Will The Illuminated Keyboard Burn Out?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kkachurak, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. kkachurak macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I was wondering if anyone could help me understand something...

    I'm concerned that over-use of my illuminated keyboard feature on my new 2.4 MacBook will slowly burn it out.

    Am I crazy?

    I know that the new MacBooks use LED backlighting, correct? Which means, it'll never burn out or get dimmer?

    Does the keyboard use the same technology?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yes. It's LED backlit.

    And no, it shouldn't burn out like a conventional bulb.

    Edit: vv Cassie said it better. I meant to say it won't burn out as fast as a conventional bulb would...
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Eventually yes. AFAIK, every kind of light burns out at some point. But your LED backlit keyboard will probably greatly outlast the useful life of your MacBook.
  4. kkachurak thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    The reason I ask is, I still have a PowerBook G4 12" around the house. I've noticed that the screen is just too dim to see in ambient light anymore. It's really showing it's age.

    I know the screen on that PowerBook G4 is a "LCD" screen (that's how it shows the image) but I thought it lit up by using a chemical (something magnesium?) Eventually, that chemical starts to get tired after so much use and stops becoming as bright.

    I was under the impression that the new UniBooks used LED backlighting, which never get dimmer and never go bad. In fact, if you go to your energy preferences on an older apple laptop and set it to never let the display sleep, a message pops up saying "never letting your display sleep may shorten its life". This message does not pop up on my new MacBook when I set it to never let the display sleep.

    So I just assumed the keyboard used the same LED backlighting. Which no one at Apple can confirm for me.
  5. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    LEDs don't dim, but they do die.

    Fortunately, they have a life of tens of thousands of hours, which translates to many, many years of average use (more than 10 years)
  6. hacksaw-C87 macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    Birmingham England
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Just to clear some terms up:

    LCD refers to the type of display panel, so both are LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display). However the new computers use LED (Light-Emitting Diode) back-lighting for the panel and the older computers used CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lighting).

    The difference is that CCFLs have mercury, requires time to warm up, and eventually dims. LEDs have no mercury, does not need to warm up (hence instance on), and instead of dimming, they just die.

    As with the keyboard back-lighting, it is LED.
  8. kastenbrust macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2008
    North Korea
    LED's dont burn out so the Illuminated keyboard which is lit with LED's can't technically burn out.

    Saying that, like everything LED's die eventually, but it can take hundreds of years, or simply one power surge or one drop of your laptop.

  9. kkachurak thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks, Kastenbrust for scaring me ;)
  10. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I thought we use a fiber optic based backlit and not LED? Or am I wrong there. This isn't my field of expertise so ya lol.
  11. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    It's just like a light bulb and the MacBook's screen. The LED will eventually burn out, but since it's LED... it will last longer. Don't worry. If you're under AppleCare they will probably fix it when it's done or by the time it burns out... you'll be on another computer.
  12. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    What do you think is on the other end of the fiber? The light has to come from somewhere ;).
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I have never, ever, seen an LED die, not in over 20 years of playing with electronic gadgets.

    Which isn't to say they don't, but they are pretty darn long-lived. I think you are much more likely to lose other major subsystems to malfunction (HDD, RAM, display, PSU) than to have an LED die on you.

    Of course, having said that, I'm certain to have it happen now. :rolleyes:

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