Lightbar Showdown: ScreenBar Halo vs ScreenBar Plus

If you’re in the market for a monitor light bar, you’ve probably figured out that BenQ is one of the leaders with their ScreenBar series.

There are three light bars in the ScreenBar lineup, the original ScreenBar, the ScreenBar Plus, and the ScreenBar Halo. The ScreenBar Plus and Halo models have a distinct difference that sets them apart from the entry-level ScreenBar: they have a dedicated controller.

screenbar halo light bar no curved monitor accessory 2

A dedicated controller makes monitor light bars dramatically more user-friendly for day-to-day use. For that reason, we will be comparing the BenQ ScreenBar Plus to the ScreenBar Halo.

Apart from the price, it’s hard to see what the difference is between the ScreenBar Plus and ScreenBar Halo. Here’s what you should know before you buy.

Key Differences

FeatureScreenBar PlusScreenBar Halo
Price$139 US$179 US
ControllerWiredWireless (3x AAA Batteries)
Min Monitor Curvature1800R1000R
Curved Monitor Thickness1 – 3 cm0.7 – 4.2 cm
Flat Monitor Thickness1 – 3 cm0.7 – 6.0 cm
Lighting Coverage >500lux60cm x 30cm60-65cm x 40cm*
Auto Dimming?Smart Dimming Only**Yes
Power RequirementsUSB 5V 1AUSB 5V 1.3 A +
Extra FeaturesRear Bias Light, Optional Webcam Accessory.
*Lighting coverage for ScreenBar Halo changes with color temperature. 60x40cm for 4000K, 65x40cm for 6500K. **Smart dimming requires the user to press a button to adjust to the current lighting.

ScreenBar Halo vs ScreenBar Plus Verdict

Reasons you might be interested in the 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.

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  • Wireless Controller – You can place this controller anywhere on your desk without restriction.
  • Curved Monitor Compatibility – The Halo can be mounted on curved monitors down to 1000R.
  • Flat Monitor Compatibility – The Halo can mount to a wider range of monitor thicknesses.
  • Rear Bias Lighting – Though not super bright, the rear bias lighting can help with eye strain.
  • Lighting Coverage – The Halo increases its lighting coverage to 65x40cm, great for large desks.

Reasons you might go for the ScreenBar Plus instead:

BenQ ScreenBar Plus Monitor Light

This is BenQ's first light bar with a dedicated control puck. This removes the controls from the top of the original ScreenBar and keeps them in a more convenient location. The lighting properties are nearly identical to the original ScreenBar.

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  • Price – The Halo is pretty expensive being close to $200, the Plus saves you $40.
  • No Battery Anxiety – A wired controller means there’s no need to worry about battery life.
  • Physical Control Buttons – If you prefer physical buttons over capacitive touch buttons, the Plus will not disappoint with its wired controller.
  • No Bias Lighting Needed – If you already have plenty of bias lighting at your desk, you don’t need one on your monitor light bar.

Feature Breakdown

I’ve been using the BenQ ScreenBar Halo for almost a year as my daily monitor light bar. I know the pros and cons very well at this point. Here are each of the key differences broken down by my experience.

ScreenBar Halo vs. Plus Pricing

BenQ by far has the highest quality of any monitor light bars I’ve tested, and I’ve tested a bunch. This is certainly reflected in their price tag, however.

The ScreenBar Halo comes in at $179 while the ScreenBar Plus comes in at $139. Both of those prices are very premium product pricing for what is essentially a desk lamp.

Because monitor light bars have so many benefits, it’s often worth it. You can get cheaper monitor lights like the Quntis PRO+, but you will notice a quality difference.

With the Halo being ~30% more expensive than the Plus, we do have to remind ourselves of exactly what you get for the price. Here are the main advantages you get with the ScreenBar Halo:

  • Wireless Controller
  • Rear Bias Light
  • Better Monitor Compatibility

Think about if any of these features are important to you to decide if the Halo is worth the extra cash.

Controller Comparison

ScreenBar Halo Controller Review

The wireless controller on the ScreenBar Halo is pretty high-end. It is a weighted controller with a rubberized base which makes it plant in place anywhere.

You can adjust the light temperature, brightness, set a favorite mode, set the lighting mode, and turn on auto-dimming. The outer ring rotates so you can ‘dial in’ temperature and brightness adjustments.

The controls are all on a backlit capacitive touch panel with the power button in the center.

screenbar halo control puck

The only downside that goes for anything wireless, is that you have batteries. So far, I have not needed to replace my Halo’s controller AAA batteries, and it’s been almost a year! So it’s not as big of an issue as you would think.

Another interesting thing you can do with the ScreenBar Halo is control multiple Halo light bars with a single controller. Of course, this would mean you have to splurge on another $179 light bar.

