The Best Monitor Light Bars For Every Budget

Monitor light bars have been my favorite desk lamp replacement ever since I first bought one. They have too many benefits to be overlooked, which is why I’m honestly surprised not everyone has one.  

If you’ve landed on this article, you’re on track to get these huge benefits with your new monitor light bar:

  • Zero screen glare – light bars shield light from landing on your monitor.
  • More desk space – light bars sit on your monitor and don’t require any desk space.
  • Centered beam spread – light bars direct light in line with your monitor.

Those are only the main three benefits, you can find the full list of monitor light bar benefits here

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best light bars on the market right now for every budget. The price can range anywhere from $25 to around $200! 

benq screenbar and melifo light bars on desk

There are also seemingly limitless light bar variants on Amazon so we’re going to help you cut through the noise. 

I’ve also owned a ton of light bars in the past, so I know where certain light bars fall short and which exceed expectations. Most important of all: I actually own and tested the light bars I am recommending below. 

Best Premium Monitor Light Bar: BenQ ScreenBar Halo

Premium Pick
BenQ ScreenBar Halo Monitor Light

Enhance eye comfort with this monitor light bar's integrated backlight design that illuminates your back wall (bias lighting). With a smart wireless controller, it's easy to adjust brightness and color temperature. Its patented clip design mounts on almost any monitor, saving valuable desk space, and it's powered via USB, eliminating the need for extra wires.

Check Price on Amazon

Coming in first place we of course have the BenQ ScreenBar Halo in the premium category. This light bar does so much more than other light bars out there and does it all with BenQ’s superior build quality.

Benq screenbar halo mounted on curved monitor

This is my current monitor light bar, and I have a dedicated BenQ Halo review here. You’ll quickly find the main downside of this lightbar is the cost. You have to pay a pretty penny for the Screenbar Halo.

But it’s important to know what you get with the Screenbar Halo that other light bars don’t have. Here’s a quick list of key features that make the Halo stand out and worth the cash. 

Standout Features

  • Integrated rear Halo bias light
  • Large beam spread & brighter light source
  • Backlit weighted wireless controller
  • Favorite light setting memory
  • Included adapters for ultra-thin and curved monitors 
screenbar halo control puck
screenbar halo light bar rear light

The backlit wireless controller is super sleek with a ton of function. BenQ recently updated it so you no longer have to “wake” the controller. You simply use it! It’s powered by three included AAA batteries.

The outer dial of this controller is so smooth and feels super high-end.

The lighting quality and spread are much superior to the random Amazon brands. Check out the difference yourself on the BenQ Halo vs the budget pick later in the article. I took these photos while my camera was in manual mode so the brightness differences are comparable.

BenQ Halo at max brightness.
MELIFO light bar at max brightness.

You can quickly tell that the BenQ ScreenBar Halo has a much better spread light beam and brightness compared to the other light bar pretty significantly.

The reason the MELIFO has a hard edge towards the back of the desk is because the BenQ halo is using the curved monitor accessory that pushes the light bar further out. That just makes the BenQ Halo lighting that much smoother to look at.

This is one example of the better job that BenQ does compared to Amazon copycats. You can also tell that the light quality is a little muddier on the MELIFO. Because the BenQ is more expensive, they put in much higher quality components.

In my opinion, you definitely get what you pay for. Oh and don’t forget the rear bias Halo light that reduces eye strain by bouncing light off of your rear wall!

Best Budget Monitor Light Bar – MELIFO L1-Plus Light Bar

Budget Pick
MELIFO Monitor Light Bar

Illuminate your keyboard area without reflecting glare on the screen with this budget-friendly monitor light bar. With stepless dimming and memory function, adjust brightness and color temperature to your preference. Its USB power supply makes it easy to use anywhere.

Check Price on Amazon

Out of all the random brands on Amazon, three have decent reviews from many people. Those brands are Quintis, Xiaomi Mi, and MELIFO. I know, these are some random “Amazon” brand names. 

