What is Light Pen? How is it effective?

A light pen in the computer is an input device. As its name already says, it uses light sensitivity to operate on the computer menu directly on the screen. It comes with features similar to mouse but both work differently. Mouse had more features, but when selecting texts and menus over the screen, it is faster and more fascinating.

Light pen
Light Pen used in olden days

Earlier, the use of this Pen was only limited to CRT monitors, but later in 2006, its use with LCD screens started.

Light Pen sensing different colour pixels to process

Is Light Pen Still Used?

No, it is no longer in use. After the introduction of screen touch laptops, phones and advanced tablets, it is barely used. Now, your fingers work like a light pen, as you no longer need to use that light sensitivity feature that was used by it.

Evolution of Light Pen

Since then, it was used as a mouse alternative; its uses were limited to selecting text and menu options. Earlier, it could just detect the change in brightness, scan the pixels on the computer screen, and pass the information to the CPU, but now it has evolved in a modern form known as a stylus.

The stylus is a digital pen used to write, draw, scroll etc., on computers, tablets and phones with better efficiency, and it comes with even more features.

The updated light pen: Stylus

What are the uses of Light Pen?

Though its conventional concept has changed, now the term light pen is depicting more towards its evolved successor, ‘stylus’.

It helps to ease the work of users, as it comes with fancy features. Some general use of stylus are:


This feature is most commonly used by graphic designers. Digital drawings are the most common things that we see across the internet and advertising boards. It is impossible to do it on any paper but only on-screen, where it comes into play.

Read More: Full Form of Computer | Its Generations | Parts and Types


Due to covid-19, all the schools and colleges were closed. So, the computer screen or writing pads had become the new blackboard for the students. Instead of conventional blackboards, teachers write over the writing pads to teach their students sitting thousands of miles away from them. Not just here, but conventional white/blackboards are being replaced by these smart boards where the stylus is used.

Note Making

Changing technology allows you not to carry a burden that includes heavy notebooks and books with you to college or work. In this 5G world, you can carry your tablet with a stylus. It just does not help to write notes but also helps to mark and underline pdfs.

Better Accuracy

It helps to use the device with better accuracy since its tip is fine, making it easy to select small texts more precisely.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Are Light Pens and stylus different?

Yes, they are different. Since the stylus concept has itself come from the light pen, the way they work is entirely different. You can say that the stylus is the evolved version of it with more features and different working styles.

What is an input device?

It is the equipment used to give signals by the user to the CPU to process over it and gives output accordingly.

What are the different types of light pens?

Its uses are abolished, presently there is no existence of light Pen so do its types.

Is a light pen a pointing device?

Yes, it is. It processes according to the signals it receives from the change in the colour pixels of the computer screen over which it is pointed.