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Why do You Need a Lamp for Screen Reading?

Computer desk lamp on a monitor with a magazine

From our previous article 3 Things to Think About When Buying a Desk Lamp, you might have a clearer idea of the importance and key things to look into when choosing a desk lamp. But do you know that you should also get a modern desk lamp that is specifically designed for you when reading on a monitor, tablet or mobile phone screen? Let us tell you why.

First of all, since the reading direction of traditional hard copies is horizontal, we usually put hard copies on the table to read. Therefore, the design of light sources has generally been lighting in a vertical direction since 1930. However, screen reading is a different story, its reading direction is vertical, and the direction of the light source required is different from a typical desk lamp.

Moreover, the biggest difference between the monitor screen and traditional hard copy is that a monitor screen generates its own light, but a hard copy does not. That means, if we use a general desk lamp to illuminate the monitor, the monitor screen will generate glare, which in turn affects the health of human eyesight.

From this point of view, since screen reading is very popular at present, we really need a desk lamp that is tailor-made for this trend. So, what kind of desk lamp should be a good computer monitor light?


1. Level of Screen Glare

Generally, when the light source of the desk lamp is illuminated on the screen, it is very common to generate a reflection, which is known as glare. Therefore, the best light source design of a good screen reading lamp is one that is not directly exposed to the screen, thus reducing the discomfort caused by the reflection of the screen.

Since the monitor screen generates its own light, the light should illuminate places with relatively low brightness, rather than putting the light source directly on the screen, thus the fill light around the screen appears to be very important. On the other hand, the light that is close to the screen should be eliminated or attenuated. This should be the appropriate design (such as asymmetric light) to avoid eye strain due to the excessive contrast of brightness and dimness.

2. Lighting Area

Since people often engage in plane surface reading at the same time they are performing screen reading, such as looking at the keyboard, or reading notes or books, the working area is very large, thus the plane lighting area of the light source must cover a vast area. In general, about 90cm from both left and right is a suitable illumination range, which is 1.5 times (30 to 50cm) the illumination range of a general desk lamp.

3. Structure of the Lamp

An important point of screen reading is that it is better if the arm of the lamp does not cover the screen. Traditional desk lamps are mostly single-armed, and it is easy for the bevels to block the screen. As for big screens and dual-screen trends nowadays, users with monitors that exceed 24 inches are suggested to choose desk lamps with dual lamp arms. Some options are even better, such as no hanging arms, no lamp holders, or the screenbar light that only has the lamp head.

Last but not least, no matter what kind of lighting you purchase, you should try to choose a flicker free desk lamp, because strobe light easily makes our eyes tired and even can make us feel dizzy.

A well designed desk lamp will be an indispensable partner in your life, protecting your precious eyes and improving the quality of your life. BenQ monitor light bar series was designed to take the mission to protect your screen reading experience.

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