The Best Dual Monitor Light Bar Setups & Placement Ideas

I’m convinced that monitor light bars are the best desk lighting solution for all workspaces. I have articles on how light bars compare to traditional desk lamps and what the benefits of monitor light bars are in the first place. 

Light bar placement is simple for those with a single central monitor. However, it gets a bit tricky to find the best dual monitor light bar placement.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best light bar configurations if you have a dual monitor setup. Even if you have more than two monitors, these ideas can be applicable to any multiple-monitor setup. 

You might also be interested in our article on how to choose the best dual monitor arrangement.

The Dual Monitor Light Bar Dilemma

Typically, a light bar is centered with your monitor. This is great when you have a single main monitor. The light just points straight down on your desk, and the beam is centered. 

BenQ ScreenBar On Monitor

However, once you introduce a second monitor, it gets a little less obvious how a single light bar should be set up. Most people that have a dual monitor setup angle each monitor towards them, like this:

Dual Monitor Light Bar (1)

This makes a central light bar way more awkward. Monitor light bars need a smooth ledge to latch on. When you have two symmetrical monitors directed toward you, there is no smooth edge at the center for the light bar to sit on.

This means it’s hard to get that centered light source on your desk. 

Dual Monitor Light Bar (2)

Let’s talk about the best ways to deal with this dual monitor light bar dilemma. 

Three Dual Monitor Light Bar Setup Options

To avoid the awkward setup above, here are three alternative options to make a light bar work with a dual monitor setup.

These options have a good range of budgets and preferences in mind. Choose the method you gravitate to the most.  

Single Light Bar With Asymmetrical Monitor Setup

This first solution is to have one monitor centered, and the second monitor vertical off to one side. This is one of the best options on this list in my opinion.

In summary, the benefits of switching to this specific dual monitor setup with a light bar are:

  • Stable monitor light bar mounting
  • Centered beam spread on the desk
  • More productive viewing setup with a vertical monitor
  • Monitors take up less desk space
  • Less neck movement with a main center display
Dual Monitor Light Bar (3)

One slight annoyance of having two dual monitors centered is that the seam of the two monitors is right in front of you. Where the two monitor edges meet is not really an attractive feature to see directly in front of you 24/7. 

With one monitor in front and the second vertically off to the side, you simply place the light bar on the centered monitor. Now you have a centered light source.

This is an especially attractive option if your two monitors are different models. It’s very obvious you have different monitors when they are side by side.

However, when you flip the second monitor vertically, the portrait mode orientation visually overpowers the slight differences between the monitors themselves. 

Vertical Second Monitor Benefits

A single vertical monitor can really improve your workflow, here is a quick list of the benefits.

  • Both monitors span a shorter distance resulting in less neck turning.  
  • Vertical monitors are perfect for scroll-heavy applications, such as documents, programming, etc.
  • Vertical monitors can stack two applications on top of each other for better multitasking.

I’m not alone in thinking vertical monitors are a great addition to a workspace. Here’s an article from Popular Science on vertical monitor benefits. 

Single Light Bar Centered With Coplanar Monitors

If a vertical and asymmetrical dual monitor setup is not your jam, this next option will help you mount your light bar without issue. 

This method is to simply keep your horizontal monitors completely coplanar. So instead of the monitors angled directly toward you, they are completely straight and forward-facing. 

Here’s a Redditor’s setup using this method.

Placing the monitors flat allows you to mount a monitor light bar directly on the seam, where both monitors meet. This is a great option with the following benefits:

  • Attractive aesthetic due to simple and symmetric setup
  • Stable monitor light bar mounting
  • Centered beam spread on the desk
  • No light beam obstruction from either monitor
Dual Monitor Light Bar (4)

The main benefit here is that the location where the monitors meet can safely hold a monitor light bar. Instead of an angled intersection between the monitors, you have a continuous flat surface. 

You just have to make sure that both monitors are placed at the same height. If you are using two different monitors, adjust the height so the top surfaces are level. 

The other benefit of this method is you get a beautiful symmetric setup. Symmetry can make a huge improvement in desk aesthetics.

