Optical properties of the LaNi5-xCux (x = 0, 0.6, 1, 1.2) compounds were studied. It was shown that substitution of copper for nickel led to noticeable changes in the optical conductivity spectra. Calculations of the electronic structure of compounds with x = 0, 1, 2 were performed using a generalized gradient approximation. The interband optical conductivity of these intermetallics was calculated. The optical ellipsometrical measurements and theoretical calculations testify to the appearance of a broad absorption structure associated with the Cu 3d Ni 3d electron transitions and increasing with the growth of copper content.