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The backlighting of membranes switches or graphic overlays can create create a dramatic visual effect especially in low-light environments.

There are many ways in which to backlight your membrane switch. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. We provide our customers with five different options so you can find the perfect system to meet your backlighting needs.

Phosphorous ink

This ink is silkscreened under the graphic overlay. When exposed to a light source, it stores energy that it uses to glow in the dark. This lighting is affordable and recommended for instruments that are in the dark for short periods of time only.

  • Cost-effective
  • Does not require electrical power
  • Excellent for highlighting a word, key or logo
  • Short periods of time in the dark


LEDs are ideal for lighting windows or specific elements. They are placed on the circuit and Bolin regularly combines them with clear inks and diffusers.

  • Very bright
  • Excellent for lighting an element or window
  • Long useful life

Embedded LEDs-provide the most affordable method for backlighting. They are most commonly used as indicator lights. It is also feasible to use LED’s as a backlight for small icons & symbols. With larger icons & symbols it is difficult to achieve uniform backlighting with embedded LED’s.


Electroluminescents consist of phosphorus particles printed on a polyester sheet. The particles light up when an alternative current (AC) is applied; this produces flexible, slim lighting that is easy to incorporate into a keypad.

  • Flexible
  • Illuminates wide areas
  • Thin .010’’
  • Uses alternating current

Optical fibre

Optical fibre consists of a fibre laid flat on a reflector and light source, usually a LED. It is placed directly under the graphic overlay and may be used to light the surface partially or completely.

  • Flexible
  • Long useful life
  • Thin ± .013’’

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