Like a lot of other people, I spend hours working at my computer every day. Over many years as a writer, I’ve never found a desk lamp that was perfect for use with a computer. Until now.
BenQ’s ScreenBar is a game-changing office lamp. It illuminates your desk with eye-friendly, customizable light, all while taking up no square footage whatsoever.
It’s brilliant. (Pun very much intended.)
Many thanks to BenQ for providing me with a review model for this breakdown.
BenQ ScreenBar, the best LED desk lamp for computer users
I don’t throw around terms like “perfect” or “best” very often in my reviews, but I struggle to find with better terminology here. The impressive BenQ ScreenBar is ideal for a modern desk jockey like me.
Yes, it’s purpose-built for computer use, which limits it somewhat, but it fixes a problem few others even address.
The ScreenBar packs a lot of lamp into a very small package, and it doesn’t eat up any space on your work surface. The light quality is great, its coverage is impressive, and the price tag is very reasonable. It’s great.
Or, if you’re looking for a more in-depth review than that, keep reading.
- Excellent light quality and brightness
- Intuitive, easy-to-use touch controls
- No footprint on your desk or workspace, as long as you have a flat-screen monitor
- No mounting hardware required, works great on curved monitors
- Requires a monitor to mount on, doesn’t come with a stand
- Positioning is limited
Like its larger sibling, the e-Reading WiT, the ScreenBar (which is essentially a pared-down e-Reading lamp) has fantastic light quality. Brightness, colour and adjustibality all get top marks.
None. Unlike many cheaper LED computer lamps, the ScreenBar meets and exceeds IEEE flicker regulations. I’m particularly bothered by flicker and I’ve had no issues with the ScreenBar.
With the same light-emitting diodes as its fancier older sibling, the ScreenBar has a fantastic light colour range, from candle-warm 2,700K, to bright, cool, daylight-like 6,500K.
It’s all adjustable using the little tap sensor (second from the left), each tap moving it a step up and then down.
For a USB-powered LED lamp, this desk light is bright! It illuminates up to 800 lux at the centrepoint.
Importantly, it brightens a wide area. Pretty much the entire area directly under the monitor is in bright light, and the spread covers about 75cm, more than the width of the ScreenBar itself.
Just like the e-Reading lamp, the ScreenBar has a sensor that measures ambient light and adjusts both the colour and brightness to perfectly match your surroundings. I use this feature 95% of the time because it’s easy and accurate.
You just need to tap the dedicated auto-adjust button and let it do its thing.
If you prefer to manually set your preferred levels, just use the brightness and colour buttons.
Smart Design Features
The ScreenBar is exactly what I want in an electronic gadget: sleek, low profile, and with very few parts.
BenQ paid particular attention to that last bit. The lamp has only three parts: the bar, the counterweight, and a USB cable. I love that!
Most of the housing is sandblasted, anodized aluminum, coupled with some high-quality plastic bits.
Easy to Mount:
Before unboxing, I was worried about mounting the ScreenBar to my monitor. No need to fret. The spring-style counterweight means that it just rests on your monitor without need for screws or mounting tape.
The bar fits into this holder really easily. There’s virtually no setup time.
And yes, it’ll work fine on wide-screens and curved monitors too. Though, if you’re still using an old CRT monitor, you’re out of luck, and frankly I feel no pity for you!
This was surprising. I figured that screen glare would be inevitable, but thanks to a delicate angling of the reflectors, the ScreenBar doesn’t cast any light on the screen whatsoever. That means I get to work late at night without squinting.
There’s just one, really. You can’t position this lamp at all.
It doesn’t pivot or swivel. You can basically just illuminate what’s directly under your monitor and that’s it.
That’s… pretty much what I was expecting, so it doesn’t seem like a huge strike against.
It’s an electronic gadget so you know I have to talk about efficiency! I’ll save you the suspense: the BenQ Screenbar gets top marks.
I mean, this is a USB-powered LED desk lamp. So that limits it to what USB can provide, which is 5 watts.
To compare, a standard incandescent bulb uses 60W; you’d need to run 30 of these to equal one light bulb.
Oh, and it’ll last for 15 years. Not bad for $99 USD.
There’s actually a premium version of this lamp. It’s a bit brighter, but the primary change is the user interface: they removed the buttons from the top of the bar itself, and put them on a little dial that rests on your desk.
I admit it’s occasionally fiddly to see / reach the buttons, but I’ll take that over unnecessary desk clutter any day. I prefer this version.
The BenQ Screenbar is a Top-Quality LED Desk Lamp
It might not pump out the brightness of its bigger sibling, the BenQ e-Reading, but the ScreenBar makes up for that in energy efficiency, low-profile design brilliance, and effortless usability.
This lamp is the kind of thing I imagine everyone will have in a few years. I recommend hopping on this train.