Chapter in this post:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
You can find the ScreenBar from BenQ here at Amazon or you can also go through this product box:
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:
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:
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.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de