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What is bias lighting and should you have a light behind your monitor?


It is no surprise that staring at a computer screen or gaming for hours can cause eye strain and fatigue. And this is even worse if your eyes are fixed on a little window of intense light in a dimly lit environment.  Even though your eyes perceive the screen as brighter than the surrounding area, they do not adjust to brightness changes on the screen itself very well. This could result in two complications: not perceiving much contrast on the screen and quickly growing tired and even getting tension headaches.


One way to counter this issue is by using what’s known as biased lighting. We know you might be wondering what bias lighting is. Good question. This article examines how this additional lighting helps reduce eye fatigue. We also look at how bias lighting increases the colour contrast you see on screen, ultimately making content look more vibrant.


Ready to get started? Stay tuned while we break it all down.

What Is Bias Lighting?

What Is Bias Lighting?

Bias lighting is any additional source of illumination that you put behind your viewing surface. In general, bias lighting is an external light source placed to the rear of the display you’re using. In other words, external backlighting.


What is the purpose lighting behind a monitor and why can it save your eyes from strain over time

The purpose of bias lighting is to provide a consistent reference for your eyes, easing the strain of looking at a bright monitor or TV in a darkened room. Once installed, bias lighting boosts the apparent contrast of your display, making black and dark areas of the picture look more profound than before.


Related article: Relieve Eye Strain With the Best Monitor Lamp

What is the purpose behind monitor lighting? Why can it save your eyes from strain over time?

So, how does this additional backlighting source actually work?

To further realise how far a little lighting goes, let's picture this. It's Saturday night and you are about to watch one of your favorite shows with a big bowl of popcorn. You got the lights turned off to improve the viewing experience and focus intensely on the plot. Then all of a sudden, your eyes start to feel dry and itchy. It's distracting you from your favorite show. To top it off, a headache seems to come out of nowhere. Eventually, you give up, call it a night, and head to bed. The reasons behind this are straightforward: your eyes really have to struggle to receive maximum light in a dim environment.


Lighting is meant to work by balancing the amount of light that enters your eyes without going overboard. However, in the scenario mentioned above, because we're in a dark room, our eyes must constantly adjust between the screen's brightness and the relative darkness of what's behind it. This ends up leading to eyestrain and a feeling of fatigue.


Related article: Why do You need a monitor light bar with bias lighting for screen reading?

How this additional backlighting source actually works?

Benefits of bias lighting that help you avoid eye fatigue

Proper bias lighting brings two critical improvements to your viewing environment, reducing eye strain and improving your display's perceived contrast.


  • Reduces eye strain  - bias lighting allows you to get the best possible image quality out of your digital display when watching in a dark environment. This ensures that your eyes always have a light source in the room without being overwhelmed by your screen.
  • Improves your display's perceived contrast  - the extra indirect illumination given off by bias lighting increases the contrast of onscreen images. For example, with light placed behind your computer screen, the blacks of your monitor appear darker or deeper than before.


Related article: Want to avoid eye strain symptoms while using a monitor? There are five things you should know!

Benefits of Bias Lighting that helps you avoid eye fatigue

Is there another way to prevent unavoidable exposure to solid light? Monitor light bars come in handy!

At this point, you already know ways to avoid overexposing to light from TVs and computer screens. You might be thinking, "okay, you got me. Bias lighting is going to be worth it. Just let me know the cost." Hold on a second. While bias lighting does not cost that much and can help you avoid eye fatigue, it is not a standalone solution for your workstation.


Related article: Boost Your Desktop Gaming Experience With Bias Lighting 

Is there another way to prevent unavoidable exposure to solid light? Monitor light bars come in handy!

BenQ Monitor Light Bar: a Monitor Light Bar with Bias Lighting


If you don't need to look at your desk or read from paper while using your monitor, then you’re mostly concerned about decreasing contrast between a bright screen and dark surroundings. This could be achieved with bias lighting or adding dark covers to windows in the room.


If your requirement for a desk area is beyond that, consider a monitor light bar. There's a perfect solution: BenQ Monitor Light Bar. This light incorporates BenQ's first backlighting mode, allowing you to switch between three light modes for an optimal reading experience.


BenQ Monitor Light Bar balances contrast glare between the screen and its surroundings. For anyone using the monitor in a more traditional position against a wall, the bias lighting projects a soft, diffused light behind the monitor, significantly reducing strain on your eyes over hours-long work sessions.


