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Nintendo Game Boy Advance, released in 2001. Repair requires only common tools and no heat.

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How do I install a backlight LED in a Gameboy Advance?

I bought my son a Gameboy Advance only to be disappointed that it does not have backlighting as newer Gameboys do. There is also no contrast control on a Gameboy Advance so in some lighting conditions it is almost impossible to see the screen. I've heard that there is a way to install a white LED on a Game Boy Advance to provide internal backlighting. I'd love a step-by-step how-to.

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There is an aftermarket kit around called Afterburner. It is a frontlight based on a few white LED light strips. However, it involves almost completely dismantling the GBA to install it, a 30 percent reduction in battery life, a washed out and trapezoidal-shaped shadow effect on the display (because it's a frontlight, not a backlight, and it's not originally designed for the system, respectively), and requires some soldering. It's even hard to find one now, because the company that manufactured them has gone under from some legal something-or-other. Of course, you can always get something like these, which just plugs into the EXT port in the GBA and draws power from it to run an LED, which shines at the screen. Simple.

I suppose you can make one if you had the components and skill, but I would advise against it and just get an SP, especially the backlit model (does "Now with a BRIGHTER backlit screen!" ring a bell?), as it is much better than the frontlit one. SP's are only about $40 used nowadays, as opposed to their retail $100; I don't see why you got the original GBA. If you don't plan on doing anything GBA specific, such as GameCube linking or playing Gameboy Color/original Gameboy games on it, you can even go and get a DS Lite/DS-i and effectively get twice the library of games (not the DS-XL, that does not have a Gameby slot.) I would suggest the Micro, but I hate that thing with its tiny screen and its cheep faceplates.



Comparison of frontlit GBA SP to backlit GBA SP

GBA SP at Gamestop

Good luck.


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I agrew with Justyn. But beware, there is no Slot 2 (GameBoy) on the DSi. Get a classic DS or DS Lite or a backlit (not front-lit) GameBoy Advance SP and trade in the old GameBoy Advance or keep it around as a backup. Best wishes.


The GBA is totally possible to backlight, and they sell adaption kits to make this easy enough.


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Don't listen to these guys. The Advance rules those other handhelds.

Here is a link to somebody's guide to backlighting it. It's a little vague as there are no pictures and there is no mention of the shiny stuff behind the screen.

You will also want to get a special tri-wing or 'Y' type screwdriver if you don't already have one. they are pretty cheap on ebay and other websites, just Google for 'GBA screwdriver' or something.

I haven't backlit mine yet and I am waiting for my screwdriver so I can open the thing, so I am not sure exactly what to do yet. There is a lot of talk on the internet saying it can't be done, but I think it's just hearsay, as nobody seems to be able to explain exactly why.

I think you can also get a backlit SP, take it's screen out and install it into the GBA, but I am not sure.

If I succeed, I will definately make an instructable and put a comment here.

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here is a kit

here is a screen

and here is a pre-built game boy advance

to bad its all in a different language

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Hi gameboy players

Yes all GBA sp and ds stuffs have a backlight lcd, but the real gamer have all systems

Thanks to the guy that put the link

I will upload a video, trying to put those leds

see you


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Hello Game boys.

game boy DIY LED front light ,I got some pcs and changed the back light of my game boy

There are also some videos show how to do it. Hope it is helpful to you.



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I would recommend that you do not use the ones Antony sells on AliExpress. They are not fully transparent (yes, I removed both of the protective film).

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I actually backlit my GBA a few years back. Its awesome! And requires little effort. I bought a ribon cable from a guy in Hong Kong and it converts the GBA SP screen Ribon to GBA board connector. There is 1 word that needs to be soldered to the board for power as well as minor case cutting to fit the slightly larger GBA SP screen in it. Well worth the time spent. Only select GBA boards support this and they start with 10-x-x. The price of this mod is a backlit so screen and about 50.00 for the ribon cable adapter.

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Before going through the trouble of adding a backlight, there IS a brightness control pot on the AGB-001, on the back above the batteries is a long silver rectangular sticker, peel up the right side revealing a small hole. Stick in an eyeglass screwdriver and twist right. It gets brighter but not backlit bright, I still play mine outside in daylight. It’s healthier anyway. What they made the game “boktai” for.

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