Illuminated keyboard: how long does it last?

YS2003

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 24, 2004
2,139
0
Finally I have arrived.....
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.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
25,245
511
Harrogate
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.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,795
33
well my 2 year old Powerbook's keyboard no longer works. It's not even recognised as a back lit one by the OS.:(
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
25,245
511
Harrogate
bartelby said:
well my 2 year old Powerbook's keyboard no longer works. It's not even recognised as a back lit one by the OS.:(
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 :(
 

YS2003

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 24, 2004
2,139
0
Finally I have arrived.....
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?
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,795
33
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!
 

YS2003

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 24, 2004
2,139
0
Finally I have arrived.....
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.
 

xPismo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
675
0
California.
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
 

arepty

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2007
15
3
Bremen, Germany
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.
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
 

e12a

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2006
1,881
0
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!
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)
 

steeler

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2008
163
4
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.
 

UltraNEO*

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2007
4,057
12
近畿日本
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.
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.
 

dal20402

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2006
290
0
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.
 
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