Working, gaming or surfing the Internet can actually keep the rest of your family members awake through the night. Leaving the lights on would be sure to disturb everyone around. But if the lights are switched off, you can't see what you are typing, which is a strain on the eyes and frustrating. A small dim light can illuminate the keyboard while keeping the lights of the room switched off.

You would need an old keyboard, two bright white LEDs, some stiff wire, soldering iron and soldering wire.

One way is to buy a USB light, but you would need to have front USB ports which isn't possible if the cabinet isn't placed on your desk. It also has another disadvantage—uselessly blocking a valuable USB port. Another alternative is a small hack to your keyboard and spending as little as Rs 20. All you would need is two bright white LEDs, some stiff wire, a soldering iron, a drill machine and definitely, your keyboard.

Note: we would not advise you to try this workshop on a keyboard with an existing warranty. Do this hack at your own risk.

Let’s show you how you can hack your keyboard to power two white LEDs enough to sufficiently light up your desk and keyboard. The trick here is to draw power from the keyboard’s [Scroll Lock] LED and use the Scroll Lock key to switch the LEDs on and off. The [Scroll Lock] key is used for this trick as it is rarely used in any software applications and is usually switched off.

Method
Carefully open the keyboard by removing all the screws. Locate the Scroll Lock LED (usually found on the small circuit board on one corner inside the keyboard). De-solder the existing LED and connect four wires (two each to one terminal) Drill holes at the two top corners of the keyboard. These holes should be wide enough for the wires to snugly pass through.

Locate the Scroll Lock LED and remove it. Solder two pairs of the stiff wire to the terminals

Locate the Scroll Lock LED and remove it. Solder two pairs of the stiff wire to the terminals

Now pass each pair of wires through the two holes and neatly conceal the internal wires inside the keyboard. Solder the other ends of the wire to the LEDs. Check the positive and negative terminals and carefully solder the LEDs to the wires. Finally close the keyboard again.

Drill holes at the two extreme top ends of the keyboard and pass each pair of wire through them

Drill holes at the two extreme top ends of the keyboard and pass each pair of wire through them

Your keyboard is now ready for use at night. Connect it to the computer and power up the system. You will now be able to switch on or off the LEDs by simply tapping the [Scroll Lock] key.

Solder the LEDs to each pair. Use a housing eor heat shinkable shielding tubes over the LED if required

Solder the LEDs to each pair. Use a housing eor heat shinkable shielding tubes over the LED if required

The workshop demonstrated here is very crude, and you can make it neater by using LED sockets and other materials to give it a more professional look.

Publish date: July 21, 2011 2:20 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:12 pm

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