BenQ ScreenBar Halo: The Best Upgrade You Can Make Under $180

BenQ ScreenBar Halo: The Best Upgrade You Can Make Under $180

I didn't think it would be as useful as it ended up being. And I was quite wrong about how much I would use it. Turns out, I use it all the time, and it's one of the best things you can get for your desktop setup. In this article, we will review the BenQ ScreenBar Halo.


My current desk setup consists of a 32” monitor, a wireless charger for my iPhone and AirPods, a Kingston Workflow station, AirUp, a bag of coffee beans, a Magic Mouse, and a Magic Keyboard. A Magic Mike poster was initially planned, but it would have a negative impact on productivity. Corny movies aside, there was one thing missing from the setup: a good light that would light up my desk evenly, be sleek, and not affect the colors on a monitor.

Looking at desktop lamps, I quickly realized that they wouldn't be an option. First and foremost, because they take up a ton of space and are usually quite ugly. Having had a small desk for the past year, I was very happy to get a much larger one. With a much larger desk, I decided to keep things as minimal as possible, so getting a desk lamp, no matter how designer and expensive, simply wasn't an option. This is when I came across something I haven't really seen before: a ScreenBar. The idea is that this light sits on top of your monitor and lights up your desk without hitting the monitor screen. Initially skeptical, I decided to nonetheless give it a try. Having now used it for a few weeks, I am very positively impressed. I keep this sucker on anytime I am working, day or night. With plenty of illumination power, controls, and most importantly, a futuristic design, the ScreenBar Halo is a product I recommend.

Build Quality

The light feels expensive in your hands. It is made from metal, in a space gray-ish finish. This adds styling points, but also durability points. While durability might not be the first concern with such a light, it does improve the overall feel of the device. The puck, likewise, is a mix of plastic and metal.

The light comes with a hinge mechanism that allows it to sit well on top of your monitor. Best of all, it can fit on any monitor, as there is an adapter for thinner and thicker screens. The rubber padding means that the light won't slide left and right. The adapters will also make the light usable on a curved monitor. BenQ really did a good job with the design of the light, keeping it minimal, but also usable on almost any type of screen available.

The light works by plugging it into a USB-A port, which your monitor likely has already. In this case, it is good that the port is USB-A, because I can take up one of the two on my monitor for it, which are not used anyway. However, if you want to have all the ports available, you can also plug the light into a charger and use it as so. The cable is around five feet long, so reaching a plug is not a problem.

The wireless controller deserves special praise. It runs off three AAA batteries, which are supplied with the light. The puck feels solid as well, with a very smooth turn dial, as well as touchscreen controls for all the features of the light. More on that later. The battery cover attaches magnetically to the bottom, and the rubber finish makes sure that the puck is not sliding around. Not having the cable means that my desk is tidier.


The puck connects automatically to the light, which is always a welcomed feature. No pairing required. The only question I would have is with multiple of these lights, and what would happen in that case. Another question would be about getting replacements for the puck should it go missing. Adding a pairing feature would solve this problem but make setup more tedious.

As for the features of the ScreenBar, you are not left wishing for more. It has dual-color flicker-free LED which is 500 Lux bright. This is bright enough to be used during the day as well. For late evening sessions, you can dim it in 100 step-less adjustments. The light is bi-color, which is incredibly welcomed. You can change the temperature from 2,700K all the way to 6,500K. This should cover most light bulbs. Not sure what setting to use to match the ambient light around you? Simply tap the auto button on the puck, and the light will adjust itself to the temperature and luminosity of the room. What’s better is that there is a backlight for it as well. This is meant for those of us who want to increase the ambiance inside their room. This best works for those of us who have their desk by the wall. You have the option of having either back, front, or both lights on.

The light spread is fantastic, covering nearly any desk space. I limit my spread by adding a monitor hood, but without it, it would be nearly 180 degrees. It really makes a huge difference in how productive you are able to work and how well your space is adjusted to productivity. A backlit keyboard is simply not as good as a bright desktop. While I am not fully sure of the medical research behind it, I have noticed that I work a lot more efficiently when the ScreenBar is on.

The only thing I am really missing from the ScreenBar Halo is a webcam. Frankly, it’s what I’m missing from most monitors and monitor accessories. It should be a standard addition in 2024, given how many of our meetings are online, and how many people use Zoom or Google Meet. At the same time, if you tilt your light to hit your face, it provides great light for your face in meetings. It’s soft in the horizontal direction and hard in the vertical direction, meaning that your face will have plenty of definition. Come on, it would not be an article by Illya if I would not talk about using this light for lighting people. Could I do a shoot with it? Absolutely.

You can pick up a ScreenBar Halo for $179 at B&H. 

What I Liked

  • Highly adjustable brightness and color temperature levels
  • No effect on display calibration
  • No glare on display
  • Control Puck
  • Design and build quality

What Could Be Improved

  • Built-in webcam
  • Option to keep the puck constantly backlit
Illya Ovchar's picture

Illya aims to tell stories with clothes and light. Illya's work can be seen in magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, and InStyle.

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1 Comment

This appears to be discontinued