When BenQ reached out to me to send a review copy of the WiT e-reading lamp I happily obliged. They wanted to hear if their lamp would be any good for miniature painting and I was keen to try it out.
The BenQ WiT lamp looks very similar in function as my favorite painting lamp, but have a different style and a few extra features. The BenQ lamp has a price tag of around 230 USD (you can find the current pricing by going to Amazon) so it will be interesting to see if those hefty price tag is worth it compared to my favorite miniature painting lamp.
So this is my BenQ WiT lamp review. I will cover it from the angle of a miniature painter. This means that the lamp needs to produce a good area of light and the light needs to be in a strong colour close to sunlight colour. It also needs to have adjustable colour and intensity, to be able to produce light that is not too harsh on the eyes for those winter evenings painting small minis.
A quick overview of the BenQ WiT lamp and features
The BenQ WiT e-reading lamp is a multi-function led lamp with good bright light. It is designed for multiple different tasks – light above a screen for productivity, reading books or hobbying. Basically anything at a desk where you need a good light source.
My version has a very heavy disc on the bottom, making it stand firmly on the table. The lamp produces light via multiple small LED bulbs. It has one knop where you can turn the intensity of the light up and down. If you click the knob you can turn on the colour of the lamp from 2700k (yellow) to 5700k (mimics sunlight).
The lamp has one button or dial. You can press it down and you can dial it both ways. This is used for shifting between adjusting the brightness and the warmness. To turn it on and off you have to rely on a touch-sensitive switch (sigh). That is one of the big minuses of the lamp, as I will talk about later. Besides turning the lamp on and off the touch-sensitive area can also switch between 2 ambient modes.
The video here will show the controls of the lamp:
How I am rating the lamp in my BenQ WiT Lamp review
In my rundown of the best lamps for miniature painting, I list the essential features that I think a good painting lamp needs to have. These are also the things I will look for in the review of the BenQ WiT lamp:
- Colour range of the light
- Reduction of shadows at painting area
- Flexibility and mobility
- Any extra features
Colour range, intensity and shadows of BenQ WiT lamp light
One of the features that are crucial for miniature painting is getting the light into a spectrum that closely mimics sunlight. If you look at colours of paint in a very yellow (warm) colour of light, it will distort how the paint looks. So you are painting something that you think looks good, but then when you see it in daylight the next day the colours are suddenly off and looks way different.
So for a lamp to be good and suitable for painting, you need to be able to control the light in a way so it resembles the light source you will normally see the miniature under. Most people prefer something that is close to daylight.
As you can see on the image above, we need to hot about 5500-6500k colour temperature, if we want to paint in something that sort of resembles daylight.
And as you can see on the image above, you can adjust the BenQ lamp ranging from 2700-5700k in temperature. Not bad, but a bit higher would have suited me better. But still, it is soo little that I am not able to notice it with the naked eye. So the BenQ WiT lamp can produce the desired colour of light. As for the brightness, it is plenty bright!
The lamp produces the light via a broad area of small LED lamps. This gives it good coverage of light, long life and it does not generate heat. The heat part is actually quite important when painting, as people who have painted with old hot lamps can attest to (try doing wet blending when the water evaporates super quickly).
Also, the way the lamp throws the light out means that shadows are much less prevalent when painting. The coverage area is wide and it is quite comfortable to paint under. Crank the intensity up and you will have a good light area to paint under.
When painting at night times I find the colour range of the low 2700k to be suitable, but I think the intensity of the light from the lamp is still too bright. I wish I could turn it down just a tad more.
Style, build flexibility and mobility
The version I got was the one with a heavy disc on the bottom, suited to stand on the table. This works fine, but it does take up a bit of space. This is slightly annoying, as I sometimes paint on tables with very little space (the table in front fo the TV). You can buy a clamp to put on the table, but for the price this costs I wish both options were included in a single package.
