In the test: BenQ ScreenBar - the perfect desk lamp for monitor workers

Elegant design and functionality - the connection convinced me with the BenQ ScreenBar desk lamp (photos: Sir Apfelot).

A few weeks ago, BenQ offered me the ScreenBar to test. Back then I was still thinking, "Ok, a desk lamp with LED ... nothing special, but I can take a look at it." Today I am more than happy that I had the ScreenBar sent to me, because the lamp is the best desk lamp I have ever had. And I wasn't paid or promised anything for that statement - in fact, BenQ didn't even ask if I had tried the desk lamp at all.

Elegant design and functionality - the connection convinced me with the BenQ ScreenBar desk lamp (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Elegant design and functionality - the connection convinced me with the BenQ ScreenBar desk lamp (photos: Sir Apfelot).

My "old one": a daylight lamp with a gooseneck

My old desk lamp is a model that can be screwed to the table with a clamping mechanism and then adjusted as you like with the help of two flexible joints.

For me it was screwed on behind the monitor and I had bent it so that it looks out over the monitor and shines halfway vertically downwards. This way, the desk was most comfortably lit without the lamp being too dazzling.

But the solution was never really great, as the lamp naturally lit up the screen as well as the desk. In addition, due to the short "neck", it could not be centered correctly in the middle of the screen and was always a bit inclined, which neither looked good nor ensured that the workplace was evenly illuminated. Still, the solution was okay for me and has lasted for over 10 years.

This is what the ScreenBar looks like in its entirety. Only the micro USB cable is still missing in the photo.

This is what the ScreenBar looks like in its entirety. Only the micro USB cable is still missing in the photo.

Fate creates space for new desk lamps

The BenQ ScreenBar had been lying unopened with me in the test box for a few weeks and somehow I hadn't had the muse to throw myself into the test when fate gave me a wink with the fence post. The hint can be in the form that my old daylight lamp, with which I was sometimes very satisfied, suddenly went out and couldn't be moved to turn on.

Since my "old one" is a daylight lamp, the replacement bulbs cost a good 10 euros. Because of the high costs, I didn't have a spare bulb on the "dump" and was practically in the dark. Then I remembered that I still had the BenQ ScreenBar lying somewhere. So once rummaged through the box, fished out the ScreenBar and unpacked it.

Here you can see the ScreenBar on my wife's iMac - it was too messy on my desk for photos. ;-)

Here you can see the ScreenBar on my wife's iMac - it was too messy on my desk for photos. ;-)

Well thought-out construction for attachment

The first thing I noticed about the BenQ monitor light is the retaining mechanism that attaches the ScreenBar to the top of the monitor edge. This is solved with a counterweight and a small edge that pulls itself up to the edge of the monitor and thus holds the ScreenBar securely.

However, it is very easy to take it off and put it back on, so that the whole thing works relatively comfortably. The ScreenBar has a non-slip rubber pad in the areas that lie on the monitor, so that nothing is scratched or slipped. Somebody really thought about this during the development.

Here you can see the support structure that fixes the ScreenBar on the upper edge of the monitor.

Here you can see the support structure that fixes the ScreenBar on the upper edge of the monitor.

Update 16.02.2021/XNUMX/XNUMX: Reader's tip - Logitech Brio webcam in conjunction with the screen bar

A reader just e-mailed me that he has the screenbar together with the Webcam Logitech Brio 4K uses. The Logitech camera actually clips into a monitor at the top, but the bracket also allows it to be attached to the BenQ screen bar. The light from the screen bar does not interfere with the recording of the Logitech webcam either, as it is usually directed downwards and does not radiate upwards. So if you are looking for a webcam for your BenQ screenbar, you can take a look at the Logitech Brio.

Power supply via micro USB - directly from the monitor

The second thing I find awesome is the ScreenBar's power supply. This works very simply via a micro USB socket on the ScreenBar, so that you don't even have to work with the 1,20 meter long one supplied, but can also use the cable of your choice.

In principle, it is advisable to use a USB output on the monitor for the power supply, but of course you can also use a standard USB power supply unit or a power bank.

The good thing about it, however, is that you don't need a separate power supply, but can operate the ScreenBar via the USB output of the monitor or iMac. So you have a lot more order at your desk than is the case with a normal desk lamp.

Power consumption of the ScreenBar

I once measured how much current the ScreenBar needed and came to about 200 mA in the lowest and about 900 mA in the highest brightness level. That means the ScreenBar works with a consumption somewhere between 1 and 5 watts for the lighting - damn little compared to the 24 watts that my old lamp used.

