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Testing the bias lighting kit required some lengthy use of my monitor. What better way to catch up with some friends, play games, get some work done, and enjoy a late night movie? I installed the light strip on the back of my monitor and plugged it into a USB port on my PC. The LEDs projected a nice glow onto the wall behind and around the monitor.
- Monitor: ASUS 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD (1680 x 1050)
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.6 GHz
- Motherboard: MSI 790XT-G45
- Memory: 8 GB DDR2 Wintec AmpX @ 800 MHz
- Video Card: Diamond 4870x2 2GB
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Edition
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit SP1
The real testing began when I completed the same tasks with and without the bias lighting. First, I played a variety of games including Minecraft (a simple game), Left 4 Dead (a darker game), and Age of Conan (a free-to-play MMO). Then I actually did some work using Microsoft Word, MATLAB and Excel spreadsheets. I wrapped up the night with a quick movie on Netflix. The next day, I performed the same tasks but with the bias lighting kit turned on.
The subjective results were as follows:
Eye fatigue has always been an issue for me playing games -- I just don't seem to blink nearly enough, and playing with the lights out because I don't want to stop to turn them on, doesn't help. Working for long periods of time writing papers and such doesn't make it any easier either. My brain gets tired, and my eyes being tired just means I don't want to work anymore.
The Eye Fatigue Graphs bellow represent scores with the lowest being the best result.
Contrast levels are important no matter what you are doing with your monitor. For games and movies you want your blacks to be black, and your whites to be white. With the lights on and off, I found the contrast levels to be improved in both games and movies.
The plots below represent Contrast levels -- the higher the score the better.