Do You Need A Curved Monitor Light Bar For Curved Monitors?

If you like monitor light bars and you have a curved monitor, you might be wondering if you need a curved light bar or not.

A year ago, the answer would depend on the curvature of your monitor. However, in the past year, many light bar manufacturers have been making straight light bars compatible with curved monitors down to 1000R.

In this article, we’re going to cover the best monitor light bars for curved monitors, and why you don’t necessarily need a curved monitor light bar anymore.

quntis light bar pro+ view from keyboard perspective

Key Takeaways

  • Certain straight light bars like the BenQ Halo and the Quntis Pro+ are compatible with super-curved 1000R monitors.
  • Generic monitor light bar compatibility depends on your monitor radius.
  • Generic light bars are likely to work with monitors with a radius over 1500R.
  • Curved monitors with a radius under 1500R may benefit from a curved monitor light bar but will also work with specific light bars such as the BenQ Halo and the Quntis Pro+.

The Problem With Curved Monitors & Light Bars

Light bars are a great replacement for desk lamps, and we have a whole article on how they compare. They have a ton of benefits like centered beam spread and zero desk footprint. Here’s our complete list of light bar benefits

Monitor light bars are essentially high-powered LED lamps that are placed on top of your monitor. The beam cuts off before it reaches your monitor which ensures you have zero glare.

This however works best with a flat monitor.

quntis light bar pro+ mounted on ultrawide monitor

The more curved a monitor is, the more likely it can clip the light beam of a monitor light bar. This can result in glare where the edges of the light bar’s light clip your monitor.

The same issue could be present with dual monitor setups, but we talk about light bars and dual monitors in a separate article.

Not all curved monitors will have an issue with a light bar and a curved monitor. I speak from experience as I previously used my Dell Ultrawide Curved monitor (U3417W) with the original BenQ ScreenBar (here’s a dedicated review of the BenQ ScreenBar).

The ultrawide monitor did fine with the original light bar. But this is likely due to the monitor’s radius. (By the way, here’s why I highly recommend ultrawide monitors for productivity.)

Know Your Curved Monitor Radius

All curved monitors have a specified radius that defines the level of curvature.

A lightly curved monitor is defined by a pretty large monitor radius (ex: 2000R). An aggressively curved monitor curvature on the other hand has a smaller radius (ex: 1000R).

Here are examples of a 1800R curved monitor, and a 1000R curved monitor. The radius will be shown on the product page as “1000R, 1800R” etc.

Monitor Curvature - 2

Monitors can range anywhere from 800R to even 4000R!

So if you have a 1500R monitor, if you keep your eyes around 1500 millimeters away from the screen, you will have the same viewing distance to the entire curved monitor face. 

This really makes it effortless for your eyes to focus on different parts of the screen quickly. You don’t need to “refocus” your eyes every time you look at the far edge of the screen. 

Monitor Curvature - 1

Here is an even better visual and breakdown of monitor curvature from MSI

Know your monitor radius so you can see what monitor light bars are compatible with your monitor.

Light Bars For Aggressively Curved Monitors

When it comes to generic monitor light bars, aggressively curved monitors (~1000R) will be more likely to have issues with monitor light bars. They are more likely to get close to those light bar edges. 

Super curved monitors will have to opt for either a curved monitor light bar or a straight light bar compatible with curved monitors. 

Curved Monitor Light Bars

There are very limited options for curved light bars. One example is from the brand “MELIFO” below. I have not tried this curved MELIFO light bar.

MELIFO Curved Monitor Light Bar

This MELIFO curved monitor light bar complements super curved monitors. It provides the same benefits as normal light bars such as reduced screen glare and focused desk lighting.

Check Price on Amazon

I have however tried a different MELIFO light bar. This brand was chosen as the recommended budget pick in our article on the best monitor light bars. You’ll find a review of my MELIFO light bar in this article.

After looking through a few reviews on Amazon for this curved bar, it is clear that this light bar is significantly curved. You can tell the curvature of the light bar never matches the monitor perfectly in the customer images. 

This is one of the major downsides of using a curved monitor light bar, and why I typically don’t recommend them. The curved light bar will not match the exact curvature of every curved monitor.

Fortunately, even if your monitor is very curvy, there are a couple of straight monitor light bars that work.

Straight Monitor Lights For Curved Monitors

There are two straight monitor light bars that I have tested myself that are designed to work with aggressively curved monitors.

The BenQ ScreenBar Halo and the Quntis Light Bar PRO+ are the best monitor light bars for curved monitors.

Both of these models have a little spacer that pushes the light bar away from the curved panel to avoid any interference. Notice how the monitor clamping area in the light bar below is far from the actual light source.

quntis light bar pro+ spring loaded extension closed
Quntis Pro+ Monitor Light Bar with Spacer
screenbar halo light bar curved monitor accessory
BenQ ScreenBar Halo with Spacer

When you use the spacer, the edges of the light bar are further from the curved edges of your monitor. We talk about how each of these light bars works with curved monitors in our dedicated reviews:

If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Quntis light bar will be the cheaper option that works with curved monitors. I also like the Quntis model because it has a lockable monitor clamp, unlike BenQ.

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
Check Price On Amazon Check Price on
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

Light Bars For Large Radius Monitors

The less curved a monitor is, the closer it is to being a flat monitor. And we know all light bars work very well on flat monitors. 

For example, a 1900R monitor will likely be fine with a straight-light bar. If you have a monitor with a radius of 1500R or larger, you might be fine with any generic straight monitor light bar.

Here’s an image of my 1900R Dell monitor with my BenQ ScreenBar. The edges got close to my monitor but never interfered.

If you want peace of mind, you can simply go with either the ScreenBar Halo or the Quntis Pro+ light bars that we recommended in the last section.

Straight Light Bars Are Better Than Curved Light Bars

If you are able to a straight-light bar, you get a few extra benefits.

More Light Bar Selections

First and foremost, straight light bars are more common, and you get to choose between a much larger selection.

You can opt for higher-end brands that give you better functionality. For example, the BenQ products have the absolute best build and light quality, but you pay a higher price.

Straight-light bars also open up cheaper options as well. You don’t need to shell out $100 – $200 for a high-end light bar.

You can pick up a straight light bar for as low as $30 these days! Check out the Quntis ScreenLinear PRO we reviewed which is a nice budget-friendly straight light bar option.

Adjustments Are More Predictable

Straight light bars have a simple light spread profile which makes the light more predictable and controllable. You can position the light bar so the beam stops abruptly before hitting your screen. 

With a curved light bar, the adjustment is a bit more awkward.

The angle between the glare block feature and the face of the monitor is adjusted at the center hinge. When you go toward the curved edges, the hinge point is still at the center, making the light spread less controlled.

Monitor Light Beam Spread

Also, because the curved light bar is a fixed radius, it is likely not going to match your monitor perfectly, and that goes for the glare-blocking feature as well. 

Using A Monitor Light Bar With An Ultrawide Monitor

I’ve used a standard BenQ ScreenBar (not the halo) with my 1900R curved Dell 34″ monitor without issue. Below you can see an image of how the edges of the light bar almost interfere with the monitor.

You can see some light catch the top side of the monitor, but minimal light actually reflects off the front face of the monitor. The reflection back to you is the biggest risk here, and it clearly is not an issue with this combination.

This is proof of why larger radius monitors that have a less aggressive curvature have a better chance of working with straight light bars.

I also can choose to just tilt the light bar outwards more so the beam does not clip the monitor at all. Because I don’t notice any issues, I can keep it pretty level. 

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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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