Why not RGBW?

Why haven’t we seen any RGBW leds in boards? Are they too expensive? Too large? I always get frustrated by the lack of a true white on my RGB boards.

Anyone know?

I have wondered that, too.

More like lack of popularity.

Well yes, that is the question. Perhaps I should have phrased it “why are rgbw leds not popular on keyboards?”

The added white channel gives so many more color options.

I wonder the same. My guess is cost…

So, doing a hasty search on Digikey shows that anything less than 1000 moq for RGBW leds are $5ish or more. most of them in the 7-10 range.

I’m also seeing it in a 6-8 pin package, meaning that controlling them would take up another spot on the MCU. And, adding them to a common firmware like QMK would take extra work.

Most likely, up to this point it hasn’t been worth it for someone to do for the benefit they add. I’m sure if someone wanted to put the work in, it would start getting more traction, but it would mean designing a new board, adding to QMK to control it, and paying a lot more than you do currently for LEDS. (WS2812 LEDs are in the $.30-.50 each for low volume range in my experience.)


Makes sense. I hope that someone out there will try to tackle this one day. I would easily pay the extra.

I would be down for RGBW LEDs

I think the only reason these are not use more often is that people just don’t know about them as well. The WS2812b is just so much more known.

Price shouldn’t be too much of an issue though. A quick eBay search got me this, 10 for 5.40€ (granted, it’s a German listing but I’m sure there has to be an equally cheap option for you across the pond)

RGBW LEDs are also already natively supported by QMK. You just have to add #define RGBW 1 to your config.h.