Monitor Light Bar Complete Guide

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Chris, Chief Editor & WFH Expert

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Are you tired of straining your eyes while working on your computer for long hours? Do you want to elevate your gaming experience to the next level?

Monitor light bars, a new addition to the tech world that has been gaining rapid popularity lately. You’ll find them featured on almost every desk setup video on  YouTube.

As an avid tech and work from home enthusiast, I’ve done extensive research and testing, and in this guide, I’ll be answering all the common questions you might have about the best monitor light bars!

So, let’s dive in!

Takeaways
  • Monitor light bars are a new tech accessory gaining popularity for their ability to reduce eye strain and improve work environment.
  • They come in different shapes and sizes and can be adjusted for light intensity and temperature, unlike desk lamps.
  • Monitor light bars are particularly useful for those who work in dimly lit environments, gamers, and streamers.
  • Light bars work by reducing glare and dazzle caused by screen reflection and providing the right amount of lighting.
  • When choosing a light bar, consider compatibility, brightness, color temperature, and adjustability features.
  • Popular brands of monitor light bars include BenQ, Xiaomi, Yeelight, and Vivo. Prices range from $39 to $179.

What Is A Monitor Light Bar?

A monitor light bar is a versatile accessory that helps to improve your overall work environment. 

We spend so many hours in front of a computer screen, so we might as well make the environment as comfy and inspiring as possible.

They come in a few different shapes and sizes and can be precisely adjusted to provide a range of light intensities and color temperatures.

And they just look so cool. It’s a cheap way to elevate your desk setup.

My WFH desk setup

Do I need a monitor light bar?

If you work in a dimly lit environment, a monitor light bar is a game changer.

It massively reduces eye strain, improve the overall look of your workspace, and help you see your keyboard better.

I do have a minimalist backlit keyboard but even then it’s just not enough for working in a dark room.

In the images below, the only light source is the lightbar, and you can see just how much of a difference it makes!

monitor light bar turned off
monitor light bar turned on

If you use your computer for gaming or streaming, a monitor light bar can also enhance the viewing experience on your 5k monitor.

So, while you don’t necessarily need one, I’ve found that a monitor light bar is a fantastic investment for anyone looking to create a comfortable and productive work environment.

How a monitor light bar reduces eye strain

A monitor light bar can be a lifesaver when it comes to minimizing eye strain caused by prolonged screen use.

Not only that, but they also enhance the visual appeal of your entire workspace. 

But how do they work exactly?

These devices are equipped with a unique asymmetrical optical design, which makes the light entirely avoid the screen while providing the right amount of lighting, reducing glare and dazzle caused by screen reflection.

The BenQ monitor light bar using an asymmetrical optical design
BenQ Halo

Some models can even filter out certain wavelengths of light by adjusting the hue and temperature, which helps massively with an overall relaxed viewing experience for your eyes.

Did you know that the lighting in your workspace affects your mood, energy levels, and even sleep quality?

According to studies, natural light can have a positive effect on sleep and mental health, and different lighting levels can have varying effects on emotions and productivity.

For example, warmer lights create a relaxed atmosphere, while cooler lights can boost creativity and focus. If you’re aiming for top productivity either for work or competitive gaming, getting the right lighting is key.

All of these things combined lead to a more comfortable and enjoyable viewing experience.

As you can see, you have little to lose by getting a monitor light bar for yourself.

Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Monitor Light Bar for You

Monitor light bars are awesome, however, with several brands and models available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you.

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, then these are my top picks from my best monitor light bars article.

In this section, I’ll provide some tips and features to look for when selecting a monitor light bar, as well as highlight some of the best brands currently on the market.

Compatibility With Different Screens

One common question people have about monitor light bars is whether they can be used with any monitor.

The answer is, it depends. Monitor thickness can play a factor, as some monitor light bars have clamps or adhesive strips that may not fit thinner or irregularly shaped monitors. 

Similarly, if the back of the monitor is curved, it may not provide a flat surface for the light bar to adhere to.

For those with curved monitors, look for light bars that are specifically designed for curved screens!

Additionally, most monitor light bars require a free USB port on the monitor that powers them, so make sure to check if your monitor has any available ports before purchasing.

Where should I place my webcam?

In terms of webcam placement, placing it on top of the light bar may seem like a good idea, but it can be wobbly and not very stable. This depends on the light bar and how the top surface looks like.

It’s better to consider other options, such as using a flexible arm to place it on the side of your monitor like I have.

Clamp the arm on the back for your monitor or the desk, or consider placing it on top of your computer bookshelf speaker if you use them.

This ensures your webcam stays secure and won’t fall off during use, and is actually more inline and centered around your face.

Remember, stability is key when it comes to webcam placement, you don’t want the video to shake around when on a call.

My Logitech Streamcam besides the monitor

Features to Look for in a Monitor Light Bar

When shopping for a monitor light bar, there are a variety of features to consider beyond just the basics.

Light temperature

Lower color temperature light (around 2700K to 3000K) is warm and comforting, while higher color temperature light (around 5000K to 6500K) provides a cool, stimulating environment. 

Some users prefer the cooler and bluish light, while others like myself find the warmer, yellowish light more comfortable for extended use.

Look for a monitor light bar that offers adjustable temperature options to find the perfect lighting for your needs.

Brightness

Brightness is another important consideration. Make sure the light bar you choose has adjustable brightness levels, so you can dim or brighten the light as needed to reduce eye strain and create the optimal visual environment for your workspace.