The LEDs in the BenQ lamp provide plenty of light with low power consumption. The two different colors of the LED elements generate the warm and cold light.

The LEDs in the BenQ lamp provide plenty of light with low power consumption. The two different colors of the LED elements generate the warm and cold light.

Technical data of the BenQ ScreenBar

When we are already talking about power consumption, we can also briefly deal with the technical details:
* Scope of delivery: lamp, bracket, micro-USB cable (no power supply!)
* Length of the cable: 1,2 m
* Clip fits on any monitor with a thickness of 1 to 3 cm
* Diameter of the round part of the bracket: approx. 4,5 cm
* Brightness continuously adjustable or adaptable to the environment via auto-brightness
* Color temperature can be selected in 8 steps (2700 K to 6500 K)
* Power consumption: max. 5 watts
* according to DIN IEC / TR 62778 standard "free of blue light"
* no flickering (corresponds to the IEEE PAR I 789 regulation)
* 20 ° rotation of the tube enables individual adjustment of the lighting forwards and backwards

This drawing by BenQ makes it clear where the advantages of the ScreenBar lie. The light mainly hits the area in front of the monitor and thus prevents reflections on the monitor.

This drawing by BenQ makes it clear where the advantages of the ScreenBar lie. The light mainly hits the area in front of the monitor and thus prevents reflections on the display.

The perfect light for the desk

Now that I have sufficiently praised the technical details of the ScreenBar, we now come to the most important detail: the light. And I have to say: it tops everything I've had so far.

With my daylight lamp, the brightness of the light was particularly pleasant to work without getting tired. But if I sat at the computer in the evening and only was on the move as a "hobby", I would have preferred eye-friendly, warmer lighting. This is exactly what I can now set as desired with the BenQ ScreenBar. During the day the lamp runs at the coldest color temperature, while I like to set it to the warmest in the evening.

I don't use the six intermediate levels at all, but for some people it's certainly nice to have a little more variation here. The intermediate levels are of course also necessary for the automatic setting of the color temperature.

This photo from BenQ shows quite well what the illumination of the desk with the ScreenBar looks like. On the left you can also see the control unit that is supplied with the ScreenBar Plus (Photo: BenQ).

This photo from BenQ shows quite well what the illumination of the desk with the ScreenBar looks like. On the left you can also see the control unit that is supplied with the ScreenBar Plus (Photo: BenQ).

The second really good thing about the ScreenBar is the illumination of the desk. While I have a nicely evenly lit area in the entire area from the front edge of the desk to the point directly in front of the monitor, no light is reflected in the monitor itself. Even if you look into the lamp from the side - which you don't have to, because you can "twist" it so that the opening angle is below the eyes - nothing dazzles, as the lamp has no reflector on the side of the tube to direct the light further to the side would radiate away.

Whoever has come up with this type of desk lamp deserves great praise, because the light is extremely pleasant for people who have to work on the monitor and also want to have documents or their keyboard illuminated on the desk.

Here you can see the ScreenBar in front of my monitor. To attach it, simply "hang" it over the top of the screen. The counterweight then pulls the lamp into position.

Here you can see the ScreenBar in front of my monitor. To attach it, simply "hang" it over the top of the screen. The counterweight then pulls the lamp into position.

The operation: elegant and functional

One area that manufacturers like to "mess up" with is operation. What use is the finest desk lamp if you then build in stupid buttons that cannot be operated? Here I had the biggest concerns, as the ScreenBar is equipped with touch controls.

To make matters worse, the small symbols on the tube of the lamp can hardly be seen when it is otherwise dark in the room. So everything spoke in favor of something going wrong with the operating concept.

The operating concept of the ScreenBar works great for me - although it is touch control panels that usually cause problems for me.

The operating concept of the ScreenBar works great for me - although it is touch control panels that usually cause problems for me.

But contrary to all my expectations, things work out quite well, because the tube has a booking on the left and right with the buttons, which can be fulfilled quickly. Furthermore, you can see from the front the clamp part of the ScreenBar attached in the middle of the monitor, so that you quickly know where to find the on / off switch and where to find the color temperature regulator and the brightness button.

From the front you can see the icons that explain the function of the touch fields: Here brightness and color temperature (photos: Sir Apfelot).

From the front you can see the icons that explain the function of the touch fields: here brightness and color temperature (photos: Sir Apfelot).

In any case, I am already reaching for the right places and if you are a centimeter or two off at the beginning, the shape of the tube automatically leads you to the right places.

The touch button works reliably and without any time delay. So you can't complain about the operation.

