While backlighting isn’t the most useful feature you can find on a keyboard, it’s getting more and more popular. More advanced best backlit keyboards can give you millions of different combinations spread across a variety of complex areas, but even the most basic backlit keyboard can give you a pleasing aesthetic for your PC setup and a way to see better in the dark. But many “fly by night” laptops promise backlit options but ultimately only give poor results.
We’re going to walk you through 10 of the best backlit keyboards models of 2021 and help you understand the factors to look for. Even if backlighting is one of your priorities, there are other features you should keep in mind. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Illuminated Wireless Logitech K800 – Best backlit keyboards
Many best backlit keyboards are designed like gaming keyboards, but the Logitech K800 is primarily a productivity tool. It may not have fancy features, but it delivers the essentials right away. The backlight is strong enough to allow easy reading at night.
And while the PerfectStroke key system doesn’t have the elegance of a mechanical model, it does ensure a higher level of precision when trying to get your job done. You can count on this backlit model to work in all circumstances. It works with all modern versions of Windows, and the unique unifying receiver makes it easy to set up and maintain your wireless connection.
KINESIS Gaming Edge RGB – best illuminated keyboards
The Kinesis is by far one of the most expensive backlit keyboard models out there today, but there’s no other choice like it on the market. It can be split in half so you can find an ergonomic design to suit your style of use, and the 95 built-in keys are fully customizable to your needs.
This makes it one of the best choices if you want a quality gaming keyboard. It’s a mechanical keyboard too, and the Cherry RX’s brown keys are some of the most responsive. This keyboard is also designed to work in “plug and play” mode with any operating system.
Arteck HB030B backlit – best wireless backlit keyboard
Need a tiny, mobile RGB keyboard that you can take with you wherever you go? Look at the Arteck HB030B. It’s one of the most stylish best cheap backlit keyboard savailable today, and it’s designed to work seamlessly with both desktop and mobile operating systems. And its wireless design further enhances its performance as a travel keyboard.
This keyboard can last up to six months on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about plugging it in every night before bed. It’s also built to last. You can get 3 million clicks from this keyboard before you worry about any glitches.
Azio Vision Backlit – best backlit mechanical keyboard
Azio isn’t a particularly well-known keyboard maker, but he did a slam dunk with the Vision keyboard. The backlighting is more functional than aesthetic. The large print keys are twice the size of conventional keyboard models, and the keys themselves are bright enough to be seen even in the darkest environments. But if you want a little flair, there are five different colors to choose from. The brightness of this keyboard is also fully adjustable. There is also a wide variety of hotkeys that you can use to make navigation much easier to perform.
Redragon K552-RGB – best backlit keyboards
You have to look far to find a keyboard with as much style as the Redragon K552. The mechanical design really favors RGB backlighting, and the switches themselves are a variation of Cherry Blue. Rather than emphasizing just one color, it’s a device that rocks a rainbow design.
This model which can work naturally with all versions of Windows and offers limited compatibility with iOS. And it’s also an incredibly durable material. Its all-aluminum construction gives it a lightweight feel while still allowing it to withstand almost anything you throw at it.
HAVIT Backlit – Best lighted wireless keyboards
When you find a keyboard that offers custom RGB lighting, you can usually expect to have to use a software platform to tune it. This is not the case with the Havit mechanical device. It’s designed to run smoothly from the moment you plug it in, and the function keys are designed to let you easily customize, save, or switch between profiles.
It is also efficient work. Its reduced profile makes it very compact while sacrificing only the dedicated numeric keypad. And fast typists will appreciate the fact that all keys have smooth n-key roll.
Eagletec KG011 – backlit keyboard and mouse
Getting the cool effects of RGB lighting doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a comfortable typing experience. Medium resistance strikes a nice balance between tactile feedback and silence. They are also tested for a lifespan of up to 50 million keystrokes.
Durability is actually the name of the game with this all-rounder keyboard. It is made from aircraft-grade aluminum which means it is both lightweight and incredibly durable. This model is also splash-proof. The keys bear durable inscriptions, while the brightness levels are fully adjustable. The full size of this device allows you to access more keys, while the USB connector is gold plated to reduce corrosion.
Corsair K68 RGB – Best Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
It’s not for nothing that Corsair is one of the most popular producers of gaming accessories. While the K68 is one of the more expensive keyboards on our list, it’s also one of the best backlit keyboards around. Its vivid and varied format allows you to achieve virtually unlimited color combinations.
It also uses one of the best software platforms out there. CUE gives you all the tools you need to create your own custom keyboard playing experience, and there’s full anti-ghosting for all keys. It is also splash and dust resistant, so it is designed to stand the test of time.
Vulcan 100 Aimo RGB – best cheap mechanical keyboard
ROCCAT’s Vulcan 100 is perhaps the most advanced and best gaming keyboard in a reasonable price range. It might be a bit more expensive than your average model, but it gives you some of the more advanced lighting options – 16.8 million in total.