With the disc, the lamp is not very mobile. I paint in multiple different places in the house, so being able to quickly move it around is something I value. If you are just going to have it on your desk all the time, this might not be a problem for you.
The lamp is curved in this slightly funky way. The promo stuff on the BenQ pages will lead you to belive it creates a better light area. In testing with my other paint lamps, I had a hard time to see any improvements from this design. It looks a bit weird, but if you like the style then that is not a problem.
As for the mobility on the table, it is pretty good. The lamp can extend very far and the head can be twisted around around in a way where it never woobled or drifted on me (something I have had problems with on other lamps).
The lamp is flexible enough to be placed high above your painting table, leading you to be able to have a nice comfortable painting position (watch your back, that stuff is important).
It also has a feature that maybe not a lot of people will appreciate, but that I really like. With many lamps, if you try to take a picture or record a video it can sometimes look like the lamp is flickering. If that is the case you either have to change the settings of the lamp or the shutter speed of your camera. With this lamp there is no flickering, which is super for creating content but should also be a bit more easy on your eyes.
The lamp also has two auto features:
- One for reading books and ebooks
- One for having above your computer screen
When you set the lamp to one of those features, the lamp will automatically set the temperature and intensity of the lamp to the appropriate task and current conditions in the room. While this sounds cool, I did not find it super helpful. The settings it picked for the task I was doing was never quite right (mostly too bright). This means I found it easier to just set the lamp on manual and adjust it to my liking.
Having the lamp above my computer screen worked ok I guess. It helped reducing glare, as it meant I could turn off other lights in the room.
Durability of the BenQ WiT Lamp and controlling the light
The construction of the lamp looks somewhat flimsy, but is actually quite sturdy in the hands. One thing that I think could be constructed better is how the lamp is attached to the heavy disc. You must carry it by the disc or you might risk it falling off.
The main problem with the durability will likely be in the touch switch on/off design. I just do not like that sort of stuff, because when the touch magic breaks, the lamp is useless (as you cannot turn it on or off). And the touch thing will absolutely break before the light bulbs or before the lamp falls apart. This means that the lifetime of this lamp is much less than it actually should be.
Things I really like about the BenQ WiT lamp
- Seems sturdy enough, without being super builky in the design.
- Having a lamp above my computer screen has actually been quite helpful in reducing glare.
- Produces a bright light area very sutiable for painting miniatures.
- Worked great for taking pictures for content, because of the anti flicker feature.
- While the design might be a bit funky, it is growing on me. Looks a bit more “light” than my other big lamps.
All in all the BenQ WiT lamp really good lamp for painting miniatures and using around my desk.
Things I do not like about the BenQ WiT lamp
- The disc is heavy and not suited for moving around the house. Also it takes up quite a lot of space. I wish the clamp option will be included with all versions of the lamp.
- When you extend the lamp all the way out
- The wire on the lamp is strong and sturdy, but it ends out in this very thin end where the adepter is placed. Not a strong and sturdy design.
- While having bright light is most of the time super helpful, I found situation where I could not dim the light of the lamp enough.
- The touch ring is bad in so many ways. When you move the lamp around you will touch it and either turn it off or turn on one of the auto dim features. Besides that, it just ads this prone to failure tech part that I do not want on such an expensive lamp. Also, it just looks plain weird on top of the lamp. No reason it is there.
Price and how the BenQ WiT lamp compares to the competition
So the BenQ WiT lamp is slightly more expensive than the lamp I currently recommend for painting miniatures. But is it better? I think it compares very well. It might have a tad better light and is a bit more flexible in the way you can position the lamp. The touch gimmick is a big drawback, but the anti-flicker is super good for my use case.
All in all I think either one is good. The BenQ is solid if you are a content creator, needs a desk lamp for other stuff than painting and if you like the look of the design.
I have only used the BenQ WiT lamp for a limited time. This might be more sturdy than I think, but only time will tell.
The review is based on a copy BenQ sent me for this review. This is my actual opinion and my opinion is not for sale.
No money changed hands for this review.