Is there a downside to a backlit remote?

Not really.

Personally I don’t understand why all remotes aren’t backlit. It doesn’t cost that much more and they’re so much more helpful. Whatever your opinion of our Genie Remote, you have to agree that it’s better in a backlit version. The entire button surface lights up and makes it easy to know what you’re doing in the dark. In fact the backlighting is bright enough that you could use it to help find your way, at least a little bit.

The traditional complaint about backlit remotes is that the button surfaces wear out faster than the non-backlit versions. I have personally not found this to be true. All remote buttons will eventually wear to the point where you can’t read what’s on them. That’s a normal consequence of wear-and-tear. If you look at the Genie Remote in backlit and non-backlit versions you’ll realize that there is actually more printed surface on the backlit one so if some of that screen printing is going to wear off, you’ll still have some left as opposed to a non-backlit remote.

The other thing people say about the backlit remote is that the buttons are harder to see in regular light. Again if you look at this image, totally unretouched other than some light cleanup of the background, you can see that the buttons are plenty easy to read and understand with the backlight off. There’s also a button on the side which turns the backlight on so you can see the buttons before you press them if you’re in a low light situation (which is really the whole reason for a backlit remote anyway.)

Oh, yeah, it’s worth saying that the backlit remote is a touch more expensive than a regular remote. That’s true, but we’re talking about a small number here, about what you would spend on a coffee at your favorite place. Suck it up for one day, drink the work coffee instead of the expensive stuff, and get the remote you really want. You’ll thank yourself for years and years to come.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.