Does disabling laptop keyboard backlight LEDs improve battery life?

Kenny Trinh Updated on June 3, 2020
Does a Backlit Keyboard Significantly Affect Laptop Battery Life?

When you have a laptop that has a backlit keyboard, you may be wondering what the impact this backlight has on your battery life. If you are getting a backlit keyboard where there isn’t one, then you don’t have to worry about that so much. However, if you have a laptop with a backlit keyboard or you want to get one of the best laptops with a backlit keyboard, then you want to know what that can do for your battery life.

The short answer is that yes, a backlit keyboard is going to impact your overall battery life. However, how much or if it makes a huge difference is a much longer answer.

How do Laptop Batteries Work?

The difference between a laptop battery and any other battery is minimal. Like the rest of the batteries, laptop batteries come in a variety of sizes and shapes. However, there is the added complex electronic circuit that will work in conjunction with the rest of the laptop’s hardware.

The electronic circuit manages all the power that flows in the battery while charging. That same power flows out of the battery cells while discharging, which is something that sets laptop batteries apart from ordinary household rechargeables.

The primary process of charging and discharging that laptop batteries do is controlled by the hardware that is already built into your laptop. That hardware is going to ensure that the cells in the battery are functioning correctly, and it warns you when you need to set the battery to charge.

Though laptop batteries are rechargeable, they won’t last forever. Therefore, you want to take care of them as best as you can. The design of the battery is dependent on the model of your laptop.

How Do Laptop Batteries Work?

How to Utilize the Battery on your Laptop

Mac:

To utilize the battery on your Mac, just make sure you keep the battery percentage on so that you can see where it is at. Then you need to always make sure to keep your software updated. When possible, use your laptop in energy saver mode through your system preferences. Another way to utilize the battery, dim your screen so that it isn’t on full brightness. Oh, and lastly, make sure all your background apps are closed.

Windows:

You can utilize your battery on your Windows laptop by using battery saving mode. This mode will lower your system’s resources to help increase battery life. Like the Mac, you can reduce the brightness you use on the screen. When not in use, put your laptop into hibernation mode instead of sleep mode. Lastly, disable all your battery draining apps.

What Factors Affect Battery Life

There are a variety of factors that will affect your laptops battery life. Here we are going to cover a few of those things.

1. Screens

Your screen is one of the worst battery drainers your laptop has. The brightness and how long the screen is on are all going to affect the battery life. Using the screen saving option is also one of the worst drains on the battery. You may think that it is saving battery, but the truth is that it isn’t. Your battery can die up to 30% faster when at full brightness.

2. Performance

As you use your laptop and open up apps or webpages, your laptop caches a lot of background information that is going to be moving around and draining your battery. You want to close background apps and everything that you use to help keep your laptop’s battery protected. Your performance will affect your battery life by at least 20%

3. Fan

The fan on your laptop runs continuously as it works to keep your laptop cool. If your laptop is overheating, the fans need to spin faster to prevent it. The reason the laptop might overheat is if the vents get blocked with dust or hair. The fans then need to work harder to cool down the CPU because your laptop hasn’t been cleaned enough. The fan affects your battery life by 10% because it isn’t as battery draining as other things.

4. Thermal Heat

This heat is the heat inside your laptop that causes the fan to work harder to cool it down. As the thermal temperature of your laptop rises because the vents are blocked, or you are using a gaming laptop and overclocking it, you will notice your battery drains fast. The thermal heat will only affect battery life by about 5%.

5. Minor Factors

There is a range of smaller factors that seem insignificant that will also drain the battery of your laptop quickly. Among these things is how many things do you have plugged into the USB ports. The more stuff plugged into the USB ports, and the more your laptop has to work. How much the USB usage affects your battery depends on what you are using it for. For general mouse, speakers and such, your battery life is affected by 15% thereabouts. For other things, like charging your phone, it will be more like 20%

Minor Factors

Your backlit keyboard will also drain the battery life of your laptop. When you keep the backlights on, especially if you are using a gaming laptop, they will reduce the battery faster than if they weren’t on. However, it will only affect your battery life by about 2-3%. Additionally, leaving the battery in while you have your laptop plugged in can reduce the length of your battery’s capacity.

Lastly, heat. Not thermal heat or internal heat, but exterior heat or cold temperatures do affect your battery life. Extreme temperatures tend to require your laptop to work harder, which will drain the battery.

Final Verdict

There are many things that will affect your battery life. You want to be mindful of how you use your laptop so that you don’t end up wasting the battery unintentionally. One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you are a gamer and you are using a regular or gaming lap[top, your battery life will be considerably shortened.

Ultimately, the backlit keyboard is not going to affect your battery very much. There are much more battery draining things to consider before you need to worry about your backlit keyboard.

Kenny Trinh
Article by:
Building his first desktop at the age of 10, start coding at 14 years old, Kenny knows a thing or two when it comes to finding a good laptop and he aims to share everything he knows. Current go-to laptop: Apple Macbook Air 2019.

Leave a Comment