In the test: monitor lamp BenQ ScreenBar Halo

BenQ ScreenBar Halo review

I've been using a BenQ ScreenBar since 2019. I have them then here in the test report scrutinized and passed on as a recommendation to all screen workers.

Now BenQ has written to me and asked me if the new model called "Screen Bar Halo“ also want to try. Since I was absolutely delighted with the monitor lamps because they create a very pleasant lighting situation at the desk, I was of course there when testing the new ScreenBar Halo.

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo has a few unique features, such as the backlight and wireless controls.
The BenQ ScreenBar Halo has a few unique features, such as the backlight and wireless controls.

Transparency notice

The test is not associated with any obligations or payments and of course I will report to you in a neutral manner about how good or bad the device is. The manufacturer had no influence on the report and wanted a test report with my opinion on the product.

The packaging of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo is quite chic, but the device itself is even more chic (photos: Sir Apfelot).
The packaging of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo is quite chic, but the device itself is even more chic (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Specifications of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Lighting

  • Light Source: Dual Color LED
  • Color rendering index (CRI): >95
  • Luminance: central illuminance 800lux (height 45cm)
  • Illuminance (at 500 lux): 63cm x 40cm
  • Product color: Gray
  • Materials: Aluminum Alloy, PC/ABS

Power Supply

  • Power input: 5V,1.3A USB port
  • Power Consumption: 6.5 Watts (Max)‎
  • Power supply: lamp via USB and the controller via 3 AAA batteries (included)

measures and weight

  • Dimensions(H x W x D cm):
    • Lamp: 50 x 9,5 x 9,7 cm
    • Controller: 7,4*7,4*3,8cm
  • Net weight: 0,8 kg
  • Gross Weight: 1,56 kg
  • USB cable length: 1,5 m
  • Monitor Compatibility (Thickness):
    • Flat: 0,28'' - 2,36'' (0,71cm - 5,99cm)
    • Curved: 0,28'' - 1,65'' (0,71 cm - 4,19 cm)
BenQ ScreenBar Halo monitor lamp, desk lamp with auto-dimming and color adjustment functions...
  • Wireless intelligent controller: With the ScreenBar Halo you can continuously switch between different brightness levels ...
  • Choose between 3 different light modes (front/back/both sides) depending on your needs.
  • Space-saving: A specially designed clip makes it easy and stable to attach to monitors. No need...

What is the ScreenBar Halo actually?

Basically, a BenQ ScreenBar is a kind of desk lamp that attaches to the top of the monitor. It is specially designed to shine directly in front of the screen and thus illuminate the desk in front of the monitor in poor light conditions or when working in a dark environment.

I've never had better illumination at work than with a monitor lamp like this - the ScreenBar Halo is the deluxe version of this product category.
I've never had better illumination at work than with a monitor lamp like this - the ScreenBar Halo is the deluxe version of this product category.

The lamp is often used as an alternative to traditional desk lamps as it takes up less space and makes the desk look tidier. Furthermore, due to its construction, it prevents the reflection of the lighting in the monitor, which otherwise greatly disturbs the monitor image.

The BenQ monitor lamp usually has a number of setting options to adjust the brightness and color temperature of the lighting.

At the top of the photo is the BenQ ScreenBar and at the bottom is the ScreenBar Halo. You can see the different size and the back light, which you can optionally switch on (photos: Sir Apfelot).
At the top of the photo is the BenQ ScreenBar and at the bottom is the ScreenBar Halo. You can see the different size and the back light, which you can optionally switch on (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Differences between ScreenBar, ScreenBar Plus and ScreenBar Halo

At that time I was testing the “ScreenBar” model and was already very satisfied. In the meantime, however, there are still the "ScreenBar Plus" model and the "ScreenBar Halo" model, which is presented in this test report.

To make it clear where the differences lie here, I would like to briefly mention them here in bullet points, but you can also find them in the inserted table that I copied from the BenQ website:

Service

Where do I set the color temperature and brightness of the lamp?

  • ScreenBar: on the bar of the lighting itself
  • ScreenBar Plus: on a controller connected with a cable
  • ScreenBar Halo: on a wireless controller

Compatibility with curved monitors

Is the model compatible with curved monitors?

  • Screen bar: no
  • ScreenBar Plus: no
  • ScreenBar Halo: yes

Distribution of lighting with at least 500 lux

This means how large the area is that is illuminated with at least 500 lux:

  • Screen bar: 60 x 30 cm
  • ScreenBar Plus: 60 x 30 cm
  • ScreenBar Halo: 63 x 40 cm

Maximum brightness (45 cm distance)

How strong is the light output?

  • ScreenBar: 930 lux
  • ScreenBar Plus: 950 lux
  • ScreenBar Halo: 800 lux

Back lighting

Does the model have lighting that could illuminate a wall behind the monitor?

  • Screen bar: no
  • ScreenBar Plus: no
  • ScreenBar Halo: yes

Price at Amazon (as of: 01/2023)

The ScreenBar Halo has less maximum illumination overall, but it illuminates a larger area more evenly. It also has a wireless controller with which you can operate it very conveniently.

