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What is the Best Lamp for Desks with Multiple Monitors?

BenQ North America
2019/09/16

Multi-monitor setups have become a key asset in the quest to improve workplace productivity. Workers are able to focus on more tasks at a time, make fewer mistakes, and have improved focus. But with a larger work area, what is the best way to ensure proper lighting?

Why Not a Standard Desk Lamp?

While there are hundreds of desk lamps that are available today, most are made for decorative or basic lighting functions. These lamps can produce uneven lighting on the desk, and often are awkward to properly position. Worse, they can shine on the screen – creating unhealthy monitor glare. For desks and workstations with multiple monitors, you need effective lighting that is designed to increase your productivity for your specific environment.

Multiple Monitor Lighting Need #1 – Balanced Arm Design for Flexible Placement Options

With monitor and laptop screens getting bigger and less expensive every year, a balanced arm (or floating arm) desk lamp is the ideal solution to enable the light to reach around or over the monitor to properly light your workspace. These multi-jointed marvels can hover, twist, and turn to accommodate nearly any workspace and have been a favorite of architects for years.

Multiple Monitor Lighting Need #2 – ZeroFlicker Technology

No flickering is a must when looking for the best lamp. Flickering is a rapid and repeated change in the brightness of a light source over time. Changes and fluctuations in the voltage supply cause the flickering, and the intensity varies depending on the type of lamp, and the ambient light levels.

Constant exposure to flickering lights has a negative impact on the human body. It causes headaches and migraines, eye discomfort, as well as affects focus and productivity. Desk lamps with flicker-free LEDs are intended to solve concerns regarding eye fatigue and other health issues associate with flickering.

Many monitors and some new desk lamps now have Flicker-Free (or ZeroFlicker) technology that delivers the same constant light that is easy on the eyes like a traditional incandescent lamp.

Multiple Monitor Lighting Need #3 – Design that Avoids Monitor Glare

Desk lamps designed for a traditional paper workspace often spread light everywhere on the desk, potentially creating unwanted monitor glare. With a multi-monitor workspace, this can be annoying, and in some cases, unhealthy for the eyes. Monitor glare impacts contrast, readability, and color perception as well as being distracting – exactly what you don’t want in a productive environment.

The BenQ e-Reading lamp's built-in ambient sensor automatically detects the light levels of your working environment and adjusts its brightness accordingly. This smart-lighting is designed to balance for the light coming out of the center of the screen, thus our brighter at the sides, darker in the middle design.

Comparing Three Popular Desk Lamps for a Multiple Monitor Desk

While a typical consumer can choose from among hundreds of different types of desk lamps, we are going to stack up three highly popular commercial desk lamp models that are available from major lighting brands, are available worldwide, and represent industrial design leadership. These three are:

  • Artemide Tolomeo
  • Koncept Z-Bar
  • BenQ e-Reading Lamp
  • Lamp #1 – Artemedi Tolomeo: Iconic Design

    This iconic lamp has been seen in dozens of television shows and movies since its debut in 1986. The 25-inch height and 30-inch arm design enables it to be easily moved anywhere on a workspace, and the lamp has a heavy base, solid engineering, and is a proven quality product installed in thousands of companies.

    This lamp has two key drawbacks for use in a multi-monitor setup. First, the cone that guides the light can make it difficult to cover a wide area on the desk without generating monitor glare. Secondly, the halogen light included on the lamp provides quality, constant light – but uses a 72-watt halogen bulb that consumes more energy and generates more heat than an LED light.

    Lamp #2 – Koncept Z-Bar: Iconic Design + LED Technology

    Introduced in 2006, the Z-Bar lamp from Koncept was one of the first minimalist designs that leveraged the unique qualities of LED lighting to create a highly flexible desk lamp that put out a large amount of light. It has multiple dimming levels, and can change color temperature to either warm or cool lighting.

    Like the Tolomeo lamp, the Z-Bar was designed for general desk use, where the light is cast in a uniform pattern around the desk, creating the opportunity for monitor glare.

    Lamp #3 – BenQ e-Reading Lamp: Iconic Design + LED Technology + Advanced e-Reading Features

    Introduced in 2018, the BenQ e-Reading lamp was created by a team of industrial designers that were focused on making the perfect lamp for workspaces with multiple monitors. Like the Tolomeo and the Z-Bar, the lamp has a balanced arm design to provide extended reach and coverage. It also uses LED technology to enable it to last 50,000 hours, and uses only 12 watts of power.

    What makes the e-Reading lamp unique is its ability to light the entire dual monitor work area without creating monitor glare. The unique curved head generates a wider light pattern that is 150% larger than a typical lamp. However, despite that large light footprint, the advanced LED optics avoid casting light on the monitor itself, enabling you to easily look back and forth between paper and monitor content without eyestrain.

    Ball-joint optimizes the flexibility of the lamp cap, plus highly durable torque springs and precision friction control to counter-balance the weight. You can adjust the light to the exact angles you need. Each lamp tested 10,000 times by twisting and turning before it steps foot off the assembly line.

    Other Unique Features

    The BenQ e-Reading lamp also has some unique features that create a healthier environment for the eyes.

    ZeroFlicker LEDs

    Many LED desk lamps use lower quality LED components that turn on and off rapidly to give the appearance of an incandescent lamp. The BenQ e-Reading lamp use ZeroFlicker LEDs which act just like an incandescent lamp by producing steady light output that is easy on the eyes, promoting a productive and efficient work environment.

    Smart Dimming

    For many people who work near windows, the amount of ambient light fluctuates throughout the day and evening. The e-Reading light has an intelligent sensor that will automatically adjust the light levels depending on the amount of ambient light coming into the room – enabling a perfect working environment whenever – or where ever you are working.

    Comparison Table
    Summary

    LED desk lamps enable a variety of choices in light, which can be used from day to night under different circumstances. An LED desk lamp that provides a wide area of light without creating monitor glare not only makes the eyes more comfortable, but also greatly improves the efficiency of work and reading. Check out BenQ’s e-Reading LED desk lamp series that offers a wider, safer and more comfortable reading experience for screen and traditional reading.

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