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The Best Monitor Light Bars of 2023

If you spend hours every day staring at your screen, a monitor light bar can help reduce eye strain, prevent headaches, and illuminate your desk. Most monitor light bars let you adjust brightness and color temperature to your liking, and some even feature auto-dimming.


What to Look for in a Monitor Light Bar

There are multiple monitor light bars out there that offer the same features, so finding the best one for you can be tricky. Because a monitor light bar is a small gadget, the list of what to look for is fairly short.

Some light bars only have one brightness level or one color temperature setting—avoid these. There are so many other options out there that allow you to customize brightness and color temperature with to fifteen unique settings.

A monitor light bar with a wireless remote or an auto-dimming feature can be helpful so you don't need to reach up to manually adjust your settings throughout the day. These features can be especially helpful if you play games, but anyone using their monitor for long hours can benefit from a wireless remote or auto-dimming.

Measuring is key when selecting a monitor light bar. Make sure the monitor light bar you choose is the proper size for your monitor, or you run the risk of screen glare. If you have a curved monitor, find a light bar that mentions it's compatible with curved monitors or a light bar that's specifically made for curved monitors.

Mounting a light bar to your monitor should be easy, but not all monitors are made equal. Even some of the best monitor light bars prove difficult to mount on some monitors. Check reviews for images or anecdotes mounting the light bar to monitors that resemble yours, and try to find out how long the connecting cable is to make sure there's plenty of space between a USB port and the top of your monitor.

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Best Monitor Light Bar Overall: BenQ ScreenBar

Pros

Cons

✓ 15 adjustable brightness levels

✗ Mixed results on compatibility with curved monitors

✓ 8 adjustable temperature levels

✗ Pricey compared to similar light bars

✓ Auto-dimming feature

✓ Durable, premium build quality

For most people, the BenQ ScreenBar is the best monitor light bar you can buy. It's a bit pricier than other options, but in exchange for that premium, you get a light bar that's made to last longer and has a few extra features.

There are 15 adjustable brightness levels and eight different color temperatures between 2700K (warm white) and 8500K (cool white). You can adjust the brightness or color temperature manually using controls on the light bar, or you can use the built-in auto-dimming feature to automatically adjust the levels throughout the day as outside light fluctuates.

The ScreenBar's auto-dimming feature uses a built-in ambient light sensor to detect surrounding brightness and adjust it to 500 lux, which is the American National Standard recommendation for office lighting. In the light bar's center, the max brightness reaches 900 lux. Whatever your brightness is set at, BenQ's patented asymmetrical optical design creates zero screen glare.

BenQ's ScreenBar can be powered by any USB outlet with an output of 5V/1A or more, and it'll clamp onto your monitor easily with no tools required. On the BenQ website, you can find monitor compatibility requirements for the ScreenBar. It should work with most flat or curved monitors with a thickness between 0.4 and 1.2 inches. However, some Amazon users have reported the ScreenBar not working well with their curved monitor.

BenQ ScreenBar

Best Monitor Light Bar Overall

The BenQ ScreenBar is a fan favorite for its auto-dimming feature, 15 adjustable brightness levels, 8 different color temperatures, no screen glare, and top-notch quality.

Pros

Cons

✓ Adjustable color temperature (3000K – 6500K)

✗ Not a great pick for ultra-wide or curved monitors

✓ Adjustable brightness levels

✗ Some users note issues with the mount clip

✓ Auto-dimming feature

The Quntis Light Bar is an affordable alternative to the BenQ ScreenBar, and it offers many of the same features. This light bar uses an asymmetrical optimal design to eliminate screen glare, has an auto-dimming feature, and mounts to your monitor easily with a weighted clip that requires zero tools.

There are 78 LEDs inside Quntis' Light Bar, and the built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the LEDs based on your surrounding light. The auto-dimming feature will keep this light bar around 700 lux brightness, which is what the United States National Office Lighting Standard defines as bright enough for work.

You can also manually adjust the brightness and color temperature in steps if you don't like the auto-dimming feature. There are four brightness levels to switch between, each at a 25% increment up to 100%, and four color temperature options between 3000K (warm white) and 6500K (cool white). Whichever brightness and color temperature combination you go with, the Quntis light bar works to eliminate blue light and decrease eye discomfort throughout the day.

This light bar can be used as soon as you connect it to any USB 5V/1A port, whether that's on your monitor, computer, or a separate . If your monitor measures between 0.3 and 1.4 inches thick, the Quntis Light Bar will work perfectly.

However, this light bar won't work for laptops or curved monitors. Quntis recommends this light bar for 15- to 22-inch monitors. Some Amazon users noted issues with the mount clip not working for monitors with thinner bezels, and others note that it doesn't work well with monitors that have a curved back.

Quntis Light Bar

Best Monitor Light Bar

$40 $43 Save $3

The Quntis Light Bar is an affordable option that still offers top-tier perks, like auto-dimming, various brightness and color temperature adjustments, and no screen glare.

Pros

Cons

✓ 10 adjustable brightness levels

✗ No auto-dimming feature

✓ 3 color temperature settings

✗ Included wires aren't the best

✓ Great for smaller monitors

✓ Affordable option

The HIOUME Light Bar is perfect for anyone looking for a light bar to fit on a smaller, thinner monitor. This light bar measures 15.75 inches, a few inches shorter than most other options available. HIOUME makes an even smaller light bar for laptops as well.

