With COVID-19 and working from home, I am pretty much glued to my computer chair most of the time staring at the big screen trying to figure out what I’ll do after the pandemic. It does not take a rocket scientist to educate you about the importance of proper lighting at your workstation to prevent eyestrain. By chance, I tried the Smart Screen E-Reading Lamp by Quntis, which is a LED lamp that mounts directly on top of your monitor. This is a game changer for desktop lighting I wish I had discovered earlier.
Instead of first going through unboxing and talking about the in’s and out’s of this LED lamp, a picture is worth a thousand words. I took the picture below late at night with no other light but this.
What I Love about the Quntis LED Lamp
Comparing this set up with a traditional desktop lamp, you should immediately appreciate the space savings. I’m not the tidiest person when it comes to desk space as you can see the mass on my desk from the picture above. I find that a traditional lamp usually gets in the way of my documents and my laptop. Now with this Quntis LED lamp directly mounted on top of the monitor, the problem is solved.
Directional No-Flicker Lighting
The issue with a regular omni-directional light source (ceiling light or a traditional desktop lamp) is that light can reflect off your monitor and the glare can cause eye strain. Did you know, “Computer Vision Syndrome”, or CVS, is an actual medical condition; “between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms”? With this LED light, there is zero flicker, and the light is directed downward at the desktop space immediately in front of you. No light is directed “at you”. For the sake of your eyes alone should be a good-enough reason to make the switch! In any case, you do not want incandescent light or any light directly powered by an AC source, which will flicker at 60Hz; that’s an eye killer.
Brightness and Color Temperature Adjustments
The included remote provides control for both brightness and color temperature.
Brightness is adjustable from 10% to 100%. When I turned this on for the first time, I thought it was quite bright. When I tried out the dimmer to increase the brightness (10%-step), after a few clicks, I didn’t know it could be that bright, and I wasn’t even at 100% yet. Suffice to say, everything in front of you will be well lit.
Color temperature can be switched between WARM WHITE, NATURAL WHITE, and PURE WHITE. This is a nice feature to have. Depending on the time of day, or your mood, you can pick one that makes you most comfortable at that moment. I prefer the pure white. When I work, pure white tends to give me some energy boost as if you’re at a library. The warm and natural white color temperatures are too relaxed for my taste. But late in the evening, when you’re doing some casual web browsing, the warming white can be quite calming. It’s unfortunate that the photos cannot perfectly capture the color temperature as seen in person.
The lamp is USB powered. You can use any USB power source such as your laptop, USB hub, or even a regular wall adapter. When using warm white or pure white, you’re activating one of the two separate arrays of LED’s, the power draw is measured at 4.36W. Natural white activates both arrays of LED’s, and the power draw is around 5.48W. We all know that LED’s are extremely long-lasting compared to its incandescent counterparts. In practice, LED lamps will likely outlive your monitor (or two). Over the life of this lamp, it may cost you up to $1 or $2 in energy. I am sure you can afford that.
Out of the box, we get the LED lamp, a holder, and the user manual. The lamp exterior is made from aluminum alloy. It feels premium in quality, not that it would make any difference once it’s mounted and functional.
Regarding cable length, from the lamp unit to the remote, it’s about 60cm (2ft), from the remote to the USB plug is about 150cm (5ft). When installed, the remote can be located pretty much at the base of your monitor where you will control the lamp. From there, you have another good length of cable to reach any USB power source.
The pictures show the lamp mounting on my main 24” monitor, as well as my wife’s larger curved-screen monitor. The clamp portion of the holder is spring-loaded, which can accommodate monitor thickness (the portion that it clamps onto) from 1cm to 3.5cm.
Room for Improvement?
After trying this out on my monitor, I had to try this on my piano too. As you can see, it barely clears my iPad on top. It would be great if there can be some additional height adjustment then this can be used as a piano light as well. But as is, this lamp is really designed specifically to mount on the monitor. Again, the photo was taken with no other light source just to demonstrate how bright this lamp is.
Also, you can adjust the angle of the lamp at 45-degree increments. Personally, I don’t know why this was part of the design. If you turn the lamp 45-deg toward you, then the light will be directed at your eyes, which is what we don’t want. In practice you want direct the light downward. The only explanation is that you could possibly mount this lamp in some other creative way that I can’t yet think of. Alternatively, “step-less” angle adjustment would be a welcomed feature.
First and foremost, if you don’t already have a desktop lamp at your workstation, for the sake of your eyes, please buy one. Between a traditional lamp and the LED lamp that mounts on top of the monitor, after you read my review, there should be no more doubt. Traditional desktop lamps no longer have a place at least on my desk. Now, do you need to buy this one by Quntis? With a 10% discount code (expires 1/31/2021) that brings the price below $40, YES YOU DO.
I’ve include the Amazon link below. Be sure to use the 10% coupon code “VG7GR7NL” at checkout to receive the 10% discount. Note that I do not get paid for this review. If I don’t personally like something, I would not recommend it to you. But I did get the 10% coupon code, which is nice.
Quntis Computer e-Reading LED Task Lamp with No Glare on Screen, USB Powered Computer Monitor Lamp for Eyes Care, Home Office Desk Lamp for Space Saving, Adjustable Brightness and 3 Color Temperature