Pictured above is my old BenQ ScreenBar with the controls on top of the light itself - not easy to find and not as quick to use as the Halo's new controller.
Pictured above is my old BenQ ScreenBar with the controls on top of the light itself - not easy to find and not as quick to use as the Halo's new controller.

Design and workmanship

BenQ has done a good job here. The design of the ScreenBar Halo is simple and elegant. So it should fit in optically at every workplace.

The controller also has an unobtrusive "space gray" design, so it goes great with my MacBook Pro, my Logitech Craft keyboard and my LQ Ultraeide monitor.

The processing is very high quality. With the materials ABS and aluminum, the ScreenBar Halo looks very robust and yet elegant.

Materials are included in the package for adapting to curved monitors or particularly thin monitors.
Materials are included in the package for adapting to curved monitors or particularly thin monitors.

Operating the ScreenBar Halo

As already indicated, the ScreenBar Halo is operated via a round controller, which is connected wirelessly to the ScreenBar itself. The controller activates automatically when you hold your hand about 1-2 cm above it. Once the LED indicator lights up, you can use the buttons and the wheel (a metal ring that goes around the controller) to make settings.

This allows you to place the controller on the desk near the keyboard and there is no clutter of cables on the table. Fast and convenient operation is thus possible without any problems.

The ScreenBar Halo's controller is a stylish piece of design that you'd love to have on your desk.
The ScreenBar Halo's controller is a stylish piece of design that you'd love to have on your desk.

With my old ScreenBar, you had to adjust the brightness and color temperature on the lamp yourself. It was possible, but since the touch controls were hard to find, I usually didn't play around with the settings because I was too lazy.

In principle, you don't have to adjust much if you're happy with a setting. However, the new controller of the ScreenBar Halo invites you to adjust the lighting to your needs with the brightness and color temperature and to change this here and there throughout the day.

Even if you look at the ScreenBar at an angle from below, you won't be dazzled.
Even if you look at the ScreenBar at an angle from below, you won't be dazzled.

Favorite memory and auto mode

There is a button with a heart on the controller for quickly setting a brightness and color temperature that is used more frequently. If you keep this pressed for 3 seconds, the current settings are saved and you can call them up again at any time.

In order to adjust the color temperature and the brightness to the environment, you will also find the "Automatic" button on the controller. With just one tip, you immediately have pleasant light for the current surrounding situation.

How good is the ScreenBar Halo lighting?

For years there has been no question for me that the illumination of the desk with a ScreenBar – no matter which model – is better than with a conventional desk lamp. Once you have a monitor lamp at your desk, you will probably never switch to a normal desk lamp again.

However, the new BenQ ScreenBar Halo is a tick better than my old BenQ ScreenBar. The rod with the LEDs is longer and therefore fits my ultrawide monitor even better, as it illuminates even more workspace on the desk.

Unfortunately, the rear lighting is not used at my workplace because I work in the middle of the room and have no wall behind the monitor. However, if you sit against a wall, you will certainly be happy about the background light.
Unfortunately, the rear lighting is not used at my workplace because I work in the middle of the room and have no wall behind the monitor. However, if you sit against a wall, you will certainly be happy about the background light.

The backlight, which is only found on the ScreenBar Halo, is also helpful for working in a dark room. This can be activated separately from the front lighting and ensures that the area behind the monitor - usually a wall - is brightened in order to have a slight "basic lighting" in the background.

It is practical that the front light is automatically dimmed when you switch on the rear light. So you have a less strong contrast between the environment and the area in front of the monitor.

If you have an iMac, you have to make sure that the ScreenBar bracket does not cover the camera in the display. The element protrudes approx. 4-5 mm over the edge into the display.
If you have an iMac, you have to make sure that the ScreenBar bracket does not cover the camera in the display. The element protrudes approx. 4-5 mm over the edge into the display.

As I work a lot in the evenings, I can confirm that the ScreenBar Halo is perfect for a dark work environment. You have a lower contrast between the monitor image and the background and great illumination in front of the monitor. This is easy on the eyes and, in my opinion, should be mandatory for every computer workstation.

BenQ ScreenBars compare with cheap models

Because I was interested, I bought a cheap ScreenBar from a cheap company for the BenQ in 2019 - just to see what the difference in quality is.

Three things struck me:

  1. The build quality of BenQ is way better. This is not only noticeable in the aluminum housing, but also in the cables, which were relatively rigid with the cheap manufacturer and therefore difficult to lay on the desk because they kept getting pulled into a position that I didn't want .
  2. The monitor mount is more rickety than the BenQ and didn't hold up as well as the BenQ Screenbar.
  3. The number of LEDs wasn't as high as in the BenQ screenbar and the illumination wasn't as pleasantly even.

But the three problems are "tolerable". Personally, I tend to invest a little more on devices that I use every day and not go for cheap products, but you can get an idea of ​​how good a ScreenBar is even for less money.

