BenQ ScreenBar Halo LED Light review

BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Creating an optimal workspace is critical for photographers and designers, and light itself is an incredibly important consideration because of how it can affect the monitor screen. The BenQ ScreenBar Halo is an unobtrusive monitor mounted desk light featuring five controls on a wireless controller with the aim of providing optimal lighting without affecting the monitor screen.

Quick verdict

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo is a stylish and high-quality lighting solution ideal for photographers and designers featuring two light sources. The front light illuminates your workspace without producing glare on the monitor screen, while the rear light creates an atmospheric lighting effect and the two lights can be used independently or together. At £149 / US $179 / €169, this isn’t a cheap desk light, but the advantage is that it’s much more feature-packed than standard desk lamps and doesn’t take up valuable desk space.

Pros

  • Great design and build quality
  • Wireless controls
  • Front and rear lights
  • Fits most monitors

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with monitor hoods
  • Webcam attachment not included
  • Expensive

Rating

4/5

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Desktop real estate is often at a premium, making the use of a traditional lamp to illuminate your workspace difficult, and in some situations impossible. What’s more, these types of lamps can result in stray light hitting the surface of the screen, which can be problematic for photographers and designers because this can affect colour, brightness and contrast.

The ScreenBar Halo eliminates these issues by mounting onto the monitor itself. And thanks to a versatile design, it will attach to deep, thin and even curved monitors. At £149 / US $179 / €169 it’s certainly not a budget option and falls into the price band of premium desk lamps, but with many more features than are commonly available. The ScreenBar Halo will become available in the UK on 21 February 2022 and the EU on 14 February 2022.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo LED Monitor Light

Features

How many features can you pack into a desk lamp? Surprisingly, the ScreenBar Halo manages to provide much more than the simple on/off switch that standard desk lamps offer. This latest BenQ light builds on the features of previous ScreenBar models and does so in a way that provides a refined and useful product.

With two lights available, the front light illuminates your workspace without producing glare on the monitor screen or affecting colour temperature, while the rear light creates an atmospheric lighting effect and the two lights can be used independently or together. When both are used together it creates a comfortable and balanced lighting effect.

Manual control is great if this is what you require, but it’s the auto setting that’s perhaps most useful because when set to this mode, the ScreenBar Halo detects the ambient light and sets illumination to 500 lux; this is considered the optimum brightness level for offices and can cover a maximum lighting area of 65cm x 40cm².

The wireless controller provides five controls on a wireless controller including colour temperature, brightness, mode button, a favourite button and a button to switch to auto-dimming to make the light balance with ambient or other light sources in the room. The outer perimeter of the controller rotates allowing colour temperature and brightness to be controlled manually when selected.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Design & build

The ScreenBar Halo is a discreet 50cm light with a rear light that attaches to the top of any monitor with a thickness ranging from 0.7cm to 6cm and curvature between 1000R and 1800R. The unit is made from aluminium, polycarbonate and ABS plastic, which provides a quality look and feel while the matt grey finish of the front light blends in well with most monitors.

The front light can also be rotated 35° to obtain the best angle for your workspace, but rotating it too far, either way, will either add glare to the screen or direct the light into your eyes. The workable rotation is, in reality, less than 35°, but the ability to adjust the light angle is certainly useful.

Power is supplied via a USB cable that can be connected to a USB port in a power socket or USB power adaptor (not included), or you can use a spare USB port on your computer, monitor or powered USB hub.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo wireless controller

Performance

Performance of the ScreenBar Halo can’t be faulted – it provides comfortable illumination without impacting the monitor screen. The wireless controller helps to keep the desk space clean and clear, and while not quite as sensitive as advertised, it works well and turns off quickly to save battery power, which is provided by three AAA batteries.

There are three modes available so you can select the lighting option that suits the situation or mood best; mode 1 illuminates your desk with little to no glare on the surface of the screen; mode 2 provides a gentle backlight only that lights the wall behind your monitor and could be considered a mood light for use while working and/or while watching movies on your computer; mode 3 is simply the use of both the front and backlights together, which reduces the contrast between your screen, workspace and wall, as well as providing an even and comfortable light.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo LED Monitor Light

Verdict

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo is a stylish and high-quality lighting solution ideal for photographers and designers. The front light illuminates your workspace without producing glare on the monitor screen or affecting colour temperature, while the rear light creates an atmospheric lighting effect and the two lights can be used independently or together.

With a cost of £149 / US $179 / €169, this isn’t a cheap desk light, but the advantage is that it’s much more feature-packed than standard desk lamps and doesn’t take up valuable desk space. One area where the SceenBar Halo does fail, however, is in that it won’t connect to monitors when a Monitor hood is fitted. This, of course, won’t be a problem if you don’t use a monitor hood, but if you do use one all of the time then the ScreenBar Halo isn’t for you. It’s a shame because it’s a great light, and it would be fantastic to be able to use it in conjunction with a monitor hood – especially those that have a window at the top for calibration devices to be passed through.

For more information and to order the BenQ ScreenBar Halo click here

What’s in the box…

  • 1 x ScreenBar Halo lamp (with USB power cord)
  • 1 x Accessory for curved monitors
  • 1 x Wireless controller
  • 3 x AAA batteries (for controller)
  • 1 x Pad for ultra-slim curved monitors

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