Difference between ScreenBar and ScreenBar Plus

If you prefer real buttons and a rotary control, you can go for it look at the BenQ ScreenBar Plus. This comes with a small control unit that can be placed on the desk. It not only contains everything you need to set the color temperature and brightness, but also the ambient light sensor, with which you can automatically adjust the two properties in order to have the best lighting at all times.

However, BenQ can also pay for the extra control unit, so that the ScreenBar Plus costs 129 EUR, while the normal ScreenBar only costs 99 EUR.

The lower-priced ScreenBar model has the opening for the ambient light sensor on the top.

The lower-priced ScreenBar model has the opening for the ambient light sensor on the top.

Ambient light sensor and automatic adjustment are unimportant for me

I've tried the automatic adjustment mode several times and also tried to impress the ambient light sensor with a flashlight. However, the result was the same every time: Little has changed in the lighting situation. From my point of view, this function is simply too "shy" when changing the color temperature and the brightness, but maybe you hardly notice the change because it does not happen suddenly, but takes place continuously.

This didn't bother me, however, as I like to change the color temperature manually and only switch from one extreme to the other. The brightness usually stays at maximum for me. I usually only turn on auto mode in the evening to see what happens.

Nevertheless, here at BenQ there is interesting information about the auto-dimming feature (which, by the way, is not only reserved for the Plus model, but is also available in the normal ScreenBar):

The BenQ site explains what the auto-dimming feature is for. In the plus version, the ambient light sensor is integrated in the external control unit (screenshot: BenQ).

The BenQ site explains what the auto-dimming feature is for. In the plus version, the ambient light sensor is integrated in the external control unit (screenshot: BenQ).

Design and quality of the BenQ desk lamp

The BenQ ScreenBar consists of a plastic polymer and an anodized aluminum alloy. A high-quality material was chosen for the plastic, because the lamp does not feel cheap or rickety. Everything goes well together. Only one detail was not so great for me: The ambient light sensor is covered with a transparent plastic plug. This fell off on me and I had to re-glue it so that it was not lost. A small detail that I don't want to hide in my review.

The cover of the ambient light sensor fell out of the case on my model. But a drop of glue fixed it again.

The cover of the ambient light sensor fell out of the case on my model. But a drop of glue fixed it again.

Another nice feature is that the ScreenBar remembers the settings. For example, if you have adjusted the color temperature and brightness to your personal desired values ​​and then switch the power off and on again, the light shines again with exactly these settings.

My conclusion on the BenQ ScreenBar

The ScreenBar from BenQ is really a great piece of technology that is functionally designed and can be used on any monitor. According to customer ratings at Amazon, this also works with curved monitors without any problems.

The light output is very good and since the lighting is very even, it is also pleasant for the eyes. I use the option of setting the color temperature every day and use it to create a "cozy" light for myself in the evening when I'm late at my Mac.

You can't see much of the BenQ monitor lamp, but it creates a pleasant light cone on the work area.

You can't see much of the BenQ monitor lamp, but it creates a pleasant light cone on the work area.

In terms of price, the ScreenBar is certainly not the cheapest desk lamp at EUR 99, but since you can send the device back without problems if you don't like it, I recommend everyone to try it out.

Even if it cost 150 euros, the great lighting would be worth the money to me, as I really enjoy the pleasant light every day when I'm at the computer.

Purchase options for the ScreenBar and ScreenBar Plus

You can find the ScreenBar from BenQ here at Amazon or you can also go through this product box:

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 ...

If you would like the model with the external control box because you prefer to have buttons and controls in front of you on your desk, you can have the Check out the ScreenBar Plus. Personally, I am happier with the "normal" ScreenBar, as it means that there is one less cable on the desk and you also save space for the control panel.

The ScreenBar Plus is also available here at Amazon or via this product box:

BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED Monitor Lamp Desk lamp screen lamp with auto-dimming and ...
  • DESKTOP DIAL: The built-in ambient light sensor in the desktop dial ensures optimal ...
  • SPACE-SAVING: With the special clip, attachment to the monitor is easy and secure. Screws or tape holding the ...
  • GLARE-FREE SCREEN: The ScreenBar Plus E-Reading desk lamp has an asymmetrical optical design, ...