However, if you want high quality, you seem to have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Unfortunately, the iPhone brightened the dark areas a lot when taking the picture, but perhaps you can guess how good the illumination is with the BenQ monitor lamp.
Unfortunately, the iPhone brightened the dark areas a lot when taking the picture, but perhaps you can guess how good the illumination is with the BenQ monitor lamp.

My verdict on the BenQ ScreenBar Halo

At around 180 euros, the ScreenBar Halo is certainly a monitor lamp that makes you think twice before you buy it. But after using it and being able to compare it with the screenbar (without "Plus" and "Halo"), I would say: The Halo is for people who like the "bottom right model".

The two cheaper BenQ ScreenBars are also an enlightenment if you haven't had a monitor lamp yet, but the ScreenBar Halo is even more convenient because you can make the right settings much more easily with the practical, wireless controller.

In my view, there are three reasons why you should use the Halo model:

  1. The monitor is on the wall, so the backlight is great.
  2. You have a curved monitor, because only the Halo is compatible with this type of monitor.
  3. People like to change color temperature and brightness throughout the day, because the wireless controller is extremely practical here.

If all this is not given, you can also take the two cheaper models. If you want to check out the BenQ ScreenBar Halo, you'll find it here at Amazon or via this product box:

BenQ ScreenBar Halo monitor lamp, desk lamp with auto-dimming and color adjustment functions...
  • Wireless intelligent controller: With the ScreenBar Halo you can continuously switch between different brightness levels ...
  • Choose between 3 different light modes (front/back/both sides) depending on your needs.
  • Space-saving: A specially designed clip makes it easy and stable to attach to monitors. No need...

And here you can find the BenQ ScreenBar Plus and the BenQ ScreenBar:

BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED Monitor, desk lamp screen lamp with auto dimming and...
  • The control button lying on the table with automatic dimming function: With the help of the sensor in the control button...
  • Gain space: The lamp is held very stably on the monitor using a special clamp. To turn the lamp...
  • Glare-free on the screen: ScreenBar Plus e-Reading Lamp is designed as an asymmetric optical lamp,...
BenQ ScreenBar LED Monitor Lamp Desk lamp screen lamp with auto-dimming and ...
  • Space-saving: A specially designed clip makes it easy and stable to attach to monitors. No need...
  • USB powered: Any USB plug (USB Type-C cable) can supply the ScreenBar monitor light with power, regardless of whether it ...
  • Corresponds to the standard light level: corresponds to the American National Standard Practice for office lighting 500 Lux ...
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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

11 comments on “In the test: monitor lamp BenQ ScreenBar Halo”

  1. Thank you for the discussion.
    I would definitely be interested in the BenQ ScreenBar. Since I assume that I don't need any other control options, the standard version would be the screenbar of choice for me. However, I am interested in one more point that has not been addressed here. On my LG 27 inch monitor, which unfortunately does not have a USB port, there is also a webcam on top of the monitor, a Logitech Brio 4K. Two questions therefore arise:
    1.) Can the BenQ Screenbar also be operated on a USB 3.0 hub, whereby the hub does not have an additional power supply unit. Alternatively, I could imagine that the ScreenBar could also be operated on a power strip with a USB power supply.
    2.) Can a larger webcam, in my case a Logitech Brio 4K, be attached somewhere on the screenbar?

    1. Hi Udo! In principle, you can also operate the screen bar on a hub, but it has to supply enough power. In a pinch, your power strip with a USB power supply unit will do the trick. It just needs USB power.
      Because of the webcam, it gets a bit more difficult. I don't know the Brio, but basically you have a tube and it's difficult to attach something. But I can send you photos of the top of the basic screenbar if you write to me.

  2. Hi Jens,
    thanks for the reply.
    Yes, some pics of the top of the BenQ ScreenBar would be nice.
    I entered my e-mail address in the comment for the purpose of notification.
    Is that enough?
    Thanks and regards
    Udo

  3. Hi Jens,
    thanks for the pictures. I ordered the Halo this month after all. It has now become the most expensive. Unfortunately I could not use the Amazon link here on the website. On Sunday, Amazon was pretty crazy. First, I checked Amazon using the Edge browser. The price was then 169 €. Then I clicked on the link here at Sir Apfelot. Price: 182€. After that I tried Firefox and clicked on the link here at Sir Apfelot. The Amazon price was then a utopian €299. Luckily I still had the tab with the 169€ open and then ordered it. Today, on Wednesday, Amazon shows the 169€ again if you click on the link here. However, the Halo was not available for a few days. Amazon had also notified me that the delivery would not be until the end of next week. However, it was delivered today. :-)
    FYI: For the Halo there is also an adapter to put a webcam on the screen bar and only for the Halo. There is no adapter for the other BenQ screen bars. The adapter for the Halo is only available on the BenQ website. However, BenQ wants a whopping 20€ for the bit of plastic, plus shipping costs. My Logitech webcam sits on top of the Halo screen bar even without an adapter.
    gruß
    Udo

    1. Hello Udo! Great, I'm glad that the webcam has found a place on it. I hope you like it as much as I do! 😊 And sorry about the weird links. I always have to take what Amazon is throwing out. 299 EUR is definitely a bit gaga. 😊

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