Main Drawback Of Flat Dual Monitor Setups

The main downside to this method is that the viewing angles for your monitors are less than ideal toward the far edges.

If you have small monitors, you won’t have that issue here. Smaller monitors won’t span as wide as larger monitors, so you won’t experience the viewing angle issue as much. 

If you have IPS panel monitors, this won’t be a big issue. IPS panels have the best viewing angles by far. They are considered the best monitors for shared viewing by BenQ themselves.

One Light Bar Per Monitor

Dual Monitor Light Bar (5)

This last option is a little out of the box and is only suitable for those willing to shell out a bit more cash.

If you are dead set on having two monitors angled toward you with no great mounting feature between them, consider placing a light bar on each monitor. 

This can get pretty expensive if you go for any of the BenQ ScreenBar options. Their new Halo edition sits at $179 for a lightbar.

The cool thing about the Halo edition though, is if you use two light bars you can actually pair them to a single wireless controller. Here are the BenQ ScreenBar Halo pairing instructions.

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

That’s roughly $360 USD on desk lights though. At that price, you can probably just get a fancier 34” ultrawide curved monitor which will work fine with a single light bar. 

We have an article on curved monitors and light bars if you are wondering about curved monitor compatibility.

If you do consider the dual monitor light bar option, know that you can get away with two lower-end light bars for less, like this:

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
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on

Drawbacks Of Dual Monitor Light Bars

The main drawbacks here are not only limited to cost. There is also an issue with possible screen glare. 

Monitor light bars are designed to stop the beam right before it reaches your monitor so nothing spills on the screen. However, when you have two angled light bars next to each other, one light bar’s beam could spill onto the opposite monitor.

It could be a bearable amount of glare, but you won’t be able to tell until you try it out. 

The other issue with this method is that a light bar is designed to give you a nice oval/rectangle of light on your desk. When you have two angled light bars, you will have to adjust their position a bit so the light lands where you want it. 

The overlapped areas will be brighter than the non-overlapped areas. So that could be annoying to not have a symmetrical light that is centered on your desk. 

The main benefits of this method are that you get double the light, and you do get some symmetry. I don’t really recommend this method, as the increased cost is met with a few disadvantages. 

Two Alternative Solutions Worth Considering

There are two alternatives worth mentioning here if you have a dual monitor setup and are looking for a monitor light bar.

Use a Table Mounted Light Bar

If you don’t want to worry about monitor placement, and just want to illuminate your desk well, a large desk clamping light bar could be the way to go.

Large Desk Clamp Lamp - Light Bar

This desk lamp has an ultra-wide 31.5-inch 24W LED light bar, no screen glare, and is 100% flicker-free. It has auto-dimming and 6 dimmable levels and adjustable color temperatures. It has a modern design with sensitive touch buttons and a flexible silicone neck. The metal clamp supports desk thicknesses up to 3.34 inches.

Check Price on Amazon

This is a large light bar that clamps on your desk and extends high over your work area. The design is very simple and is made to hover over your monitors and shed light right at the center of your desk. 

It is a more expensive desk light than a budget-level monitor light bar, but it definitely checks all the boxes.

Invest In An Ultrawide Curved Monitor

I put this last because it’s a pretty expensive alternative, and is almost unnecessary. I just recently switched to an ultrawide curved monitor, and I just have to recommend it. 

aesthetic desk setup with 34 inch ultrawide monitor on ikea alex desk and blue wall lighting

The curved form makes it so you don’t have to worry about monitor angles. The entirety of the wide monitor will be curved to direct the screen straight at you! 

I use one with a BenQ ScreenBar Halo, and it works fantastically. If you do go this route, I’ll recommend visiting my article on light bar and curved monitor compatibility

Once you go this route, the huge aesthetic benefit comes right back to you.

It’s basically option #2 where you line up your monitors flat with each other. Except you don’t have to worry about IPS panel viewing angles and all that jazz. It’s a single monitor that gives you dual monitor convenience. 

I recommend checking your local Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for used ultrawide monitors too. I happened to find my Dell 34″ Ultrasharp for just $200!

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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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