If you want to add a touch of ambiance to your workspace, consider a light bar with backlighting that casts a glow on the wall behind your monitor. This feature is especially nice if you work in a dimly lit room, and can help reduce eye strain caused by staring at a bright screen in a dark environment.

Colors

For those who like to customize the look of their workspace, some light bars offer RGB color options, allowing you to choose from a wide array of colors that suit your style and mood.

Remote Control

Finally, if you want maximum control over your lighting, look for a light bar that comes with a wireless remote control.

This will allow you to adjust your lighting settings without leaving your chair, and customize your lighting experience with ease and on the fly.

My BenQ halo remote control

Which brands make the best monitor light bars?

When it comes to the best monitor light bars, there are quite a few brands that have been making waves in the market.

BenQ is a well-known brand that creates top quality products with sleek and modern designs. Their monitor light bars are no exception, with highly customizable settings and easy-to-use features.

1. BenQ ScreenBar Halo – Best Overall

Screenshot 2023 03 16 at 17.07.53

Editors Rating: 5.0 /5

Another great option is Xiaomi, a Chinese company that has made a name for itself in the technology world. Their monitor light bars feature various lighting modes with adjustable brightness and color temperature.

Yeelight is also a popular brand that offers a variety of smart lighting solutions. Their monitor light bars have a minimalist design and are compatible with voice control assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.

Lastly, Vivo is a relatively new brand in the market but has been gaining popularity for its affordable and visually appealing products. Their monitor light bars are no different, with a sleek aluminum finish and adjustable settings.

Keep in mind that functionality, design, and pricing all play a role in determining which brand offers the best monitor light bars.

How do I Install a monitor light bar?

Installing a monitor light bar is super easy. All you have to do is place it on top of your monitor and plug it into a free USB port on the back of the monitor.

If needed, adjust the bar and the light direction to avoid glare on the screen by rotating the bar.

Note: On premium models like the BenQ have specially designed light bars and everything is set from factory, so there is no need to tamper with the light placement or direction of the light.

On cheaper models from Amazon this might be the case though. Stability is also an issue with cheap models and people use things like tape or velcro lol, please avoid this.

My monitor light bar placed on top of a screen

My Personal Methodology For Testing and Reviewing a Monitor Light Bar

When testing monitor light bars, I evaluate several criteria such as the brightness level, color accuracy, ease of installation, and durability.

I usually attach the light bar to a monitor and test it under various lighting conditions to check its output.

Additionally, I examine the build quality, cable management, and compatibility with my workspace setup. Based on these factors, I provide an honest review of each monitor light bar and its performance.

I also consider the adjustability features of the monitor light bar, such as the color temperature, color modes, and dimming options.

These features can affect the overall user experience and satisfaction, especially for individuals who use their monitors for creative work, gaming, or extended screen time.

Overall, my personal testing and review of monitor light bars aims to provide an informative and unbiased analysis that can help readers make an informed decision when choosing the best monitor light bar for their needs.

Monitor Light Bar Costs

BrandAverage Cost
BenQ$179
Xiaomi$69
Baseus$49
Yeelight$99
Quints$39
Vivo$39
Melifo$119
Oowolf$49

Does the price of a monitor light bar affect its performance?

The price of a monitor light bar does not directly affect its performance. The performance of a monitor light bar depends on factors like its brightness, color accuracy, and viewing angle, which can vary across different models, regardless of their price point.

However, higher-priced monitor light bars may have additional features or better build quality that can contribute to a better overall user experience.

For example, some high-end models may offer more advanced color temperature settings or a wider range of brightness levels, and overall better build quality that won’t break down on you after a few weeks of usage.

It’s important to consider the features that are most important to you and your specific use case when choosing a monitor light bar, rather than focusing solely on price if you ask me.

Monitor Light Bar FAQs

Are monitor light bars worth it?

Yes, if you spend a lot of time in front of your screen, monitor light bars can help reduce eye strain and make the colors on your screen look better. 

Which monitor light is best?

There are many great options available, but some of the best include the BenQ ScreenBar Halo and the Xiaomi Mi Light Bar. 

What is the best brand light bar?

BenQ and Xiaomi are two of the most popular and trusted brands for monitor light bars. 

Is the BenQ light bar worth it?

If you’re looking for a high-quality, durable light bar, the BenQ ScreenBar Halo is definitely worth the investment. 

Is monitor light bar good for gaming?

Yes! The ambient lighting can help reduce eye fatigue and make gaming sessions more comfortable. 

How do I choose a light bar for my monitor?

Consider factors like the size of your monitor, brightness levels, color temperature, and dimming options to find a light bar that meets your needs. 

Is it a good idea to buy a light bar for your monitor?

If you spend a lot of time in front of your screen, a monitor light bar can help reduce eye strain and make colors look better, so it can definitely be a worthwhile investment. 

Which light is best for gaming?

Generally, warm white light is recommended for reducing eye strain during extended gaming sessions.

Can a monitor light bar be adjusted for brightness?

Yes, most light bars come with adjustable brightness and dimming options.

What is the average lifespan of a monitor light bar?

The lifespan of a light bar will depend on the model and how frequently it’s used, but most high-quality models should last for several years.

Can multiple monitor light bars be used together?

Yes! Many people use multiple light bars to achieve the perfect level of ambient lighting for their setup.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo – Best Overall

Screenshot 2023 03 16 at 17.07.53
image 45

Editors Rating: 5.0 /5

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