Tech Tales: Computer Lighting

By Tony Green

One day a Jameco customer came in and spoke with me about his need to illuminate his computers keyboard for easier viewing. We threw around various ideas from discrete LEDs to backlights. His needs were fairly specific, just enough illumination to see the keys, without adding any glare, light intensity or color. It needed to be easy on the eyes and built in such a way to be functional without being in the way.

We settled on a Lunasea Lighting 12" LED light bar in warm white. I made sure he knew he could lower the brightness by restricting the current or dropping the voltage to the light bar. A simple barrier of some sort could be fashioned to act as a light shield to focus the light only on the keyboard, if needed.
Computer Lighting

He placed the order and I didn't really expect to hear back from him unless there were issues of some kind, but a couple of days later I got a voice-mail from Bob raving about how well the light bar worked and how pleased he was. Always nice to hear that, of course, so I called him to talk about his final solution.

I don't know why this didn't occur to me, but he mounted his light bar on the bottom of the monitor frame just above the keyboard and angled for best viewing. I would have mounted it on top. Jameco customers do have a tendency to teach me something most every week.

More Electronic Tips and Tricks from our Designers

Tony Green majored in Aeronautics and Aerospace Design at San Mateo Community College. Before coming to Jameco in 2011, he was an Electronics Technician / Automation Engineer at Genentech, Inc., in the engineering and product development divisions, supporting drug manufacturing and development. He was also an Electronics Technician at B.Braun AG, in West Germany. His hobbies are restoring classic Corvettes and relentlessly spoiling his grandkids.