ScreenBar Plus Controller Review

Though there are fewer features on the ScreenBar Plus, the physical buttons and lack of batteries make the controller slimmer and more user-friendly.

The ScreenBar Plus controller is a little different from the ScreenBar Halo. This wired controller has physical buttons and no capacitive touch.

In my opinion, tactile physical buttons beat capacitive touch buttons! You can feel physical buttons which makes the ScreenBar Plus a little more user-friendly if you want controlling your light bar to be second nature.

To turn on the ScreenBar Plus, you press the large top dial, there is no missing it. When I’m looking to turn on my ScreenBar Halo in a dark room, once I find the controller, I have to estimate the center to power it on.

*from ScreenBar Plus Manual

Monitor Compatibility

When BenQ came out with the ScreenBar Halo, they attacked monitor compatibility head-on. It’s no contest here, the ScreenBar Halo has a much wider range of monitor compatibility.

screenbar halo light bar no curved monitor accessory

Before you purchase either of these light bars, see if your monitor is compatible with the specs below:

ScreenBar Monitor Compatibility Table

ScreenBar PlusScreenBar Halo
Min Monitor Curvature1800R1000R
Curved Monitor Thickness1 – 3 cm0.7 – 4.2 cm
Flat Monitor Thickness1 – 3 cm0.7 – 6.0 cm

If you have an aggressively curved monitor, you might find that the ScreenBar Plus is just not compatible.

BenQ mentions that the Plus can only work with monitors of 1800R. The ScreenBar Halo on the other hand can go down to 1000R.

The Halo uses a small spacer to increase the distance between the light bar and the screen. This makes the light bar less likely to clip the curved monitor at the edges.

Lighting Coverage

While both the ScreenBar Halo and the ScreenBar Plus have similar lighting coverage, there is one main advantage of the Halo.

BenQ increased the Halo’s depth spread by quite a bit compared to the ScreenBar Plus. The ScreenBar Plus has lighting coverage of 60x30cm, while the Halo is 60x40cm!

benq screenbar halo with warm lighting

Increasing the depth coverage from 30cm to 40cm is a 30%+ increase in coverage! If you have a particularly deep desk or want more lighting across the depth of your desk, the Halo will do a better job.


While both the ScreenBar Halo and the ScreenBar Plus are capable of adjusting to ambient lighting, there are a few key differences here.

The ScreenBar Halo has actual automatic dimming. This means once you turn this feature on, the light bar will continue to adjust the brightness throughout the day as your ambient lighting changes.

The light sensor for the ScreenBar Halo is optimally placed underneath the lightbar and faces your desk.

screenbar halo light bar low shot

On the ScreenBar Plus, there are a few differences. First, BenQ mentions this does not have auto-dimming, only smart dimming.

This means the light bar does not continuously adjust your lighting. You have to press the Smart Dimming button on the Plus to have it adjust.

Another key difference is that the ScreenBar Plus has a light sensor located on the controller itself. This is less than ideal as you have to ensure it’s not obstructed. Also, any overhead lighting can influence this adjustment.

Power Requirements

Both the ScreenBar Plus and Halo come with a USB connection and no power supply. This is not a big deal as most USB power connections can supply around 1 amp.

While 5V 1A is enough for the ScreenBar Plus, this is where the ScreenBar Halo becomes more needy. It requires 5V 1.3 amps for maximum brightness. This is likely due to the rear bias light addition.

What this means for you is that the Halo requires a power supply that can support 1.3 amps. So the average USB port that supplies 1 amp is no longer enough. Keep this in mind when powering your ScreenBar Halo.

Extra Features

The Halo’s price tag gives it some extra features that the ScreenBar Plus just can’t compete with. This includes a rear bias light to reduce eye strain along with an optional webcam mounting accessory

Bias lighting is important for anyone who works at their desk at night or anytime there is poor lighting. That’s why I use some Govee Light Bars to light up the wall behind my desk.

BenQ saw the importance here and added a bias light to their Halo light bar. This illuminates the wall behind your monitor. The bias light isn’t super bright, but it definitely helps.

screenbar halo rear light 12

The other extra feature with the Halo is the optional webcam accessory. The ScreenBar Halo’s USB cable exits the light bar from the bottom of the monitor clamp.

This allowed BenQ to add an optional accessory for webcam users without having to worry about the power cable obstruction. If you video conference a lot, this will be a handy feature to have!

screenbar halo light bar webcam accessory 2
screenbar halo light bar webcam accessory with ideacam

The Best Alternative to the ScreenBar Plus & Halo

If you are looking for a more affordable alternative to these two monitor light bars, I recommend checking out the Quntis ScreenLinear PRO+ light bar.

This light bar has a wireless controller, extremely wide monitor compatibility, and a more affordable price point. Check out our full Quntis PRO+ review 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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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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