The precision front light evenly illuminates your desk space for those who want to concentrate, and the immersive backlight helps you stay relaxed while using the screen. Also, as a monitor light bar in pursuit of the best quality, the BenQ monitor light bar is equipped with Multiple Certifications for Extra Safety.


To ensure the quality of our lighting products, BenQ Lighting follows the most stringent quality assurance standards. After repeated testing of several product aspects, you can be assured BenQ monitor light bar components will not bend or crack even when stressed, and that the light source works flawlessly.

BenQ Monitor Light Bar: A Monitor Light Bar that Has Bias lighting

Benefits of BenQ Monitor Light Bar


  • Levels Up Your Desk Setup: BenQ ScreenBar Monitor Light enhances immersion and focus and creates a comfortable lighting environment while gaming with lights off, reading, watching videos, doing office work, and much more.
  • Auto-Dimming: built-in ambient light sensor promptly detects surrounding brightness and then supplements it with just the right amount of light that you need for an eye-healthy workspace. It can also be manually dimmed with touch controls.
  • Hue Adjustment: Adjustable light temperature provides focus and comfort. Warm light for relaxing, cool light for work efficiency.
  • No Screen Glare: patented asymmetrical optical design only illuminates the desk and ensures zero reflective glare off the screen.
  • Space Saving: No Base, more Space. The breakthrough clip design mounts on top of the monitor, saving valuable space on your desk.
  • Immersive Backlighting: turn on the immersive backlight and enjoy relaxing moments with ease. 


Related article: Bias lighting vs. monitor light bar: honest reviews of our lighting products 

Frequently asked question of using bias lighting vs monitor light bar



Should the light be in front or behind my laptop?

To avoid glare, the light should not be behind you and instead placed at an angle that covers your screen. The best place for your display light would be either mounted just below or over the desk.


Is it wrong to have a window behind your monitor?

No matter what position you are in, light from a window behind your desk is most likely showing on your monitor, and this could be causing eye strain. If you are seated facing the sun, it will reflect on your screen and create headache-inducing glare.


How do you put a monitor light bar behind a monitor?

The BenQ monitor light bar is a revolutionary lighting system. You can hang it on your monitor to light up your desk without taking up any valuable space. To put a monitor light bar behind a monitor, here's an installation video.


Can I plug the monitor light bar into my PC?

Any USB outlet can power BenQ monitor light bars. Once you turn the light on, it switches back to the brightness and colour temperature settings you last used to welcome you back to work energetically.

A power supply with an output of 5V/1A or more is required to ensure that the light bar can function correctly. For BenQ ScreenBar Halo, use 5V/1.3A power adapters or USB ports.


Do monitor lights help with eye strain?

BenQ monitor light bars do relieve eye strain. They conform to EU IEC/TR 62778 and IEC/EN 62471 blue light standards. The highest quality LED light source is selected to protect your eyes.

With a BenQ monitor light bar that illuminates your monitor workspace to the recommended amount (500 Lux), your eyes can stay free of computer-related eye strain.


Final Thoughts

More and more people are using technology to communicate and complete their daily tasks. Although we should ideally minimise the time we spend on our digital displays, it isn't easy to do. Eye strain arises as a result of this. Bias lighting may be enough to solve this issue. However, if your requirements exceed the capabilities of bias lighting, using our monitor light bar can make a world of difference. So, perhaps consider one of our lighting products for your own usage habits? 

Recommended Products


BenQ ScreenBar is a LED monitor light equips with automatic dimmer and asymmetric optical design to illuminates the working space, increase focus and eye-comfort.

ScreenBar Plus

Computer Monitor Light Screenbar Plus is a revolutionary lighting system. Simply hang it on your monitor to light up your desk without taking up any valuable space. The Desktop Dial makes the use even easier. With automatic dimming and asymmetric optical design, Computer Monitor Light Screenbar Plus illuminates the working space with just USB power, avoiding reflective glare off your computer screen.

ScreenBar Halo

Fitting most monitors, BenQ ScreenBar Halo is a LED monitor light with an asymmetric optical design and backlight that illuminates the workspace; what's more, the wireless controller saves valuable space and allows you to adjust brightness and color temperature.

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