Soundscience Halo Bias Lighting Kit Review
One of the recent trends in new televisions is the inclusion of ambient light technology. Basically, ambient lighting involves projecting light behind a LCD screen on to a light-colored flat surface. This is said to reduce eye strain, lessen the visibility of back light bleed, and to enhance the definition of colors on the screen.
Because of the design on my TV room, I’ve never gotten a chance to try out ambient light TV. However, this week I did get to spend a little time trying out Soundscience’s new Halo bias lighting kit for LCD monitors.
The Halo is relatively simple. It’s an strip of six white LED lights with an adhesive back and a USB plug. All you have to do to set it up is peel off the backing, and stick it on the back of your monitor. This is not always as simple as it may sound. Depending on the design on the back of your monitor, you may encounter issues getting the strip to stay put. If your monitor has a bulge in the middle, like mine, be prepared to have one side of the Halo pulling free of the monitor from time to time. I was able to alleviate this by Scotch taping the USB cord to the monitor about 2 inches from the LED strip.
Once you’ve successfully adhered the Halo to your monitor, you just plug in the USB plug and start using the PC. You’ll immediately notice that the light produced by the Halo is actually quite bright, but if you don’t center the light strip correctly, it will be uneven, so proper placement is a must. The packaging really doesn’t make clear how important the placement of the unit is.
Once using the unit, I was shocked at what a difference I could tell in the appearance of my monitor. The backlight did seem to improve colors on the LCD, and my eyes haven’t been nearly as tired after a full day of gazing into its phosphorescent glow. I could tell a much larger difference when the room was dark. It seems that additional ambient light sources reduce the effect somewhat, but overall, the Halo lived up to its billing.
Now, there are some caveats here. First, the wall behind your monitor needs to be pretty close to your monitor – the closer the better. It also needs to be a light-colored wall. Placing a piece of dark posterboard on the wall behind the monitor almost fully negated the effect. Second, your monitor needs to be sitting parallel to the wall. Any angle will distort the effect, making it uneven. Also, the strip is only designed to work with monitors up to 24″.
All in all, the Halo bias lighting kit is a pretty effective way to improve, even if only a little bit, the appearance of your LCD monitor. It’s simple to set up and use, and it only runs $12.95 on the Antec store. If you’re into ambient light technology or if you just want to give it a try, this is an affordable, effective way to do it.
- Improves colors
- Reduces eye strain
- Only works on monitors 24″ and smaller
- Requires a specific physical setup of hardware (monitor against light-colored wall)
- Adhesive backing can be insufficient to hold the unit on your monitor in some circumstances.