$99 for a desk lamp, a gimmick or… a great product? Let’s find out!

OK, the BenQ e-Reading lamp looks cool and minimalistic, but why should I pay $99 (£89 / €99.00) for a desk-lamp if I can also use my $12 IKEA lamp to light up my desk? Well according to BenQ it’s all about saving and EYE CARE:

“Research shows that we work on the computer for an average of 5.7 hours each day. Staring at the screen for so long causes eye irritation.
To eliminate this discomfort, enough rest helps, but the key to relieve eye strain is sufficient lighting.”

On an average workday I easily spend 8-10 hours behind a computer screen. I am mainly using my 28 inch Samsung (LU28H750UQUXEN) monitor. This monitor already has a blue light filter and is quite comfortable for my eyes, but I have to admit that it’s a little discomforting after a few hours especially when it’s dark outside.

we work on the computer for an average of 5.7 hours each day

So, I guess I am thé right person to test this product. To be honest, when BenQ approached me to test the product, I thought that this would be a typical product in the ‘Nice, but I don’t need it category’. But it turns out that I actually missed something like this for a very long time! Of course rest is more important than anything, but I have to say that it’s really a lot more comforting to my eyes.

Clean and simple packaging

The built-in ambient light sensor automatically illuminates to 500 Lux. This is the common and recommended Light Level for indoor scenarios like normal office work, PC work, study library, groceries, show rooms and laboratories.  
In a lot of cases the automatic light sensor option was too bright for me and after using for a while it caused discomfort. So for me the manual option was the best way to go.

This is an example with the light on (light sensor enabled) in full daylight conditions.

And another example when it’s dark outside.

Adjustable color temperature is another feature on the BenQ e-Reading Lamp.  Supposedly warm light should make you more relax and blue light “allows you to concentrate and boosts efficiency.” Although it did not boost my efficiency, I do appreciate the option to adjust the temperature to create the perfect mood in my office.


Adjustable color temperature

“ScreenBar e-Reading lamp has an asymmetrical optical design that only illuminates the desk and doesn’t shine on the screen, avoiding reflective glare.”

The screenbar can be tilted slightly which results minimal glare or reflection. I would not say that it’s completely glare free, but it’s much (MUCH!) better compared to my other light sources.

The angle of the screenbar is adjustable

There are some other things to keep in mind. 

  • This is a USB powered lamp, that means you will need to find a free USB port nearby your monitor. Some monitors have a build in USB hub, which is great for this application. But in my case I don’t have a monitor with a USB port and that means I had to use a port on my computer. I don’t want to see any cables, so I had to do a lot of cable management and use a USB extension cable. The included cable simply was not long enough for that. Instead you can also use a USB phone charger, but make sure that it’s at least 5V/1A.
  • Also keep in mind that when you put the BenQ e-Reading Lamp on your monitor, there is not much space left if you also want to mount a webcam. On my 28 inch monitor I had around 7 cm of space left on both sides. If you use a 24 inch (or smaller) monitor you probably don’t have any space left.
  • Another thing I need to mention is the fact that my monitor is FLAT. I am pretty sure that it will fit on a smaller curved monitor. No sure about the extreme curved >34 inch ones…

To summarize, the BenQ e-Reading Lamp or screenbar is a unique, but still a quite expensive desk lamp. In my opinion it’s one of the best solutions I have seen so far for desk lighting.
I really appreciate the fact that it helps me keep my eyes healthy. It also looks very stylish and minimalistic, the build quality is good and it also feels very solid. The illumination brightness and angle can be changed and color temperature is also adjustable. Great features, but perhaps still a little too expensive for most users. On the other hand, some people spend hundreds of dollars annually on glasses and lenses, so perhaps this might not be a bad investment… 

Buy the  BenQ e-Reading Lamp on Amazon.com:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0785D93KD
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0785D93KD

Looks good, works good, a bit expensive

Value
Build quality
Performance
Design
Ease of use
Total score
Very good

BenQ e-Reading Lamp review

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