BenQ ScreenBar Halo review: Space-saving lightbar is godsend for dark desks

BenQ ScreenBar Halo review: Space-saving lightbar is godsend for dark desks
Images courtesy of GGRecon

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes

Published 

23rd Jun 2023 10:44

If your office space feels a little like a cave where one might find a Wampa, just with a little less snow and ice, you’ll know all too well how tricky it can be to set up a truly engaging lighting system.

Whether it’s for meetings or just being able to see what you’re doing on your desk, dark workspaces away from light tend to require big wall lights or a series of key lights and light bars.

Buy the BenQ ScreenBar Halo here.

BenQ’s ScreenBar Halo, on the other hand, is a little different. It’s a light bar that attaches to the top of your screen, and while I was fully expecting to be looking directly into an entire display’s worth of glare, I was impressed by how effective it is at making my dark desktop feel a little more welcoming.

GGRecon Verdict

Low on space and looking for a lighting lift? The BenQ ScreenBar Halo could be your desk’s new best friend.

Working to light up your workspace, the area behind your screen, or just make you feel less like a goblin after a few hours of work, it’s a great product that may be just what you need.

Welcome to the cave

BenQ ScreenBar Halo with webcam on top
Click to enlarge

I spend anywhere from 12 to 16 hours at my desk each day, and having it in a converted garage is great for keeping my home and professional lives separate. Sadly, it’s very dark, and while I have a series of Nanoleaf shapes on my wall to help alleviate the gloom, it does little for my desktop - which also happens to be made of black wood.

I’ve got a cheap “photography” LED set up next to my desk, but I was looking for something to allow me to see what I’m doing more clearly.

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo is super easy to put together, with a single USB cable running down to my PC, and an already-paired short-range remote “puck” included, too.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo remote
Click to enlarge

Simply plug the bar in, place it on top of your monitor, and you’re away. There’s an additional insert for curved displays, too, and it perches quite nicely on my 34-inch Ultrawide AOC monitor.

While it first looked like a kitbashed solution, it’s remarkably secure - I even put my webcam on top of it.

The remote is also easy enough to put together - put a trio of AAA batteries inside, put the base on, and you’re away.

I love the design of it, too. It’s nice and weighty, with an outer ring that acts as a contextual control depending on whether it’s on brightness, temperature, or used for ambient backlighting.

Let there be light (bar)

BenQ ScreenBar Halo sitting atop a large display
Click to enlarge

If, like me, you’re expecting to have your screen illuminated (and not necessarily in a good way), fear not - the BenQ ScreenBar Halo doesn’t add any glare to your workstation.

With an 800lux brightness rating, it’s ideal for working late or simulating something approaching daylight if your office is in a dark corner.

One thing I was surprised to enjoy as much as I did was the simple act of rotating the bar. Doing so allows it to function as a backlight for your display.

While it is possible to manually set the BenQ ScreenBar Halo’s output, I was grateful to find the Auto-Brightness option does a pretty good job of reading the room.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo remote in use
Click to enlarge

Simply tap the controller to wake it up, then touch the button, and it’ll set the colour for you. That first wake-up touch did take some getting used to, but it’s responsive at all times and avoids any accidental adjustments (often from my toddler).

During testing, I did reach a few moments where the bar would begin to flash on and off regularly. While at first, I worried that the unit had become defective, it turned out to be a power supply issue from my chosen USB port and switching to another fixed the issue.

The Verdict

Low on space and looking for a lighting lift? The BenQ ScreenBar Halo could be your desk’s new best friend.

Working to light up your workspace, the area behind your screen, or just make you feel less like a goblin after a few hours of work, it’s a great product that may be just what you need.

Review unit provided by the manufacturer. GGRecon uses affiliate links, if you purchase any products from our links we may earn a commission.

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.