With its asymmetrical optical design, it won't create screen glare. Then, there are three color temperature options to switch between, from warm light (2800K) to cool light (6500K) to somewhere in the middle (4000K). You can also adjust the brightness in 10% increments, from 10% to 100%.

This light bar contains 84 LEDs (42 Cool White LEDs and 42 Warm Color LEDs), and HIOUME estimates the LED lifetime to be over 100,000 hours. In the center of the light bar, it can reach 500 lux max brightness.

Because HIOUME's monitor light bar uses a clamp design, you won't need any tools to install the light bar. However, you will need to measure your monitor to make sure it's compatible. Any flat monitor with a thickness between 0.4 and 1.2 inches at the top will work with this monitor bar; it's not suitable for curved monitors.

To use the light bar, you'll need to plug it into a 5V USB port on your computer, monitor, a USB charger, or a power bank. Once it's plugged in, there are manual controls on top of the light bar to adjust brightness and color temperature.

HIOUME Light Bar

Best Compact Monitor Light Bar

If you have a smaller monitor, the HIOUME Light Bar is more compact than most, and still offers multiple adjustments for brightness and color temperature.

Pros

Cons

✓ Convenient wireless remote included

✗ No controls on the light bar

✓ Adjustable brightness and color temperature

✓ Magnetic rotating base is sturdy and easy to use

✓ Solid build quality

The Xiaomi Mi Light Bar is a great option for anyone who plays games because it comes with a remote control and doesn't have an auto-dimming feature, which can be annoying while gaming. The remote is wireless via a 2.4GHz connection, and it can be pressed, rotated, or both to control your brightness and color temperature preferences.

There are multiple brightness and color temperature settings to play around with, and the response you get from the wireless remote control is almost instant. Like other light bars, this one from Xiaomi produces no screen glare or reflection because of its asymmetric design. Not every monitor is built the same, so the light bar can be adjusted up to 25 degrees to prevent glare on most monitors.

Xiaomi's Light Bar gets its power from any USB port, and you can start using it right away as soon as it's plugged in. You can quickly attach this light bar to your monitor via clamp and adjust the angle easily with its magnetic base, as long as the top of your monitor is between 0.4 and 1.25 inches thick.

You can still install this light bar on monitors less than 0.4 inches thick, but you won't be able to adjust the angle without supporting the light bar. Xiaomi even states this light bar is suitable for curved screens with or without a bezel that fall into the thickness requirements. The 40-degree adjustable axis allows you to put the light bar in just the right place to prevent screen glare.

Xiaomi Mi Light Bar

Best Monitor Light Bar for Gaming

The Xiaomi Mi Light Bar comes with a handy wireless remote to change brightness and color temperature levels, and it's easy to adjust the light angle via the magnetic rotating base.

Best Monitor Light Bar with Webcam Mount: BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Pros

Cons

✓ Adjustable color temperature and brightness

✗ Super pricey investment

✓ 3 eye-care modes to choose from

✗ No controls on the light bar

✓ Convenient wireless remote included

✓ Integrated back light

✓ Works for almost all monitors, even curved

You can put your webcam beside a monitor light bar or try to mount it on top with tape or great balance, but if you want a light bar with a dedicated place for your webcam, check out the BenQ ScreenBar Halo and its Webcam Accessory. There's a special spot dedicated for the Webcam Accessory on top of the ScreenBar Halo, and it'll work with a ton of different webcams, but not the BenQ IdeaCam.

The ScreenBar Halo is a great pick for anyone wanting to use a light bar and a webcam, but there are quite a few extra features that make it a fantastic premium pick as well. It shares some features with the original ScreenBar, like auto-dimming to 500 lux, an asymmetrical optical design to prevent glare, easy installation, and multiple adjustments for brightness and color temperature. Unique to the ScreenBar Halo, you'll find an integrated back light and a handy wireless controller.

You can control brightness and color temperature levels for the back light and the front light. Then, you can easily swap between three different eye care modes that utilize either just the front light, just the back light, or both lights. Using just the front light might be better for working during the day, and using just the back light can be more immersive for playing games at night.

To control the brightness and color temperature settings, you'll use the included smart wireless controller. Between the three eye care modes, there are over 100 different brightness and color temperature combinations to play around with.

The ScreenBar Halo is easy to install via an included USB cable and BenQ's patented clip design. It's also compatible with more monitors than the original ScreenBar. Flat monitors with a thickness between 0.3 and 2.4 inches as well as curved monitors over 1000R with a thickness between 0.63 and 1.5 inches are compatible with the ScreenBar Halo. Your monitor's bezel width should be greater than or equal to 0.25 inches to work with this light bar.

BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Best Monitor Light Bar with Webcam Mount

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo is worth every penny with an integrated back light for extra eye care, a convenient remote, and multiple brightness and color temperature options.

FAQ

Do monitor light bars help with eye strain?

Yes! It may seem counterintuitive, but by providing extra light via a light bar, your eyes won't need to constantly adjust to your screen's brightness as the surrounding light changes throughout the day.

Should I use a monitor light bar or a monitor backlight?

Both light bars and backlights (or bias lighting) help reduce eye strain by providing consistent and ample light around your screen, but light bars can help illuminate your desk as well as your screen.

What is blue light?

Blue light is simply light with a blue hue that produces a higher amount of energy than other colors, and believe it or not, blue light is not as dangerous as people make it out to be.



VIA: HowToGeek.com

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