Illuminated keyboard: how long does it last?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YS2003, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    Finally I have arrived.....
    #1
    Does anyone know how many years that lighting unit for the illuminated keyboard last? Does it burn out after over 60,000 hours or use like LCD screen? I mean the back light burns out even though the liquid crystal will stay intact.

    I think the illumination is done by some type of fiber optic-enabled set up.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #2
    I'd have thought it'd outlast the LCD backlight. It's powered by some sort of lightsource (I imagine to be LED for space reasons which will be very long life) with individual fibre optic connections to the back of each key.
     
  3. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #3
    well my 2 year old Powerbook's keyboard no longer works. It's not even recognised as a back lit one by the OS.:(
     
  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    That sounds more like controller failure than backlight failure. If the lightsource failed I'd expect it to not work but for the computer to think that it worked. Still not good :(
     
  5. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #5
    It appears "light source" does burn out for some users after a few years of use. For my 15" PB, I kept the illumination off almost all the time as it has been used with an ACD and external keyboard/mouse; so, I have not been able to find out first-hand how long it lasts.
    If the light source burns out, is it user replaceable, like changing a bulb for the lamp?
     
  6. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #6
    I only ever used the illumination 4 times for about 10 minutes each time.

    EDIT: I've just been looking on the Apple discussion pages. The Backlight for the keyboard is linked to the ambient light sensor. I had a look at my sys prefs for the settings and they've gone too!
     
  7. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #7
    If you have 15" or 17" PB, can you post if your Mac's keyboard lighting still works? I am interested in hearing about at least 2 or 3 years old PB. MBP is still too new for longevity testi on its keyboard lighting.
     
  8. xPismo macrumors 6502a

    xPismo

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    #8
    Ok.

    Over three years heavy use (I'm a film major - lots of notes in the dark) and still going as strong as day one. I don't think this is something to worry about - as long as your controller dosn't pack up like other have noted. I've never heard of that before.

    Best user interface upgrade in a long time. I wont be going MB just so I can keep the backlight keys. For me its that good. :D
     
  9. cesarvargas55 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 19, 2007
  10. arepty macrumors newbie

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    Nov 22, 2007
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    Bremen, Germany
    #10
    The backlit keyboard on my 15" PB (purchased in September 2005) still works - which is a good thing, because I need it for Lab Tick development. :)

    Cheers,
    Alex
     
  11. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #11
    Sounds like you need to replace the top case.

    The backlight is something that is not user replaceable (like a light bulb) short of replacing either the top case, keyboard, or both.

    I would imagine the illumination would last the life of the computer (whenever it is on)
     
  12. Ice-Cube macrumors 6502a

    Ice-Cube

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    #12
    12' Powerbooks dont come equipped with back-lit keyboards.
     
  13. e12a macrumors 68000

    e12a

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    Oct 28, 2006
    #13
    I almost thought he had one but he says he's used illumination before.
     
  14. steeler macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #14
    My 3 year old PB G4 15" still has a working illuminated keyboard. It's as bright as it ever was and I've used it quite often. I don't know how much, but I actually like working in low light environments, so the keyboard light gets more use.
     
  15. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #15
    There are no actual fibre-optics in there. Essentially, the keyboard backlight is powered by four surface mounted LED's which live behind a thin clear plastic sheet. I'd imagine since a LED is basically a quartz crystal encased in a clear epoxy, it'll continue to emit light for at least 50-60,000hrs (2083 ~ 2500days) - it'll probably outlast the life of a keyboard and the first user's ownership.... so don't worry.
     
  16. McBag macrumors newbie

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    Mar 19, 2008
    #16
    Still works perfectly on my 2005 15" PB.

    Cheers,

    R
     
  17. dal20402 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2006
    #17
    Feb. 2006 15" MBP, used everyday, backlight several hours a day -- still works
    Mar. 2004 15" PB, used much less often -- still works

    (April 2008 Penryn MBP -- still works ;) )

    The backlight is a network of LEDs. Unless you have a failure of the controller or the ambient light sensor, you can expect it to last as long as the computer.
     
  18. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #18
    My 3 years old 15" pb shows exactly the same symptoms. The illumination lastet 1,5 years on my machine.
     

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