What Are RGB LED Mechanical Keyboards

RGB refers to the primary colors of light: Red, Green, and Blue. In order for the keyboard to work, the RGB generates custom colors by producing synchronous combinations. Basically, Red, Green and Blue come together to create roughly 16 million combinations and then light up on your keyboard.

RGB ranges from the values of 0 to 255. A RGB mechanical keyboard gives you the option of choosing the rainbow and then some for the back lighting of the keys. Perhaps you have seen something like this: rgb(255,192,203)? It is essentially the RGB code for the color pink. Often these unique number sets are used in graphic design and development. 


A Great Keyboard - When it comes to our keyboards and the games we prefer to play, we all have different preferences. Your keyboard should mirror these traits and, most importantly, give you with the best gaming experience possible. Be sure to read my article called: What Makes A Good Gaming Mechanical Keyboard to learn what makes or breaks an excellent gaming keyboard.


According to Meesh, Computer Product Analyst, "Not every back lit keyboard is RGB, too. If your keyboard only shows a limited range of colors, for instance red or green, or only yellow and white, it's not RGB." RGB emits the full spectrum of colors; from beautiful deep and sky blues, to bright oranges and reds, to baby pink and lavender. The majority, if not all, RGB mechanical keyboards come with a program you install on your PC that allows you to change the color wheel yourself. This usually, too, is a sign that you have an RGB keyboard.

When you are looking for a RGB keyboard, it's important to make sure that RGB is in the title. For instance, “HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard”. If the keyboard looks and is advertised to what you think has RGB lighting, but doesn't say outright, go through the details of the listing or google the keyboard if you are sincerely interested.

What are RGB LED Mechanical Keyboards

What's the point of having an RGB? What are the advantages?

The initial reason of buying one is pretty much, it's cool. The first time I saw a legit RGB LED mechanical keyboard, I thought it was wicked. And of course, I immediately wanted one myself. One of the things that makes these intriguing and unique is the capability of personalizing it based off of color preferences. There are several different patterns of movement that you can choose from, too. The lighting changes when you change your keycaps, as well. If you take a look below at my Ducky, for instance. These keycaps do not come with the board itself, initially it was all white. Upon changing these keycaps, the lighting also changed. In fact, the keycaps enhanced the lighting.

What are rgb led mechanical keyboards

There are advantages to having an RGB keyboard. If you are like me and you like playing games or write well into the night, having a keyboard that lights up is preferable. It's easier to find the keys, if necessary, when they are lit. If you don't have a muscle memory due to a new game (or just in general yet) and it's control systems, for instance World of Warcraft or Diablo, the lighting will help. Especially when you get caught by the enemy - the panic arrives and you forgot where the 5th key is and have to look down. Surely I am not the only one who has experienced this. :P Having lighting on your WASD directional keys can be beneficial as well.

A lot of advantages vary from game to game, too. You can continue to personalize it by setting certain keys to certain colors. Yes, I am using CS:GO as an example, again. Through the game itself, you can program shortcuts for your keyboard with specific keyboard brands and their progams – Corsair being one of those. It monitors your health in CS:GO, changing colors as you lose health. This goes for Grand Theft Auto, too, when the police are after you the keyboard mimics. MMO and MOBA games benefit greatly from the distinguishing color sets. Whatever makes gaming more convenient for you can be accomplished by setting up your keyboard and it's lights based off of certain requirements. It becomes even more important when you've settled on a TKL or 60/65% mechanical keyboard. *Note, higher end brands, like Ducky, may require some knowledge and experience with adjusting your back lighting for some games. Just be aware of that if you're looking in that direction.

Though at the same time... if your lights are too bright, it could be a distraction. And it's not uncommon for keyboard to react by touch after you have shut your computer down. It's slightly inconvenient. I personally have done that several times and so have my cats.

Membrane Keyboards have RGB LED Lighting, too

If you don't want a mechanical keyboard, but you really dig the RGB lighting, never fear, they do exist. HyperX has created a Membrane Gaming Keyboard (also great for writing) that has RGB LED Lighting. It's also spill resistant, by the way. It has the cool affects of what you would get with a mechanical keyboard, but at a lower cost and type partiality. Redragon also creates one, though a Chiclet key variety, that has true RGB lighting.

Again, read thoroughly about the keyboard before buying. There are many keyboards out there that have lighting in the title, but it doesn't mean it's truly RGB.

Buying a RGB Mechanical Keyboard

Alright, you're ready to buy one. What do you want to look for? As mentioned before, start out by finding one that has it in the title of the name. Start by looking at the details of the keyboard. This is absolutely important when you are on Amazon. It's wise to start off with brands that you are familiar with, ones that are honest and responsible about the keyboards that they advertise.

A good program can make the world of difference (this also goes for mice). There are RGB keyboards that have presets built into them. They're usually limited, which reduces the fun factor. A keyboard that lets you adjust the rainbow, the patterns, the intensity and speed are paramount. I don't like my lighting to move fast. I like it when it moves slow and gracefully. If I didn't have a program that let me adjust the speed, I would be disappointed. Corsair is a great example of having excellent programming. Ducky's general programming is good, too, but may be a bit more difficult when it comes to key binding. But Corsairs and Duckys are also expensive so take that into consideration, too.

This also goes for games themselves, like mentioned above with Counter-Strike. These preferences are remembered for the game, so every time you start it up, your keyboard says 'oh hey, we're gonna go plant some bombs, so let's adjust for health awareness when my brother trolls me.'

I'm going to preach this again, like the broken-record I am. When you're searching for a keyboard, make sure it's what you are looking for. Make sure that you are aware of this brand, it's reviews and it's reliability. The last thing you want is to buy a keyboard and it break on you mid-game and it's your only keyboard. Which should never be the case. Keep a backup! Even if it's a cheap membrane that you stole from work.

Make sure it has a switch that you like the best, the one that has the optimal actuation force and travel time for what you do on your computer. Ensure that the RGB keyboard you want comes in that switch. Most of them do, thankfully. Don't compromise on the size, either. This is your money, your keyboard. RGB lighting is exciting and cool, but if your the keyboard you want is not offered with back lighting, it's not the end of the world. Put some lights around it and pretend that it is. :P When I bought my Varmilo, I thought I'd miss the back lighting. That was one of my favorite things about a RGB LED mechanical keyboard. Surprisingly, I haven't even noticed that it's missing.

what are rgb led mechanical keyboards

How about some ideas?

Before you go off hunting for your next keyboard, may I suggest some?

Roccat. They frequently have a sale going on. And they also provide a RGB LED Membrane choice. The Vulcan Aimo set of keyboards have a variety of RGB colors and styles. They have programs for individual keyboards, which are easy to find on their website. (They also have great programs for their mice too.)

Ducky. Ducky has a sophisticated software for the product you have. You have to answer a series of questions, so remember what you buy, to have a downloadable software available for you for that particular mechanical keyboard.

Corsair. ICUE is the Corsair interface that enables you to control your lighting, macro programming and full-system lighting synchronization for all of your Corsair products.

SteelSeries. They have an engine that has a library of features for all the SteelSeries products. You can customize, sync and tweak your setup.

HyperX. HyperX comes with the NGENUITY programing that is compatible for all of their products. It is in BETA at the moment, but if you're okay with that and helping out the company, go for it. You can create and store macros and button bindings and customize for game mode.

Razer. Chroma RGB offers over 16 million choices for colors and effects. They also have Chrome-integrated dynamic lighting for games, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Warframe and more.