RGB Lighting

If you've installed addressable RGB lights on your keyboard you can control them with QMK. Currently we support the following addressable LEDs on Atmel AVR processors:

  • WS2811 and variants (WS2812, WS2812B, WS2812C, etc)
  • SK6812RGBW

Some keyboards come with RGB LEDs pre-installed. Others have to have LEDs installed after the fact. See below for information on modifying your keyboard.

Selecting Colors

QMK uses Hue, Saturation, and Value to set color rather than using RGB. You can use the color wheel below to see how this works. Changing the Hue will cycle around the circle. Saturation will affect the intensity of the color, which you can see as you move from the inner part to the outer part of the wheel. Value sets the overall brightness.

HSV Color Wheel

If you would like to learn more about HSV you can start with the Wikipedia article.


Before RGB Lighting can be used you have to enable it in rules.mk:


You can configure the behavior of the RGB lighting by defining values inside config.h.

Required Configuration

At minimum you have to define the pin your LED strip is connected to and the number of LEDs connected.

#define RGB_DI_PIN D7     // The pin the LED strip is connected to
#define RGBLED_NUM 14     // Number of LEDs in your strip

Optional Configuration

You can change the behavior of the RGB Lighting by setting these configuration values. Use #define <Option> <Value> in a config.h at the keyboard, revision, or keymap level.

Option Default Value Description
RGBLIGHT_HUE_STEP 10 How many hues you want to have available.
RGBLIGHT_SAT_STEP 17 How many steps of saturation you'd like.
RGBLIGHT_VAL_STEP 17 The number of levels of brightness you want.
RGBLIGHT_LIMIT_VAL 255 Limit the val of HSV to limit the maximum brightness simply.


If you have #define RGBLIGHT_ANIMATIONS in your config.h you will have a number of animation modes you can cycle through using the RGB_MOD key. You can also #define other options to tweak certain animations.

Option Default Value Description
RGBLIGHT_ANIMATIONS #define this to enable animation modes.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_BREATHE_CENTER 1.85 Used to calculate the curve for the breathing animation. Valid values 1.0-2.7.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_BREATHE_MAX 255 The maximum brightness for the breathing mode. Valid values 1-255.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_SNAKE_LENGTH 4 The number of LEDs to light up for the "snake" animation.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_KNIGHT_LENGTH 3 The number of LEDs to light up for the "knight" animation.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_KNIGHT_OFFSET 0 Start the knight animation this many LEDs from the start of the strip.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_KNIGHT_LED_NUM RGBLED_NUM The number of LEDs to have the "knight" animation travel.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_CHRISTMAS_INTERVAL 1000 How long to wait between light changes for the "christmas" animation. Specified in ms.
RGBLIGHT_EFFECT_CHRISTMAS_STEP 2 How many LED's to group the red/green colors by for the christmas mode.

You can also tweak the behavior of the animations by defining these consts in your keymap.c. These mostly affect the speed different modes animate at.

// How long (in ms) to wait between animation steps for the breathing mode
const uint8_t RGBLED_BREATHING_INTERVALS[] PROGMEM = {30, 20, 10, 5};

// How long (in ms) to wait between animation steps for the rainbow mode
const uint8_t RGBLED_RAINBOW_MOOD_INTERVALS[] PROGMEM = {120, 60, 30};

// How long (in ms) to wait between animation steps for the swirl mode
const uint8_t RGBLED_RAINBOW_SWIRL_INTERVALS[] PROGMEM = {100, 50, 20};

// How long (in ms) to wait between animation steps for the snake mode
const uint8_t RGBLED_SNAKE_INTERVALS[] PROGMEM = {100, 50, 20};

// How long (in ms) to wait between animation steps for the knight modes
const uint8_t RGBLED_KNIGHT_INTERVALS[] PROGMEM = {127, 63, 31};

// These control which colors are selected for the gradient mode
const uint16_t RGBLED_GRADIENT_RANGES[] PROGMEM = {360, 240, 180, 120, 90};

LED Control

Look in rgblights.h for all available functions, but if you want to control all or some LEDs your goto functions are:

rgblight_disable();  // turn all lights off
rgblight_enable();  // turn lights on, based on their previous state (stored in EEPROM)

rgblight_setrgb(r, g, b);  // where r/g/b is a number from 0..255.  Turns all the LEDs to this color
rgblight_sethsv(h, s, v);  // HSV color control
rgblight_setrgb_at(r,g,b, LED);  // control a single LED.  0 <= LED < RGBLED_NUM
rgblight_sethsv_at(h,s,v, LED);  // control a single LED.  0 <= LED < RGBLED_NUM

RGB Lighting Keycodes

These control the RGB Lighting functionality.

Key Aliases Description
RGB_TOG Toggle RGB lighting on or off
RGB_MODE_FORWARD RGB_MOD Cycle through modes, reverse direction when Shift is held
RGB_MODE_REVERSE RGB_RMOD Cycle through modes in reverse, forward direction when Shift is held
RGB_HUI Increase hue
RGB_HUD Decrease hue
RGB_SAI Increase saturation
RGB_SAD Decrease saturation
RGB_VAI Increase value (brightness)
RGB_VAD Decrease value (brightness)
RGB_MODE_PLAIN RGB_M_P Static (no animation) mode
RGB_MODE_BREATHE RGB_M_B Breathing animation mode
RGB_MODE_RAINBOW RGB_M_R Rainbow animation mode
RGB_MODE_SWIRL RGB_M_SW Swirl animation mode
RGB_MODE_SNAKE RGB_M_SN Snake animation mode
RGB_MODE_KNIGHT RGB_M_K "Knight Rider" animation mode
RGB_MODE_XMAS RGB_M_X Christmas animation mode
RGB_MODE_GRADIENT RGB_M_G Static gradient animation mode

note: for backwards compatibility, RGB_SMOD is an alias for RGB_MOD.

Hardware Modification

Planck with RGB Underglow

Here is a quick demo on Youtube (with NPKC KC60) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKrpPAHlisY).

For this mod, you need an unused pin wiring to DI of WS2812 strip. After wiring the VCC, GND, and DI, you can enable the underglow in your Makefile.


In order to use the underglow animation functions, you need to have #define RGBLIGHT_ANIMATIONS in your config.h.

Please add the following options into your config.h, and set them up according your hardware configuration. These settings are for the F4 pin by default:

#define RGB_DI_PIN F4     // The pin your RGB strip is wired to
#define RGBLED_NUM 14     // Number of LEDs

You'll need to edit RGB_DI_PIN to the pin you have your DI on your RGB strip wired to.

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