As a lamp, the Yeelight Screen Bar Pro works flawlessly, but the immersive game lighting relies on fiddly third-party apps that don't always work.
RGB lighting is a staple of most PC gaming setups, and the Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro is designed to enhance your desktop lighting whether you’re a PC gamer or not. This smart-assistant-enabled lighting bar features an adjustable front lamp and 16 million color rear lamp and promises to enhance your gaming and video-watching experience by integrating with your PC to produce reactive lights.
The question is, does this product actually enhance your experience, or is it simply a bragging right for folks who can’t get enough pretty lights on their desk?
Read on to find out what we thought of the Screen Light Bar Pro, and the end of this review, enter to win one yourself.
Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro: Slick Design
One of the first things you’re likely to notice about the Yeelight Screen Light Bar Pro is that it’s very slick-looking. It doesn’t feature any bumps or ridges along the bar itself, and it is attached to the stand by the use of magnetic contacts, so there’s no need for clips or other bulky attachments.
When it’s attached to your screen it has a relatively low profile, as long as you don’t count the bright light that shoots out of it, of course. It’s also worth noting that the device features connectivity with various apps and assistants, as well as a physical controller to allow you to change settings manually, and will cost you around $130.
The mount is surprisingly firm and secure while still being both easy to install, and having almost zero chance of doing damage do you monitor. It’s covered in soft silicone and honestly just feels like it shouldn’t stay attached, but somehow it does. The unit is powered by a single USB-C cable that can either be powered with the included adapter or can be plugged directly into your PC to reduce the number of outlets your setup requires. However, connecting directly to your PC isn’t required to use the advanced features as both the application controls and the physical remote use Wi-Fi connectivity to transmit instructions to the light.
Internet Powered Control Does Come With Problems
Obviously, this does come with the drawback that if you lose internet access you won’t be able to control the device. On the off chance that it does happen, you can simply remove the bar from the stand, and it’ll shut down. Since it does require a Wi-Fi connection though, setup requires you to install the Yeelight app on your smartphone of choice, and send your Wi-Fi access details through the app. Setup is overall mostly uncomplicated, as long as you’re sticking to the built-in app controls at least.
As it says at great lengths on the box and the website, the Yeelight Screen Light Bar Pro supports Razer Chroma Connect and the Overwolf platform to present reactive lighting effects, either to the sounds of your system or to the game that you’re playing. It’s during the setup and use of these third-party apps that things get a bit more fiddly and complicated.
For a start, you'll have to enable LAN-control in the app, then download the Yellight connector app, and the gaming suite of your choice if you haven't already. At that point, how easy it’s going to be to get the applications talking to each other is down to the hands of fate.
Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro: Immersive Lighting With Extra Hassle
While I did eventually get it to react to Razer Chroma, the light refused to be controlled via Chroma Studio, only responding to Razer Visualizer once I had run the app and the Yeelight connector. I eventually got it working in Studio, but that takes it exclusive control until it's shut down, so it can no longer be controlled by the remote and app. It would sometimes work, but not all the time and that got to be a little annoying during my time with the device. Oddly, it seems like you need to mute sounds in audiometer mode before it’ll respond, but it's not immediately clear why.
The Overwolf app presents its own special set of problems. Firstly, if you’re using an Insider build of Windows, for instance, because you’re someone who writes about tech for a living, then you won’t even be able to install the app at all. You just get an error message saying that Windows Insider isn’t supported and that you’ll need to uninstall it to get it working. Obviously, I wasn't about to do that and then re-install Windows Insider afterward, so instead, I went ahead and installed it in regular Windows 10 on another device.
The Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro and Overwolf App Just Don't Work Together
It was relatively simple to download the Yeelight Overwolf connector app and get it to recognize that I had a light system attached. A good sign for what lay ahead you might think. Unfortunately not. The selection of games that works with the Overwolf App is pretty underwhelming in all honesty. You have a couple of free-to-play titles like Fortnite and Magic Arena, a few big MOBA’s like DotA and League of Legends, and obviously some shooters like CS: GO and Rainbow Six: Siege. But, that’s about it. While the diversity is there, to a certain extent, there’s nowhere near a decent enough number of games to make the hassle of using this app worth it. Altogether there are 18 games in total that you can use this thing with.
