Fstoppers Reviews the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Lamp

Fstoppers Reviews the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Lamp

Often, desk equipment gets overlooked as we yearn over new camera bodies, lenses, and other accessories begging for our attention. Recently, my trusty desk lamp died, giving me the opportunity to rethink how I light my desk, and in the process, I was able to reclaim precious desk space.

Brought to you by BenQ, the ScreenBar e-Reading Lamp rethinks conventional desktop illumination. BenQ states that studies have shown on average, we spend 5.7 hours a day on the computer. Personally, most days, I spend 10-plus hours at my desk, and my eyes tend to pay the price. I’ve even gone so far as to get the special anti-blue light coating on my glasses in an effort to provide some relief. Historically, I have kept my desk light off due to the persistent glare that would be ever-present while it was on, but with the design of the ScreenBar, glares have been eliminated. Perched atop my Cinema Display, the light rarely gets cut off these days and provides much-needed eye strain relief from working in a darker environment.

Design and Usability

The ScreenBar is wrapped in a sleek, black aluminum alloy tube with the easy to reach buttons nested on top. Aesthetically, the ScreenBar blends into the black bezel of my monitor, making it nearly unseen when not in use. An adjustable clip makes attaching the lamp to my monitor a breeze. I’ve tried the lamp now on several different monitors, all of which it worked well with. Per BenQ, the clip fits any monitor with thicknesses ranging from 0.4 inches to 1.2 inches.

Using the ScreenBar has become second nature; as I stated earlier, it usually stays on, now acting as a nightlight of sorts for my office. The LEDs provide enough illumination in my work area, while also not being overly bright or causing the glare that traditional lamps have been known to give. BenQ boasts no blue-light hazard being emitted from the lamp, and I appreciate the adjustable color temperature control it yields, with a range of 2,700 to 6,500 K. The lamp is powered by the supplied USB cable, which I have connected directly to my monitor, which is ideal for me since my surge protectors are currently capped out.

Things I Like:

  • Built-in ambient light sensor for auto dimming

  • Dual color LEDs to adjust the color temperature

  • Easy to adjust for optimal viewing
  • Powered via USB
  • Reclaim space that traditional desk lamps took

Things I Don’t Like:

  • Regardless of wanting to brighten or dim the light, you press the same button, and it cycles all the way through. (ScreenBar Plus version incorporates a dial for easier adjustments)

  • It would be nice to include a 5 W USB wall adapter for AC power

Conclusion

While not as flashy as the latest Mac (or PCs for some of you), the BenQ ScreenBar complements my work area nicely, providing more than enough light while also eliminating glare, taking up no desktop space, and providing much-needed relief to eyes. Priced at only $99, this an easy choice and checks off all of my requirements for a desk lamp. My only regret is not spending the additional $30 to get the ScreenBar Plus, which includes a desktop dial, allowing for easy adjustments to both the brightness and color temperature.

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2 Comments

Have one - love it. A bit spendy for a light, but you have to think about how many hours you spend sitting there. I wasn't aware that the pro version existed. Seeing it now, I agree with Trey that I probably would have spent extra for the desk control.

Slavek Musilek's picture

Mine just arrived today.

Seems to be really great light ... mo reflections on my iMac 5K Retina, just lighting decently my desk as required ...

Getting used to the setting buttons on top is a bit tricky at the beginning, but got used to it quickly, so no need for Plus version ...

Thanx for great tip Trey !!!!