Backlighting Panels feature membrane switch conductive pad.

Press Release Summary:

Fiber Optic Backlighting Panels, utilizing as few as one 3 or 5 mm LED light source, permit low power consumption of 10-25 mA and long life up to 100,000 hr. They have zero impact on tactile feel of elastomeric keys. Conductive pads are printed onto underside of fiber optic panel and, when integrated with rubber keypads or membrane switch overlays, function as switch. Design provides direct path for light with no interference.

Original Press Release:

New Fiber Optic Backlighting Panels Feature Membrane Switch Conductive Pad Integrated into the Backlight

Strongsville, OH, August 2003- New fiber optic backlighting panels from Lumitex, Inc. for membrane switch backlighting applications feature conductive pads designed into the panel that integrate switch technology into the fiber optic backlight for use in keypads, keyboards and membrane switches.

Utilizing as few as one 3mm or 5mm LED light sources, these backlights permit low power consumption (10-25 mA), have long life (up to 100,000 hours), have zero impact on the tactile feel of elastomeric keys, and can backlight a larger area than surface mount LEDs.

The conductive pads are printed onto the underside (back reflector) of the fiber optic panel and, when integrated with rubber keypads or membrane switch overlays, function as a switch. The pads are composed of a conductive material suspended above the traces on the printed circuit board. When a button on a rubber keypad or membrane switch is depressed, it deflects the conductive pad down on to the PC board where it makes contact, closing the circuit.

"In previous designs, the conductive layer has been sandwiched between the backlight, which provides the illumination, and the device to be backlit," said Walter Schulz, Applications Engineer at Lumitex. "This design is inefficient in that the light transfer from the backlight to the overlay is blocked by the conductive pad. The Lumitex design provides a direct path for the light with no interference."

Lumitex's unique approach -- the conductive pads integrated with the fiber optic panel -- permits switches to be totally encapsulated, with an adhesive layer around the PC board traces to seal out contaminants that can cause switches to fail prematurely.

Lumitex fiber optic backlighting panels utilizing the Membrane Switch Conductive Pads are also available with the company's new compact LED connector that measures only 3mm in diameter. They are ideal for applications such as remote controls, membrane switch keypads or keyboards for applications requiring illumination, such as bank ATMs, and anywhere else where a membrane switch would be used.

Pricing for Lumitex fiber optic backlighting panels with the new integrated membrane switch conductive pads starts at under $1.00 for a basic 1.5" x 1.0" (38.1mm x 25.4mm) single-layer panel. For additional details, contact Lumitex, Inc.

For more information, contact Lumitex Inc., 8443 Dow Circle, Strongsville, OH 44136. Tel: 1-800-969-5483; 440-243-8401; Fax: 440-243-8402; E-Mail: Web:

Reader Service Inquiries: Please forward to Walter Schulz, Lumitex, Inc., 8443 Dow Circle, Strongsville, OH 44136. Or e-mail to Walter Schulz at Thank you.

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