How long will the LEDs last?

I leave my MacBook Pro on 24/7, with the keyboard connected. Even though the laptop will go to sleep the keyboard LEDs continues to stay lit. How long can these LEDs do that? I’m assuming that if these LEDs are always on, they’ll burn out much faster than if I use one of the reactive modes.

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LEDs last quite a while even with 24/7 use we are talking many many years. There is a github issue tracking turning them off during sleep here.


“Many many years” is good enough for me. I just switched to the rolling rainbow and will leave it like that until I get bored.



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You could set up something to shut the leds off after a certain amount of time not typing. The ATMEGA isn’t great with time, but I assume the accuracy of this wouldn’t be ultra important.

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FWIW, this is the Data Sheet for our LEDs:

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That’s a neat read. All those conditions and shelf-life needs for LEDs is pretty amazing–this candy bar on my desk has greater tolerances.

I would be very happy if we could define that.

the numbers i see thrown around for LED lifetimes are between 20000 and 50000 hours.

okay, but going by 365.25*24, that’s 6 years ‘always on’ assuming the 50kh is accurate. Which means that for people who leave their desktop on 24/7, a sleep function makes sense. :slight_smile:

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My question is: how hard would it be to replace an led if one dies?

I’ve done some tiny soldering in my life so I’m pretty comfortable but sometimes the soldering is just too hard.

Maybe it’s a “time to buy a reworking station” solution.

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Looking at the rapid progress of the evolution in the field of programmable keyboards, six years is a very long time. It seems not too unlikely that in six years time, keyboardio will sell brain-interfaces. Sadly, those will probably go without light show. :wink:

But seriously, six years durability seems to be really a long time for a device like that.

Rework stations are great. If you do electronics hacking, it’s totally worth it.

We can’t speak to the lifetime of these LEDs because we’ve as yet never seen one burn out and don’t have firm numbers from the vendor.

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I researched LED lifetimes a few years ago, and if I recall correctly the “lifetime” refers to the number of hours at full power that they emit at least some percentage of their design brightness-- perhaps more than 75%? It’s been long enough that I don’t recall the number. The normal failure mode for LED’s is that they get dimmer over time, not that they burn out.



Also, we aren’t even running the LEDs at full power. To do that, we’d need to be pulling 4 amps from the computer :slight_smile:


iirc there was an exponential lifetime curve as you approached full power, so if we’re driving them at less than 1/10th of their full brightness their lifetime should be essentially as long as mine. :slight_smile:

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Says you. I plan on running enough current through mine to toast a bagel.


But its a heirloom grade keyboard. So what about you children and grandchildren. One day they will be sitting in front of grannies (dark) keyboard. :disappointed_relieved:

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I’ve used each of my professional primary use keyboards for seven or eight years, on average:

Microsoft Natural => 1996-2002
Kinesis Advantage => 2002-2010
Kinesis Freestyle => 2010-2017

Assuming I can get my thumbs to learn these thumb keys, I’m hoping the Keyboardio can go the distance!

We need to publish the schematics, but we will. Heirlooms get repaired :wink:


Well, I am more the punch typing guy. My colleagues all wear earmuffs because of the noice and only few keyboards last longer than three years.

No, just kidding about the earmuffs. But I am honestly really good in wrecking keyboards. So the least thing I worry about for the M01 are its LEDs.