BenQ ScreenBar Halo Review: Monitor lamp cosily illuminates your workspace

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BenQ ScreenBar Halo casts a pool of light on your desk that helps you focus, better see your work tools and papers, and creates an unexpectedly cozy atmosphere around your Mac.

If you need more light where you work, it’s unlikely your first thought will be to buy one that shines on that glassy, ​​reflective monitor of yours. But BenQ’s Screenbar Halo sits on top of that monitor, it shines down – and it’s excellent.

It is an adjustable light in the sense that you can change the brightness and physically tilt it to avoid glare. Even without any adjustment, the effect is that the ScreenBar Halo creates a pool of light on your desk, regardless of the size of your desk or monitor.

Without reflection on the screen, the light still makes everything very bright right below, where you have your keyboard. The light then gradually fades away from that central point, albeit subtly.

On gloomy days, all the papers you work with at the desk are now perfectly clear and usable.

In the evenings, when you probably shouldn’t still be sitting at your desk, the ScreenBar Halo will keep you focused and focused. At the same time, it makes you feel comfortable, even cozy.

You feel like you and your Mac are in a little bubble, separated from everything around you.

More specifically, perhaps more quantifiably, it also seems to reduce eye strain from screen glare. Some of that may come from the diffused backlight that points from the ScreenBar Halo behind the desk, creating a cocoon feel.

ScreenBar Halo has a wireless remote control

ScreenBar Halo has a wireless remote control

What is offered

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo comes in a few parts. There’s the light itself, a USB cable that connects the unit to your Mac or a power source, and a separate wireless remote.

This wireless remote is the most obvious difference between the ScreenBar Halo and its predecessor, the ScreenBar. That older model had a dial that was physically connected to the light by a cable.

This is all meant to be used at your desk rather than halfway through an office, so the wired dial with its short cable was fine. But the wireless remote is more convenient because it’s easier to slide it aside when you’re not going to use it.


That new wireless remote is the only way to control the light. Powered by three AAA batteries, the remote control is a dial with a touch panel on the front.

To use the remote, first move your hand over the device, which turns on a single red light. Then tap that red light on the ScreenBar Halo.

Tapping it also briefly illuminates other control options. There are buttons related to brightness, temperature and saving your favorite combination of these.

It’s not easy to see any of the buttons until you tap them because that’s especially when they light up. You’ll get used to where they are though – and other than the central one, you won’t be using the controls very often.

However, if you do, one aspect will keep throwing you. There’s a series of red dots around the perimeter of the remote’s face, but they’re indicators rather than controls.

The more red dots you see, the brighter the light from the ScreenBar Halo is. But while everything else on that face is touch-activated, the way you manage the light level is to physically rotate the top of the remote.

As bright as the LEDs are, the ScreenBar Halo is designed so that all that light hits your desk, you never notice the individual lights

As bright as the LEDs are, the ScreenBar Halo is designed so that all that light hits your desk, you never notice the individual lights

Installing the ScreenBar Halo

The ScreenBar Halo is designed to sit on top of a monitor and traverses that top like a small saddle. There is the main lamp in front of the screen, an adjustable connecting rod and a counterweight behind the screen.

In theory this means you can adapt the ScreenBar Halo to any monitor. In practice it just seems to fit.

Even with a curved monitor, the ScreenBar Halo balanced without adjustments.

It can be so easy to just drop the light on top of the screen that you miss that there is more behind it than just a counterweight. The back of the ScreenBar Halo is equipped with a second light.

That second light is a diffuse, blunt block rather than a second elongated beam. It doesn’t have to be on and it isn’t standard either, but depending on your environment, it can be a good addition.

The backlight shines on everything behind your desk. Being in a shared workspace can mean shining in someone’s face, but if it’s a wall or shelf, the radiant second light casts a rather comforting glow.


That main light shining onto your desk from above the monitor is key. While using it, you’ll forget about the backlight if you ever choose to use it.

The front one may take more adjustments to get right. That would of course be the case with any light, because you have to figure out how bright you want it and when you want it to be that bright.

However, with the ScreenBar Halo there is one more aspect. The lamp itself connects to your Mac with a USB cable and USB-A connector and works best when plugged in directly, not through a router.

It doesn’t sound like there’s such a thing as working best not with a light on or off. But when I first connected, a problem arose when trying different brightness values.

Although AppleInsider has not been able to replicate this problem as there was a faint flicker to the light initially. It certainly had to do with the connection and the brightness levels, as it disappeared as soon as we adjusted the latter.

It's up to you whether you want to turn on the taillight or not, but it also adds to the atmosphere and shows us to clean up

It’s up to you whether you want to turn on the taillight or not, but it also adds to the atmosphere and shows us to clean up

Should you buy?

As long as your Mac setup is in an even slightly obscured environment, the BenQ ScreenBar Halo will lift your desk and improve your mood.

If you only work from 9 to 5 in an office with bright lights, it’s no use.

It’s also not worth upgrading from the previous version of the ScreenBar. The main difference between the two is that the control of the new ScreenBar Halo is wireless, which is convenient but not huge compared to the wired control of the previous model.

Since the light is plugged into the Mac, it’s a shame you can’t take advantage of that and use it in Shortcuts. It would be helpful to activate a shortcut that turned on Do Not Disturb, turned on the ScreenBar halo light, and opened a particular Pages document that needs your attention.

However, the ScreenBar Halo is much better than a desk lamp. Where the lighting may be the same, the ScreenBar Halo doesn’t take up any desk space at all.

Provides a soothing light beam to help you focus Fits even on curved monitors Easy to adjust brightness and temperature Can only be controlled via its own wireless control It takes a while to get used to that wireless control

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Where to buy

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