Distraction can interfere with the discipline required to master a complex musical instrument like the piano, so anything that encourages one to play can be a real asset. That’s why I was compelled to try out the BenQ PianoLight, an unexpected product from the company best known for projectors and monitors. I was particularly interested in its proximity sensor; the light can turn on as you approach the piano. It doesn’t get more welcoming than that.
The product’s intrigue begins with the box, which balances despite an off-center handle due to the way BenQ has distributed the weight of the product in the package.
The light has a much smaller footprint than the one I’d been using but it emits a nearly perfect illumination of the entire keyboard, much as the company’s ScreenBar lamp spreads light across the surface area in front of a monitor. The simple controls for adjusting brightness and warmth allow for a degree of customization that’s not present in legacy piano lights.
There is room for improvement. The only component that needs to be attached is the glare shade, which is supposed to snap into the light. I’ve tried to attach it numerous times and it invariably falls off. A magnetic attachment method would have been a better solution. And the proximity sensor proved a bit too sensitive, turning the light on whenever any family member, including my cat, came within about two feet of the lamp. The feature has great potential; it would just be nice to dial it down a bit, just like the lamp’s brightness.
Regardless, the BenQ PianoLight is an elegant and effective light that is a particularly great complement to digital pianos. It’s simply one of the most attractive tech products I’ve ever used.