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 causes eye strain and frustration. A small dim light can illuminate the keyboard while keeping the lights of the room switched off.
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. The Scroll Lock LED is usually switched off as it is never used.
What to do
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. 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.
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. 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.