FAQ for the BenQ ScreenBar

On Amazon, customers can ask questions about every product, which are then answered by people who have already bought the device. Some of them are so interesting that I would like to list the most important ones here:

  • Can the lamp be used on a curved display?
    Yes, one customer has the Dell U3419W, for example. That works flawlessly.
  • How long is the cable on the ScreenBar Plus?
    Here it is 70 cm to the junction where the regulator goes off. Then another 70 cm to the USB connector. With the normal ScreenBar, the cable is 120 cm.
  • Does the lamp fit on an iMac?
    Yes, this is possible despite the thin border. The bracket is much more flexible than the manufacturer specifies with its 1 to 3 cm.
  • Can the ScreenBar also be operated via a USB power plug?
    Yes, that is possible without any problems. Everything that supplies approx. 1A current via the USB port can be used as an energy source: hub, power bank, USB ports on the monitor or a USB power supply unit. Incidentally, an old iPhone is sufficient for this, if someone has too many of them flying around.
  • Can you also mount the lamp on monitors that have a slightly sloping upper edge?
    Yes will work.
  • Does the lamp dazzle when you have a second monitor to the left or right of the main monitor?
    No, several customers have this as a setup and report that it still does not reflect.
  • Does the BenQ ScreenBar fit monitor XYZ?
    Yes, it is a flexible clamp mount that attaches to pretty much any flat panel display.
  • Can the lamp also be attached to a headpiece above the bed?
    If the attachment offers a way of allowing the counterweight to hang back, then yes. However, it could fall down in "rough seas". ;-)
  • Is the lamp interfering with the iMac's ambient light sensor?
    That shouldn't actually happen, because it doesn't light up on the display and the sensor should be located at the top of the screen.
  • Does the lamp remember the settings (color temperature and brightness) when it is disconnected from the power supply?
    Yes, it has a built-in memory and lights up with exactly the same settings the next time it is switched on that it was in when it was switched off.
  • Can the color temperature be regulated automatically?
    Yes, the auto-dimming mode does exactly that. However, you cannot set the brightness manually and adjust the color temperature automatically. Either everything on auto or everything manually.
  • How long is the lamp?
    The lamp is 45 cm long and works on both small and large monitors.
  • Does the lamp go out by itself sometimes?
    There seems to have been a couple of previous versions where this happened. Of course, it can also happen when the monitor goes into standby and switches off the power to the USB port. It can also happen if the USB port cannot deliver enough power and then the voltage collapses. But this is then due to the power supply and not to the BenQ lamp.

If you have any unanswered questions, please leave a comment here. I will try to answer you as soon as possible. The ScreenBar is right in front of me and I can measure and try out everything possible if you are interested in something that cannot be found in the technical data.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

6 comments

  1. I think it's a bit too expensive. The idea is great, and so is the quality. But 100 euros for a lamp ... Hmmm ... Still, my fingers are itching now.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi Peter! When it comes to devices like this, I think less of the material value than of the benefits I get from them. And if I use a lamp for many hours a day, then 100 EUR is not a lot over the years. But I once ordered a cheap replica from Amazon and will write a report about it shortly. I don't currently have it in operation, but as soon as I've done that, I can briefly send you my conclusion. Then you are only there for 35 EUR, if it is any good.

  2. Matthias says:

    16.12.2020,
    Hi Jens,
    thanks for the very detailed article about the ScreenBar.
    I bought the ScreenBar after reading your article and I have to say: I love it.
    Now a new question arises:
    Which webcam can you recommend that can be built onto a monitor with ScreenBar?
    Logitech Brio or Logitech 4K Pro Magnetic Webcam would be interesting for me.
    Matthias
    who is looking forward to the MMM1, which was delivered during the day and will soon be unpacked.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Matthias! Nice that you like the screen bar. I'm still very happy with it too. To your question: I think they do Logitec Brio would be my choice here. Logitec's magnetic webcam is more for people who have a monitor with a metal rim that the camera can hold magnetically on. I don't have anything like that. It also looks to me as if you could turn the Brio sideways and adjust it better if you put it on the monitor next to the screen bar. But unfortunately I don't have either of the two webcams, so I can only give a theoretical recommendation for the Brio.
      Hey, have fun with the MMM1. I'm pretty sure you will be amazed by the performance. : D

      • Matthew Patt says:

        16.02.2021
        Dear Jens,
        I recently bought the Logitech Brio 4K webcam on your "theoretical" recommendation.
        And I can tell you that fortunately it fits exactly on the screen bar holder. (If you want, I'll send you a picture).
        So you can use the cam without having to remove the screen bar.
        Unfortunately, the software for fine-tuning the cam (zoom, angle ...) from Logitech has not yet been adapted for the new ARM chips.
        But the cam works at least in the basic settings.
        Matthias

        • Jen Kleinholz says:

          Hello Matthias! Thanks for the feedback. This is good information that I will include right in the article. : D You don't have to send a photo separately. That's okay, thank you!

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