BenQ is mostly known for their affordable LCD monitors, but they also produce other products such as the ZOWIE e-sports peripherals and now a LED lamp specifically designed for e-Reading. It is a pretty niche product, but with the popularity of the Amazon Kindle, it could prove popular.
From the BenQ website:
BenQ WiT combines advanced illumination technology with total eye comfort, embodying the evolution of lighting solutions; it features Wide lighting up to 90 cm range which is 150% wider than typical lamps; Intelligent control to detect illuminance of environment and deliver the best light to balance contrast glare; Tailor-made your own brightness and colour temperature for different scenarios to suit your needs.
Design wise this is a very attractive lamp, it uses the ubiquitous Anglepoise style adjustable stand, but rather than an LED bulb encased in a shade you get a long-curved bar giving it a sort of duck bill look. The design is very modern and will surely suit many peoples tastes.
BenQ has named the design Smile Curve Tech and is supposed to be the epitome of function merging with aesthetics. The idea is that the curved design gives a uniform illumination across your entire reading area, rather than a focussed light which causes contrast glare. The large curve also provides a wider 90cm range of illumination which BenQ claim to be 150% wider than typical lamps on the market, as well as achieve the illuminance of 500 lux at the desk.
At the rear of the “Smile Curve” is a circular ring which acts as a touch control on and off, and on top of the curve is a lamp dial which allows you to select brightness or colour temperature mode and then you dial in the level. The LEDs themselves are capable of a colour temperature between 2700K and 5700K, so this will make an excellent desktop lamp in a working environment if you want some white light to help maintain focus and wakefulness. They are also rated at 18 watts which is quite bright for LEDs.
The overall size and weight of the lamp are quite large at 65 x 22 x 90 cm and weighs in at 4.7kg. The majority of the weight is in its base, which gives it a very secure feel, the lamp doesn’t wobble if you nudge your desk.
You can buy the lamp in 5 different colours, blue, gold, green, red and silver. So you have plenty of choices to fit it in with your style.
I haven’t dismantled the lamp, but it seems that the LEDs will not be user replaceable, or at least certainly not with off the shelf LED strips. This most likely should not be an issue as LEDs are reported to have 50,000-hour lifespan which would imply 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day, 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours per day and 11.4 years for 12 hours a day.
During use, this is an exceptional lamp. I primarily used it in my bedroom at night to read my Kindle and being able to finely tune the brightness and colour really does help take the strain off my eyes. Having a warm low blue light is extremely important in helping maintain good sleep quality and this lamp can help you achieve that.
The lamp has a built-in ambient light sensor which it uses to deliver the patented ‘brighter at the sides, darker in the middle illumination to reduce the contrast glare and the reflection on your screens. Unfortunate my main PC screen does not have a matte finish, so it is particularly susceptible to glare and reflections. However, these issues do seem far less severe when using this lamp.
Overall, this is a pretty special lamp, it looks amazing, has exceptional build quality and most importantly offers superb lighting for multiple environments. This all comes at a price though, and that is £178 from Amazon, which is going to be off-putting for many. However, if you take into account the level of engineering that has gone into this, and the potential health benefits of reduced eye strain then the pricing is far more reasonable than it seems.
BenQ WiT e-Reading Lamp
Product Name: BenQ WiT e-Reading Lamp