These brands are great for those looking for most of the light bar benefits at a good price. The light bar I found with the best price and most convenient features was the MELIFO light bar above.

The benefit of this light bar is that it has a very straightforward design. It comes with a light bar and a nice wireless desktop control dial. This simplicity keeps the cost nice and low. 

Standout Features

  • Super affordable with frequent sale prices <$30
  • Compact wireless controller
  • Adhesive back controller for flexible placement
  • Not controller dependent

Instead of making the controller weighted like the expensive BenQ model, they added an adhesive bottom. That means you can actually place this controller on vertical spaces too! It would be super sleek to place this on the side of a monitor, or even on top of the monitor light bar itself!

You can still move the controller, but it will lose some stickiness over time. This is one example of how MELIFO likely made the light bar a bit more affordable. 

If you somehow lose the controller or the battery dies, you can still use your light bar as it has integrated controls as well!

One downside that comes with this price point is that you only have three color temperature settings. Warm, neutral, cold. The dial of the controller only lets you adjust brightness. Pressing the top of the control toggles between the three color temperatures.

Holding down the controller turns the light bar off, and a single tap turns it on. Most people like a physical “clicking” button, which makes this a big plus that the BenQ Halo doesn’t have.

Another budget light bar that doesn’t come with a remote control is the Quntis ScreenLinear Pro light bar. It however is an aluminum compact light bar with great quality. We review the Quntis ScreenLinear Pro light bar here.

Quntis ScreenLinear Pro Monitor Light Bar
  • Bright light output in compact size
  • Aluminum encased LED body
  • Affordable compared to BenQ Light Bars
  • Integrated controls
  • No wireless controller
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Best Mid-Range Light Bar: BenQ ScreenBar (Original)

BenQ ScreenBar Monitor Light

This is BenQ's most affordable monitor light. It has integrated controls and the superior BenQ build quality we've come to love. It has fantastic glare blocking, light spread, brightness, and light quality.

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If you’re looking for something that is cheaper than the BenQ ScreenBar Halo and has better build quality than the MELIFO light bar above, the original BenQ ScreenBar is the way to go. 

Standout Features

  • More affordable than the BenQ ScreenBar Halo
  • High-quality construction
  • Better light spread, quality, and brightness than budget light bars.
  • Integrated controls – no controllers that require batteries

You get the BenQ build quality at nearly half the price of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo! This was actually my very first monitor light bar. You can check out my dedicated review of the original BenQ ScreenBar here

You can see the size difference between the ScreenBar Halo (gray) and the original ScreenBar (black) below.

screenbar halo light bar vs original screenbar

We compared the beam spread of the ScreenBar Halo to the super affordable MELIFO. But how does the original BenQ ScreenBar compare to the Halo King?

BenQ ScreenBar Halo
BenQ ScreenBar Original

As you can see above, the Halo is brighter and has a better spread, but it’s much closer to the Halo than the MELIFO budget light bar. And the lighting clarity is fantastic. For reference, here is the MELIFO compared to the original ScreenBar.

MELIFO Light Bar
BenQ ScreenBar Original

If you’re someone who prefers to buy the quality product once, the BenQ Screenbar series is a no-brainer. Also, this is BenQ’s most affordable monitor light bar of the series.

If you want a mid-range monitor light bar that includes a remote control, I would highly recommend the Quntis Light Bar Pro+. We review the Quntis Monitor Light Bar Pro+ here.

Quntis Monitor Light Bar PRO+ with Remote Control
  • Compatible with almost all monitor types
  • Long light bar with wide beam spread
  • Dedicated remote with simple interface
  • Integrated 2hr break timer
  • Remote control usability can be improved
  • Auto dimming mode is a bit too dim
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How To Choose A Monitor Light Bar

Choosing a monitor light bar is a little different that just choosing a desk lamp. Here are the following factors that we considered when choosing the best monitor light bars above.

Think about the following when shopping for a monitor light bar.  