Then again, I say use this thing with but actually, that’s not true. Despite my best efforts, nothing I did here could get the games to actually work. The light was definitely attached to the app because when I previewed the lighting effects they actually showed up. Again, the app was definitely connected to the game, because I could press Ctrl+G to bring up the overlay.
However, despite claiming that it would sync after a successful match, nothing ever changed. I played numerous matches of a game I don’t even like that much, and yet it never worked, even after rebooting and reconnecting the light several times. At this point, I just have to straight-up say that this part of the product, doesn't work at all. Whether this is the fault of Yeelight or Overwolf is unclear.
Smart Assistant Integration
Then there’s the connectivity with smart assistants. This works marginally better than the two PC-based apps. Google Home connected very simply and could respond really easily, on-command, to things like changing the color temperature and brightness level. The connection was a bit more of a pain with the Alexa app, but once it was set up it did work in much the same way, with the ability to change color temperature and brightness. I should say though that in both cases these apps only give you control over one side or the other, never both. While that’s not a huge issue, it is a little annoying at the least. It would be much better if we could set up complex routines using the smart assistants and have them run in the same way as something like the Govee Glide light can do.
Aside from connectivity with third-party apps, the Yeelight app does offer some ancillary features. As well as controlling the color temperature and overall brightness of both segments of the light independently, you also have several themed modes similar to other apps used to control smart lighting. There are only six different options to choose from, which is a little limited, but these do work and mostly make sense. Cosy Home gives you a warm orange glow in the back and a bright light in the front, while Movie mode gives you blue back lighting and no on-screen light at all.
Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro: Underwhelming Scene Selection
I would say that some scenes aren’t particularly distinct or useful. Reading and Office are basically the same with an almost imperceptible difference in the intensity of the backlight. Something similar is true with both the Tea Time and Movie modes, which use a different backlight color and that’s really it. On the plus side, you can save your favorite configurations, but that too is slightly wonky. It only saves the state of one part of the light at a time. So, if you set the backlight to a bright red, then the front to a warm white, you have to hit favorite on both headings. You’ll also have to select both independently, so it’s not possible to save a theme set of your own which is a shame.
Other than that, the app contains a few other minor tidbits, such as the timer function. This lets you pick a certain amount of time and then the light will go off on its own. Another function is the schedule menu that lets you pick various settings to allow the light to turn on and off at pre-determined times, repeating each weekday, every day, or never again. You can select a scene or your own custom setup, but it’s a bit confusing. Under the Turn on and customize light heading you don’t get the standard light editor you do on the main page of the app. Instead, you have two headings, sun, and moon, but it’s not immediately clear what they mean. Sun seems to be the regular color temperature setting of the main light, but previewing Moon doesn't seem to actually do anything.
Ignoring the weirdness with schedule mode, both of these settings could be useful in a variety of ways. If you have the light in your bedroom, then it could be useful to be able to turn it off with a timer, so the light stays on until you’re asleep for example. Meanwhile, the schedule could be set if you know you’re going to sit down to work at the same time every day. That way the lights could be on before you get into your office at all. A very minor point that should be made clear is that if you choose to power the Yeelight LED SCreen Light Bar Pro through your PC, it may stay on when you shut the PC down depending on which motherboard you use. It’s not a big problem because it’s so easy to remove the light from the stand, but it might interfere with how well the schedule and timer modes work.
Is the Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro Worth Your Money?
Overall, the Yeelight LED Screen Light Bar Pro is a well-designed light that sits incredibly securely on your monitor, but that’s about all it does do. While it’s easy to set up if all you want is an extra lamp, the extra steps to get the third-party apps running, and the clunky nature of the Yeelight app itself make it more of a chore than it’s worth. For a product costing over $100 that has the word pro in the title, it doesn't feel like a particularly professional experience. Especially not when it gets to the Overwolf platform application. As most of the problems with it are software-based, there’s always the chance that it could be fixed in the future, but whether you’re willing to stake $130 on that potential or not has to be up to you.