2
\$\begingroup\$

I just purchased an RGB LED mechanical keyboard, where each key has its own color.

I was playing with the settings, and found one I like: each LED under each key rapidly cycles between colors.

It got me thinking - does rapidly changing an LED's color reduce lifespan, as opposed to keeping it at a constant color?

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Even if it did, the percentage of impact on the LEDs lifetime would be irrelevant to the life of mechanical switches. Unless the manufacturer was pushing the LED unreasonably - and then there would be no reason to believe the mechanical switches are super high quality either. Bottom line IMO: just enjoy your keyboard. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wesley Lee
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 22:52

2 Answers 2

2
\$\begingroup\$

It would likely decrease reliability a little bit. Temperature is a much larger factor in LED reliability. LEDs are much more complicated than they appear at first glance. There are many factors with the pulsing that would need to be known. (e.g. Pulse duration, current amplitude, current ripple, frequency,and duty cycle).

But compared to temperature, pulse is negligible when the LED is driven below Imax. If the LED is not too hot to touch (50º C), it is running way below Imax. I max would drive temperature to 125º C or more without significant thermal management.

I am currently writing a paper titled: Understanding LEDs.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

It will increase the life. Any amount of off vs on time will change how long it lasts. Most of those leds will out last your keyboard even if fully on. Each individual diode inside will see some measurable life increase. Obviously colors that use multiple diodes in a RGB led will not benefit. All on White is worst case.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that this is saying that rapidly changing the colors will increase the lifespan. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ If white is worst case then so would blue and green. White and green LEDs are made from blue LEDs pushing phosphors. An RGB must use 3 LEDs. You have red and blue LEDs, and the green is a blue LED pushing phosphors. You can't alter the phosphors. Rapidly turning an LED on and off will not increase life. Pulse duration, current amplitude, current ripple, frequency, and duty cycle will affect reliability. Pulses often cause electrical overstress. This is especially true when the LED current is increased to near or above Imax to compensate for the reduced intensity of pulsing.. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 0:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.