Max Brightness

Most monitor light bars are powered via a USB port. That means they are pretty low-powered devices. The highest-powered light bar I know of is the BenQ ScreenBar Halo, which requires 1.3 amps. 

Low-powered LED desk lights can only get so bright. If you have a large desk, you want enough light to spread across your entire working area.

A big problem with cheap monitor light bars is that they often don’t know how to extract the most light with low power input. The high-end BenQ ScreenBar models get much brighter with a similar power requirement. 

Having a well-lit workspace is pretty important. 

Control Interface

The way you turn your monitor light bar on and off is pretty important. You reach for this control every time you use your desk, so it has to be convenient and simple. 

The control interface needs to be easy enough to become second nature for the user. 

A few years ago, most light bars only came with capacitive touch controls on top of the light bar itself. These keep the light bar affordable with an “all-in-one” design. 

However, the Amazon copycats followed suit ever since the ScreenBar Plus and ScreenBar Halo came out with a sleek dedicated controller. Now there are a ton of dedicated controller monitor light bars at super low prices. That’s great for the consumer. 

The dedicated controllers are typically weighted or have a sticky base to keep them in place. These dedicated controllers are definitely the better control interface for the user. 

Instead of the user needing to tap the light bar that is sitting on their monitor and potentially knock it from its position, they can just use the separate controller. These controllers typically have a built-in rotary encoder that lets you adjust the brightness, color temperature, and also turn the light on/off. 

Monitor Compatibility

In today’s world, monitors come in a ton of different shapes and sizes. There are ultra-thin, ultra-thick, ultra-wide, curved, extremely curved, etc. The list goes on! 

Monitor light bars that keep this in mind are way more likely to have better compatibility. Most light bars will show what monitor top dimensions it is compatible with. 

Only a few manufacturers make sure to make their light bars compatible with specific types of monitors.

For example. The BenQ ScreenBar Halo has a little spacer pad for ultra-thin monitor compatibility. They also have an accessory that spaces their light further out for curved monitors. That way the light bar doesn’t clip the edge of the monitor that curves forward. 

Premium Pick
BenQ ScreenBar Halo Monitor Light

Enhance eye comfort with this monitor light bar's integrated backlight design that illuminates your back wall (bias lighting). With a smart wireless controller, it's easy to adjust brightness and color temperature. Its patented clip design mounts on almost any monitor, saving valuable desk space, and it's powered via USB, eliminating the need for extra wires.

Check Price on Amazon

Keep monitor compatibility in mind if you have a reasonably unique monitor shape. 

Webcam Compatibility

One gripe with monitor light bars is that they take the spot where webcams usually live. However, there are still multiple ways to use a webcam with a monitor light bar.  If you are a remote worker or a contractor who usually uses a webcam, you will want a light bar that accommodates this. 

Some people have success with just placing a webcam directly on top of their light bar, like this. If that works for you, great!

Light bars like the ScreenBar Halo have an optional accessory you can purchase that gives your webcam a specific mounting ledge. This mounts on top of the BenQ ScreenBar Halo and gives your webcam a faux monitor ledge so you can securely place your webcam. 

BenQ Webcam Accessory for ScreenBar Halo

This webcam mount is adjustable and can be moved back and forth to fit your needs. It's compatible with different types of webcams and comes with a magnetic adapter designed for ScreenBar Halo usage.

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Build Quality

Last but certainly not least is build quality. The more you tend to spend on a monitor light bar, the better build quality you can typically expect. 

BenQ is the undisputed leader in the premium light bar category, but that puts them at a pretty steep price point. The BenQ Halo comes in at $179 at the time of writing! 

I completely understand the folks who don’t want to spend almost $200 on a desk light replacement, it’s definitely a luxury. 

The BenQ products have better physical build quality. They have nice touches like a glass LED shield, aluminum body, weighted clamp, desk controls, etc. 

BenQ also has actual testing data they share with their monitor light bars. They are a real product company instead of a random Amazon brand. That makes their products much more polished.

Photo of author


I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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