RGB Mechanical Keyboard: What is the Difference between Underglow and Per-Key Backlight?

Durgod Hades


RGB mechanical keyboard has captivated the gaming and enthusiast community with their customizable lighting options, highlighting two primary features: “per-key backlight” and “underglow.” Let’s dissect these illuminating characteristics to understand their appeal and functionality.

Per-Key Backlight: Customization at Every Press

Description: Per-key backlighting equips each key with its own LED, enabling extensive color and pattern customization for individual keys. This feature not only enhances key visibility in low-light conditions but also allows for creative lighting schemes.


  • Personalization: Offers endless possibilities for personalized lighting profiles, catering to both gaming and productivity needs.
  • Aesthetic and Functional: Strikes a balance between visual appeal and practicality, highlighting specific keys for easier identification.
  • Dynamic Effects: Supports complex animations and effects, adding a dynamic layer to the typing experience.

Use Cases:

  • Gaming: Ideal for gamers seeking to illuminate key zones or specific keys.
  • Low-Light Typing: Enhances key visibility, aiding those working in dim environments.
  • Tech Customization: Appeals to users who enjoy tailoring their gadgets to their preferences.


Underglow: Setting the Mood

Description: Underglow lighting adds LEDs around the keyboard’s edges or underside, creating a subtle ambient effect that enhances the desk or surface beneath.


  • Ambiance: Crafts a mood-enhancing glow around the keyboard, contributing to the overall vibe of the space.
  • Visual Appeal: Offers a striking look in darker settings, accentuating the keyboard’s design.
  • Subtlety: Provides aesthetic flair without overwhelming the senses, perfect for users seeking a less intrusive visual enhancement.

Use Cases:

  • Desk Aesthetics: Boosts the visual appeal of a workspace or gaming setup.
  • Ambient Lighting Preference: Suits those desiring a gentler light source from their keyboard.


Comparing Illumination Types

  • Illumination Focus: Per-key backlighting enhances individual key functionality and customization, while underglow emphasizes ambient aesthetics.
  • Customization Level: Per-key backlighting allows for granular control, unlike underglow, which is typically adjusted as a whole.
  • Visual Impact: Per-key lighting directly affects the typing or gaming experience by improving visibility, whereas underglow aims to enhance the keyboard’s aesthetic environment.

Both per-key backlighting and underglow in RGB mechanical keyboards serve distinct user preferences and experiences. Per-key backlighting caters to functional needs and precise customization, making it indispensable for gaming and typing in poorly lit conditions. Conversely, underglow elevates the keyboard’s aesthetic charm and workspace ambiance. Many users find combining both features yields an optimal blend of utility and beauty, enjoying the practicality of per-key lighting with the ambient allure of underglow.

Charming RGB Mechanical Keyboards | All in DURGOD

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