such as

  • Windows 7 compatible
  • Windows 10 compatible
  • iOS compatible

are frequently found on the packaging, though always consult the full specifications if you want to be absolutely sure.

Large brand gaming keyboards made by companies, such as Logitech and Razer, have a huge technical support that ensures they will be compatible with even future operating systems.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by the brands listed above.

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