We were given the honour to review the BenQ Screenbar Halo Monitor light ahead of its official release. It exceeded our expectations tremendously. I will go through all the features and my thoughts on this product as a monitor lamp in general. At the time of reviewing this product (Febuary 1st, 2022), the product is not yet on the market, but BenQ has indicated the price will be around $179 USD – Which is not cheap, but all of these features and premium quality lighting elements justify its price.
If you’re new to monitor lamps or desk lighting in general, I suggest you read our guide on perfecting your desktop lighting.
The box came in perfect condition, which is usually not the case for a lot of our light bar orders. Mainly because we’re based in Australia and the light bars go through a bit of beating before it reaches us. But, this time around, it came in perfect condition.
After opening the box, the wireless controller blew me away. It was a touch sensor – I am guessing using capacitor technology, but the design is sleek and very elegant.
The quality of the light bar was definitely premium, and the mounting bracket isn’t any different to the previous iteration, except this time, it comes with a few extra items such as a pad for curved monitors, which I thought was very neat. (See below) – You will need to get it as added extra.
What’s actually included?
So with the BenQ screenbar halo Monitor light, you get:
- 1 x Light bar with the Mount and USB cable already attached
- 1 x Wireless Dial
- 3 x AAA Battery
- 1 x Curved Monitor Mounting pad
- 1 x Operating Manual
- 1 x WEBCAM MOUNTING STRIP!
Okay, let’s talk features
The following features are listed from BenQ’s promotional material, I will go through each of them and how well it has been executed.
1/ Back Light
With the optical-blending lampshade diffuser, the backlight offers a more balanced lighting and a soothing atmosphere.
My comments: Yes absolutely amazing, it works well to light up the area behind the monitor, but because the device is only limited to 6.5W’s of power, after turning on the backlighting mode, the front lighting area dims to split the power over both back and front.
2/ Wireless Controller
The 100% wireless controller with 5 control options gives you a neat, space-free workplace.
My comments: Yep, the BenQ screenbar halo’s design is amazing and having it’s got more intuitive controls in the sense that you’re able to touch what you want to change and then just turn the dial up. I love it. The top piece is made from a glossy material, so it is susceptible to fingerprints.
The coolest thing that’s not mentioned is, it’s got some sort of proximity sensor built into it, so when you wave your hand over the controller it will light up.
3/ More extreme asymmetrical light design
The asymmetric optical design has been once again optimised, further reducing the percentage of light beam shining to the screen.
My comments: The beam area has indeed been focused onto the work area and the beam is also wider which I have tested and they’ve done a heap tonne of work to improve on the basic screen bar.
4/ Accurate Colour Calibration
According to scientific experiments, the ScreenBar Halo does not influence the calibration of a screen.
My comments: The light looks good, I don’t really have any means to test this.
5/ Higher Compatibility
BenQ ScreenBar Halo can sit stably on any monitor with a thickness range from 0.7cm to 6cm and curvature between 1000R and 1800R.
My comments: YES, they’ve added the soft curved monitor spacing pad which was an item that I thought was missing in their previous light bar. Now it comes with this spacing pad that helps props up the light bar and helps adjust the angle of the light. The picture of this piece is shown above (see here)
6/ Wider Illuminance Coverage
With its 50 cm length and a maximum 35° adjustable lamp head angle, the light bar ensures 500 lux brightness within the maximum lighting range of 65 cm x 40 cm²
My comments: This was probably the single biggest thing I noticed upon turning on the light bar. It lit up my entire table. I have an IKEA Karlby that’s 1.8ms and the light stretches across the entire table.
7/ Considerate accessory for ultra-slim curved monitor and Webcam
ScreenBar Halo includes a pad for the ultra-slim curved monitors. Also, an extra accessory that allows the webcam to fit nicely can be purchased. However, you need to purchase the webcam mounting strip on top.
My comment: Yes, BenQ has done it again. They’ve managed to problem solve the biggest practical problem that monitor lamps have, which is, not being able to directly mount a webcam. They’ve provided a mounting piece to help with that.
Compared to the Xiaomi Light Monitor Lamp
So far the biggest competitor would be against the Xiaomi Monitor Lamp which we have also reviewed extensively. Since BenQ has also moved onto the wireless dial, the playing field has evened out a bit. In terms of pricing though, the BenQ Screeenbar Halo is still 2.5x the cost of the Xiaomi Monitor Lamp. With that said, it lights up a much bigger portion of the table than the Xiaomi Monitor Lamp and it also comes with a list of features not offered by the Xiaomi Monitor Lamp such as:
- The Backlighting – Xiaomi doesn’t have back lighting.
- The Brightness and Spread of the light – Overall, the new BenQ light bar is brighter and has a great spread across the table than the Xiaomi.
- Webcam Mount – Xiaomi doesn’t have a dedicated Webcam mounting piece – Although it is still possible to mount webcams onto the Xiaomi Light bar using double sided tape.
Overall, we think the cost is somewhat justified, but if you’re a poor university student, we would still recommend the Xiaomi Monitor Lamp because it gets the job done and is still considerably cheaper. However, if you’ve got the budget, then we wholeheartedly recommend the BenQ Screenbar Halo.
Definitely, an amazing light bar, if you work professionally and you’re at your computer for more than 8 hours a day, this is probably the lamp that you want. It will save you all the trouble of poor lighting ergonomics and boost your productivity by reducing your eye fatigue. It’s well built, premium and most of all extremely functional. The price is expensive, but it is definitely justified as the features are unmatched by other products on the market currently.
Reviewed by Sam T.