Installing the LED Backlight

The original Game Boy doesn’t have a backlight and that means no playing in bed with the lights off – unless you hold on to a flashlight aimed at your screen with your mouth. The LED backlight will light the screen from behind, allowing you to play even in the darkest of rooms.

Step 1

With the Game Boy fully disassembled, gently pry up the top-right corner with the included spudger tool. While lifting up the glass be very careful not to damage or separate the ribbon cable or film from the glass.

The glass will only lift up enough to get a finger in between it and the board. It will remain attached to the board via ribbon cables.

Step 2

This is likely the most difficult step. Attached by adhesive to the underside of the glass display is a reflective film. Using a utility knife or sharp blade, very gently pry up a corner of the film from the glass. The film itself has two layers. There’s a thicker reflective layer and between that and the glass is a thin polarizing film. When lifting up with your blade, make sure to get both layers.

Peel back the adhesive layer slowly and a little at a time. Take your time and do not rush. Also be very careful with the sharp razor blade or knife you don’t want to cut yourself or worse, damage the Game Boy.

With the reflective film removed take a moment to clean up any remaining residue on the inside of the glass. There’s likely going to be some adhesive and fingerprints. Isopropyl Alcohol works great here. Using a cotton swab or lint-free cloth, wipe up any residue.

Step 3

Place the LCD Backlight behind the glass. Orientation matters here – the red (positive) wire should be on the right side of the Game Boy.

Slide the backlight into place. It may feel a little loose but that is OK. Once fully assembled it will be snug.

Step 4

The polarization film has a clear protective layer to it. With your fingers, peel it back and discard it. Slide the polarization film between the glass and the LED Backlight. Only touch the edges of the film so you don’t get any fingerprints on it.

Orientation matters here too. You’ll notice that if you turn the polarization film 90 degrees it will change color. When it’s in the correct position it should be blue.

Step 5

We’re almost done! But before we wrap up, we need to solder the backlight to the LCD board.

Solder the black (negative) wire from the backlight to the negative lead on the capacitor leg labeled C1. Soldering the red (positive) wire is a little more tricky as we’ll also want to solder in the 1/4 watt resistor included with the kit. One side of the resistor will need to be soldered to the positive lead on C1 while the other end os soldered directly to the red wire.

The direction of the resistor does not matter. Also, feel free to trim the leads on the resistor for it to be easier to work with. It may also be wise to trim the wires so there is less slack to get in the way.

Step 6

Take a moment to revel in your handy-work! You’ll want to tuck any excess wire out of the way so they do not interfere with the contact pads for the Game Boy’s buttons. That’s it!

On the next page there’s some FAQ items and troubleshooting tips.