When you think of EL, youíd think inverter. The inverter is happily hidden right under the ďEluminXĒ logo. 5v off the PS/2 line is already enough to light up the whole board. Looking at the power wires coming into the inverter, you can easily slip in a switch so you can turn the glow on and off at your discretion. But since, IMHO anyway, even at a completely dark room, itís not that bright to annoy you to ever need to control the glow.
The glow is more of a mood light feel, but enough to make the keys visible at low light environments. At first I thought it goes brighter as the light lessens, but actually itís lit all the time. It will really look bright when all the lights are turned off. But with the lights off and the monitor on, itís not that much of a glow. The important thing is, youíre not relying on the ambient light from the monitor. With my Black keyboard, the keys are hard to look at even with ambient light from the monitor showing a white screen. But with the transparent keys on the EluminX, even with not much glow apparent, the great contrast of the key labels on a transparent key really makes it stand out and easy to read. So either way, the keyboard is still clearly visible.
Here's a quick look on how the keyboards are lit up by the monitor screen, showing a white background (Google main page) with no room lights on.
Other than the hefty price tag and adaptation to a new layout, I have no complaints about this keyboard. I usually end up liking what I find a lot of complaints about. That kind of showed me that Iíve really looked at the product that much. If you really feel a self-lit keyboard would help you type in the dark, The EluminX is a good choice.
** Comments after a few months of usage:
Iíve noticed that letter keys I most often use have lost their textured feel and have become rather smooth, shiny and slippery. So now my home keys are more transparent than others. This is very apparent on the SPACEBAR. I press the SPACEBAR with my right thumb. Since the texture on the right side of the SPACEBAR wore off, that part has become more transparent than the left side, losing its ďsmokedĒ look. Fortunately the labels did not fade a bit.