Membrane keyboards can be enhanced using backlighting. There are many different types of backlighting, the intended use of the membrane distinguishes what type of backlighting is used. Find out more below.
Membrane keyboards are a reliable and low-cost solution when creating a high impact, custom panel. Since their development during the 1980s, there have been many advances, such as adding backlighting.
Backlighting technologies can,
- Improve a user’s ability to work an application
- Enhance products aesthetically
- Help differentiate equipment from the competition
Different external factors determine the appropriate type of backlighting for a project. Below we explore backlighting options to help assist you with your backlighting technology choice.
NEW Light Guide Film (LGF)
Light Guide Film uses a thin film to direct light produced by LEDs across a chosen area. The film can be in any shape and across multiple areas of the panel. LGF can light small or large areas consistently. The plastic film can be as thin as 0.003 inches, ideal for applications that have minimal space or require little impact on tactile feel. LGF’s can be more expensive but provide greater versatility. For more information click here.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
Light Emitting Diodes are a popular form of backlighting. They are reliable, have a long operating life, and are available in many colours at a lower cost. If a surface requires continuously lit lighting, LEDs are a good choice, as they have low operating voltages and efficient power consumption.
Electroluminescent Lighting (EL)
Electroluminescent lighting is a traditional form of backlighting technology. It converts electricity directly into light using phosphors. However, the phosphors can delay when overused. So are suited for applications that are not always required to be lit. Under regular operation, EL Lighting consumes little power but is not practical for lighting large areas.
Fibre Optic Lighting
Fibre Optic Lighting uses layers of fibre-optic cloth to form light. The technology has low power requirements, the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, humidity and other harsh conditions. However, it is more expensive compared with other alternatives.
Functionality, budget and environmental constraints affect the type of backlighting technology used within a keypad. Backlighting can benefit a user by drawing attention to certain areas of the panel, as well as giving off signs from colours or flashes. Helping draw user attention to certain areas of the interface. The ability to use different colours associated with actions provides more opportunity for backlit keypads in different environments. If you want more information on the possibilities of backlit membrane keypads, contact us for a free consultation.
At Diamond HMI we provide a range of membrane keyboards that can be custom designed to suit backlit requirements and easily incorporated within a membrane switch assembly. For more information on construction, visit our Membrane Keyboard Design & Construction page.