Dedicated media keys are also built in, and the built-in wheel makes it a must-have choice for gaming. It’s also fully programmable, and the build quality here is exceptional. The aluminum structure facilitates a lightweight and very durable design, and special care has been taken in the keys and switches for a responsive but relatively quiet typing quality.
HUO JI Z-77 – best budget mechanical keyboard
There are few best backlit keyboards that offer your dollar’s worth like the HUO JI Z-77. It is compact but rich in features. All 87 keys work simultaneously, making it one of the best options for gamers and people looking to maximize their productivity.
And while that doesn’t offer the flexible customization that beefier models do, it does offer a combination of 9 different backlight modes and 8 gaming lighting patterns. The versatility is further enhanced by the fact that the keys functions come with a wide variety of software and shortcuts.
Best Backlit Keyboards – Buying Guide
If you want a backlit PC keyboard, you won’t have to choose between several options. But the best backlit keyboards aren’t always immediately visible if you’re unfamiliar with the features, specifications, and prices expected for certain models. But we want to make it easy for you. Read on for the information you need to pay attention to when purchasing a device.
Variety of lighting
The most basic RGB best backlit keyboards provide color for your backlit keys, although even the simplest backlit keys can be adjusted for their intensity using the function keys. More advanced keyboards allow you to adjust the backlit keys in a more advanced way. Zones divide your keys into segments, while other models let you adjust the coloring based on each key. The best backlit keyboards that sit in the middle offer unified coloring for all the keys, but only a handful of colors to choose from.
There are two big differences between basic lighting and advanced lighting. Obviously, the more advanced lighting options you have incorporated, the more it will cost you. But the upside is that these more advanced models are controlled by configuration software, allowing you to create incredibly complex layouts, or even save separate profiles for different situations.
More complex RGB lighting is normally the responsibility of gamers, while basic lighting serves a more practical purpose. Backlit keys make it easier to read your board when typing at night. It can give you great flexibility whether you like to work in bed or on the road.
A wireless keyboard is almost always going to cost more than a comparable wired model, but wireless capabilities are getting cheaper and cheaper. If you want a wireless keyboard, you can usually find a model that will meet your needs. The main downside to wireless models is that they often involve some level of input lag, although that probably doesn’t bother anyone except the most competitive gamers.
Although Bluetooth is the most common form of wireless connectivity, most wireless best backlit keyboards do not use a Bluetooth receiver. Instead, a dongle plugged into your USB port projects a radio signal that is used to communicate between your computer and your device. Although there are Bluetooth models out there, it is quite rare to find them, and they don’t have many advantages.
If you choose to get a wired model, you won’t have to worry about Bluetooth at all. While handling the cord can be painful at times, they offer a higher level of reliability without having to worry about a dropped connection. And these devices are generally available at a fairly reasonable price.
So you’ve been looking for the best backlit keyboards for your needs. But you need to determine which operating systems work with your keyboard. PC models generally offer fairly wide compatibility. Most keyboards are designed for easy plug and play use with the latest versions of Windows, and although native compatibility is not always present for Linux, there are usually workarounds.
If you have a Mac, you might want to be a bit more vigilant. There are more models that don’t work with Macs and others that lack functionality when working with Macs. One of the most common problems with Macs is the inability of some RGB light configuration software to work on the Mac OS.
You will have a choice between mechanical or membrane devices. We especially like the best backlit keyboards because the mechanical switches they use are more precise and responsive, and they also have a satisfying tactile feel. Membrane’s best backlit keyboards are less expensive, and they often feature a wrist rest or other less common ergonomic features. The choice is yours, but you should definitely try typing on both types of keyboard before making a final decision.
Best Backlit Keyboards – FAQ
How do I get my keyboard to turn on?
First of all, you need a backlit keyboard. Beyond that, the lighting method of your keyboard may vary from one model to another. For a backlit model that only offers one color, the lighting will often be on by default, but you can change the lighting or brightness with the touch of a button. For a more complex backlit device, you'll need to use free proprietary software provided by the manufacturer. Most have instructions included with the keyboard.
Should I get a backlit keyboard?
Adding light to your keyboard is mostly an aesthetic choice, although it can be useful if you regularly find yourself working in the dark. How much importance you place on lighting functions depends on your personal preferences, but you don't have to spend a fortune to buy this type of material. You can check out our reviews and Amazon links if you need help deciding if backlighting is a worthwhile investment for you.
What does a backlit keyboard mean?
These are computer keyboards that use lighting to highlight the keys. They can make your game setup cooler and make typing easier when working in the dark.
What is the best typing keyboard?
Our favorite is the Logitech K800. Logitech makes great models of mice and keyboards, but the K800 is a great fit for productivity, and Logitech has managed to give you what you pay for.
In terms of aesthetics, backlit keyboards are some of the coolest devices we’ve had the opportunity to review. But they only scratch the surface of the options when trying to improve your work or gaming computer and create a more immersive environment. Whether you’re looking for a PC for entertainment or productivity, there are new great deals almost every day, and you can count on our guide to provide you with nothing but solid models.