Why Do I Need a Monitor Hood?
One accessory that doesn’t get much airtime is the monitor or shading hood. Monitor hoods are one of those things that you rarely think about until you use one, and then you can never go back to life before having one.
Why do I need a Monitor Hood?
If you’re doing any editing work, be it photo or video or even design, a monitor hood is a must-have as it prevents any light from reflecting onto your screen. Light reflections can be seriously inconvenient, especially if you’re working on a glossy screen, and can cause discomfort and even eye strain. Therefore, it’s recommended to get a matte coated screen to help prevent any reflections.
Even with a matte coated screen, pesky light can still come from above and through the sides of your monitor, creating light and colour discrepancies. Most often, it is direct sunlight that can have these effects, as most of us tend to set up our workstations near a window. Equally, it can be different light sources that can have the same effect. Think about any light source that is in the proximity of your desk: lamps, another workstation, or even ceiling lights – all of these can have a serious impact on what you’re seeing on your screen because the light can bounce off nearly everything in their vicinity, especially off metallic objects.
The way we perceive light is fascinating, and coloured objects around us can influence how we perceive colours on our screens. That’s why it’s important not to have very colourful items in our proximity if we’re working with colour on-screen. Even a bright coloured wall can potentially distort the way we perceive colours. For example, if you stare for a long time at a red image, the cone cells in your eyes can become fatigued and temporarily stop responding, and you will start seeing green instead, causing an optical illusion called an afterimage. This is yet another reason why a monitor hood is a useful and understated accessory.
Besides all these benefits that have to do with glare, reflections and seeing accurate colours, a monitor hood will also offer you privacy and help prevent any distracting elements from entering your eyesight. Having one attached improves your ability to focus on the task at hand and helps to block out any distractions in the background, especially when in a shared studio or office.
Detachable Hood with the BenQ SW range
While a monitor hood isn’t the cheapest accessory you can buy, why spend money on a monitor if you can't even edit properly away from light distraction? There are a few monitor manufacturers that offer free, detachable hoods with their monitors, one of which is BenQ's SW range of colour-accurate screens. This is something to keep in mind when you’re looking to buy a new screen, as some manufacturers charge extra for a hood, while others might not provide one at all, and you would have to buy one from a third-party manufacturer.
The hoods that come with the BenQ SW range of monitors are made from sturdy yet flexible plastic materials and have a black velvet interior coating that helps absorb light. They are easy to mount and can be used in both landscape and portrait mode. The hoods have a special slot at the top for a calibrator, that slides up and down, making calibration a smooth and straightforward process, so you don’t have to remove the hood every time you calibrate (hopefully, you do that at least once every two weeks!).
Browse the BenQ SW range here.