How Bright Do I Need It?


Projector brightness is rated in lumens. A lumen rating indicates the overall brightness that a projector is able to produce. Lumens are actually dimensionless, so the lumen output of the projector is static and has nothing to do with the size of the image. However, the size of the image has everything to do with how bright the image you see is. For example, the larger the image is that you are trying to create, the brighter the projector will need to be if you want to overcome ambient light and still see a nice, vibrant image.

Below is a set of standard rules intended to help you select a projector powerful enough to overcome the environment you'll use it in.

Selecting a projector that is equal to or greater than our lumen/brightness recommendations will not be detrimental with regard to performance, however it may cost you more money than you need to spend. These rules are simply guidelines to use for a bright, high-contrast image, but they are not set in stone. Projectors with lower outputs than our lumen/brightness recommendations will still display a viewable image, but they may not pack the "punch" that many come to expect when watching business related materials.

If you have further questions, or will use the projector in a manner different than described below, please don't hesitate to call us for further assistance at 800-649-9809, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (ET). You may also email us at: info@theprojectorpros.com.

  1. I am creating an image that is = 6 feet in width:
    1. In a 100% light controlled room - 1000 lumens should be sufficient
    2. In a room with some ambient light, but no direct lighting on the space you plan to project the image - 1000 lumens should be sufficient
    3. In a room with the lights on, but no light directly over the area where you will project the image - 1000 to 1200 lumens should be sufficient
    4. In a room with bright ambient light - 1400 to 1500 lumens should be sufficient
    5. I don't know how bright the room will be, but I do know that my image size won't surpass six (6) feet - 1500 lumens to ensure that you will overcome all lighting conditions should be sufficient

  2. I am creating an image that is between six (6) and eight (8) feet in width:
    1. In a 100% light controlled room - 1000 to 1200 lumens should be sufficient
    2. In a room with some ambient light, but no direct lighting on the space you plan to project the image - 1200 to 1400 lumens should be sufficient
    3. In a room with the lights on, but no light directly over the area where you will project the image - 1300 to 1500 lumens should be sufficient
    4. In a room with bright ambient light - 1500 to 1800 lumens should be sufficient
    5. I don't know how bright the room will be, but I do know that my image size won't surpass eight (8) feet - 1800 lumens to ensure that you will overcome all lighting conditions should be sufficient

  3. I am creating an image that is over eight (8) feet wide but less than ten (10) feet wide:
    1. In a 100% light controlled room - 1500 lumens should be sufficient
    2. In a room with some ambient light, but no direct lighting on the space you plan to project the image - 1500 to 1800 lumens should be sufficient
    3. In a room with the lights on, but no light directly over the area where you will project the image - 2000 lumens should be sufficient
    4. In a room with bright ambient light - 2000 to 2500 lumens should be sufficient
    5. I don't know how bright the room will be but I do know that my image size won't surpass ten (10) feet. - 2500 lumens to ensure that you will overcome all lighting conditions should be sufficient

  4. I'm creating an image over ten (10) feet wide but less than fourteen (14) feet wide:
    1. In a 100% light controlled room - 2000 lumens should be sufficient
    2. In a room with some ambient light, but no direct lighting on the space you plan to project the image - 2000 to 2300 lumens should be sufficient
    3. In a room with the lights on, but no light directly over the area where you will project the image - 2300 to 2700 lumens should be sufficient
    4. In a room with bright ambient light - 2700 to 3200 lumens should be sufficient
    5. I don't know how bright the room will be, but I do know that my image size won't surpass fourteen (14) feet - 3200 lumens to ensure that you will overcome all lighting conditions should be sufficient

  5. I'm creating images for very large audiences that will surpass fourteen (14) feet in width.
    1. Contact us directly. We'll need additional information to help you select the most appropriate projector for your needs.
Many people will find that their application lies within two different categories, or they may not know the size of the image they'll display. If you do know the size range of the images you will need to display, you'll need to select a projector that can produce the largest images in your range. If you don't know the image size you'll need, please refer to the below chart for help.
  1. Standard size room with an eight (8) foot ceiling - Maximum width is six (6) feet wide using a business projector with a 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen)
  2. Rooms with nine (9) foot ceilings - Maximum width is 7.33 feet wide using a business projector with a 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen)
  3. Rooms with ten (10) foot ceilings - Maximum width is 8.66 feet wide using a business projector with a 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen)
  4. Rooms with twelve (12) foot ceilings - Maximum width is 11.33 feet wide using a business projector with a 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen)
  5. Rooms with ceilings over twelve (12) feet are usually closer to twenty (20) feet; for this scenario, please use the extended table below:
  1. How far is the furthest person back from the screen? Take that distance and divide it by 1.5 to 2.5 and you'll have a range of screen widths to use. The larger the width you'll choose, the better those seated in the back will see the image.
Example: The furthest person in back is 20 feet away.
20 / 2.5 = 8 feet wide and 20 / 1.5 = 13.33 feet wide. You will need at least a nine (9) foot ceiling to display an eight (8) foot wide screen and at least a fourteen (14) foot high ceiling to display a 13.33 foot wide image.

Related Links