BenQ ScreenBar Plus Monitor Light review
BenQ ScreenBar Plus Monitor Light is precision quality light bar with variable colour temperature and intensity employing bi-colour LED light arrays in a sandblasted and anodised aluminum finish.
This Monitor Light BenQ ScreenBar Plus includes a remote rotary controller that allows changing settings without pushing on buttons on the actual light avoiding vibrations or displacing the light bar with the advantage of putting the controls exactly where you want.
At a glance
Let there be light! Introducing the BenQ ScreenBar Plus
The more time you spend working with computers, the more you have to consider your viewing conditions both monitor, and environmental lighting.
Being a loyal fan of BenQ monitors, I have always appreciated their low blue light technology which is an underplayed advantage. I read some comments on dismissal of blue light causing eye fatigue, yet I sincerely doubt the huge amount of time and effort into technology of this sort was a marketing ploy. Leaving CRT monitors the world went to LCD in a fast way. Reading text was much easier, usually crisp and contrasty, however cheap TFT screens were way too blue, refresh rates below what is optimal for long periods in front of a screen.
For the highest quality editing work station, a great monitor is paramount.
There, BenQ has photographers, videographers and graphic artists covered with the best performance price ratio products in the market, by far.
BenQ Lighting has quality options on work station and desktop solutions that go beyond simple desktop lighting or office overhead lighting, with BenQ ScreenBar Plus, BenQ ScreenBar, and BenQ ScreenBar Halo.
BenQ ScreenBar Plus Monitor Light AR17_C reviewed here is an example of what quality lighting brings to your workspace.
Read on for more details!
Highlighted features on the BenQ ScreenBar Plus
Who is BenQ ScreenBar Plus for and why?
A top quality variable colour clip on narrow angle LED works station lamp. This BenQ ScreenBar Plus will illuminate a desktop surface approximately 60cm wide by 30 cm with zero reflections on your screen.
Rather for professional use, where quality is important over price.
Most graphics applications will benefit use of this well-designed light making lighting conditions easily adapted to the actual conditions while maintaining correct light qualities whatever the industry standards are imposed.
Superb quality build and design, aluminum light bar, patented no compression clamp, the BenQ ScreenBar Plus includes a very practical remote controller with an option for automatic light level balancing.
Photographers and or graphic artists working in colour correction and calibrated output, this is a fantastic light for not only making life easier in day to day workspace use, yet beyond for controlling the desktop lighting to correspond to standard destination viewing conditions.
I have been doing prepress and colour correction on my imagery since 1997 where industry standards called for very expensive viewing booth for viewing and comparing print and screen. This is where the BenQ ScreenBar Plus is a game changer. I now can view prints right in front of my highly precise calibrated BenQ SW line monitors in their destination spaces such as D50 at 80 cd/m2 and set the BenQ ScreenBar Plus to a lighting condition that makes validation possible. The BenQ ScreenBar Plus colour of light and qualities are similar to my viewing booth, a Just Normlicht Color Control 5000.
I find the colour and quality of light amazing for such a practical small light. Since this and all similar desktop lights are LED there are some peaks yet the advantage of the BenQ is they were chosen for colour accuracy and consistent performance whereas cheap copies will never give you anything in the same league.
Videographers editing clips will have that comfort (less eye strain thanks to flicker free and low blue light) that in the long run makes a difference. You can adjust the temperature to what your expected viewers will have, and vary colour to an approximate the range of users expected viewing conditions to validate video clips.
Graphic artists and any other users that are in front of their displays for long hours will appreciate not only the esthetics of this classy light bar, but its practical use. Automatic measured adjustment is easy with a built in luminosity sensor (top of the remote) by pressing the left button.
All settings remain in memory when powered off. Any time the rotary dial is turned, the automatic setting is turned off. Pressing the Automatic button will place the colour temperature in the middle at 4000K what they call neutral white. The button on the right will toggle between manual Luminosity and Colour Temperature.
In colour temperature settings 8 steps are available between very warm Incandescent 2700K, 3000K, 3500K,4000K Neutral, 4500K, 500K D50 standard, 5700K cold white, and 6500K daylight D65.
Luminosity is controlled automatically or in 14 variable steps with the rotary dial.
Pressing the rotary dial turns on and off the BenQ ScreenBar Plus.
Construction and build.
All aluminum housing nice grey finish, sandblasted then anodized with Polymer end caps and ABS plastic and metal clamp parts all solid with absolutely the highest quality finishing. The clamp is very solid with its patented clamp which allows for pressure free 1-3cm thick bezels. This is understated as clamping a lightbar to a thin bezel COULD PERMANTENTLY DAMAGE your LCD panel which the ScreenBar Plus will not do!
It also works well with curved screens albeit with smaller screens with smaller radius curves there may be some light spill onto the screen on the outer edges of the light bar.
The BenQ ScreenBar Plus can be rotated 20º to adjust your lit area, yet still avoiding light from reflecting on your screen.
This BenQ ScreenBar Plus remote is a joy that users of BenQ monitors love. Here too a quality controller with superb finishing with a silky rotary dial. You get your money’s worth with no compromise manufacturing.
Into the details
ScreenBar Plus Monitor Light AR17_C Model: WL-UTE02
Cable length 125cm flat ribbon, robust.
90mmx450x92mm with clamps, 450mmx22mm diameter
Controller puck 74mm diameter 33mm high
Bi-color LEDs 900-1000 lux in the center at 45cm
Minimum 300 lux
Aluminum light bar, ABS ends and attachment.
Weight 680 including clamp, controller 138g
Power consumption 5 watts maximum, supply 5V 1A
MTBF 50000 hours
For a full specs list click on the link below.
BenQ ScreenBar Plus Conclusion
ScreenBar Plus is a superbly built top quality accessory for making your time in front of a screen a better experience reducing eye fatigue and allowing for excellent colour matching for prints and viewing conditions other than the monitor. Integration with high end editing monitors takes the ScreenBar Plus far beyond a simple desktop light. I really like this little gem, and highly recommend it for any users serious about quality of light for their editing or working environments.
Uniformity, excellent colour CRI >95, narrow beam angle.
Small form factor, minimalist design, elegant materials.
Unique patented clamp mount no compression, secure, robust, and efficient; vibration free
Fantastic controller in line with other BenQ Hot Key pucks for professional monitors
Works with most any monitors with a USB port, no need for external power supplies.
Top quality build, every detail is exemplary, even the packaging.
Flicker free and low blue light for less eye strain
Advantage of the ScreenBar Plus the automatic sensor measures the illuminated desktop surface
Colour Temperature is not indicated, nor limited by click detents
Colour temperature is not measure in Automatic, only Luminosity
Limited range of luminosity
3200K would have been the logical choice for a setting
ScreenBar Plus Controller is wired, on the ScreenBar Halo is wireless
No integration with BenQ SW line monitor hoods (although this would defeat the purpose of the hood)
Not wide enough for a 32” Monitor
Not really conceived for mounting webcams on top, although certain cams mount
Price targets professional and power users only