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What Are Lumens? And How to Use Them to Choose a Projector

17.02.2020 22:37


Lumens come up all the time when you’re shopping around for a projector. But what are lumens? And why are they important? Officially called ANSI lumens, this measurement shows how strong a light source is. In projectors, this relates directly to the environment where the projector will be used. (Don’t worry, we provide a quick guide to how many lumens are required for what scenarios below.)
So read on to answer the question “What are lumens?” and find the best projector for your needs. Sign trade show with help you.

What Are Lumens in Projectors?

Lumens are the measurement of brightness that a projector gives out. In the industry, the formal term is “ANSI lumens.” ANSI being short for American National Standards Institute.
There are three key light sources in the projector realm, those being LED, laser, and lamp. It’s an extensive topic that we’ve covered in this article, but a few important points to note are that lamp projectors typically run at least 2000 lumens, while laser projectors can easily provide higher than 3500 lumens – often higher with optional equipment.
That being said, LED projectors often max out at 2000 lumens, but unlike lamp projectors, they’re known for delivering higher quality image perception. This is because LED projectors have improved color saturation and luminous efficiency, which allows LED projectors to appear to have a higher perceived brightness than their ANSI lumen measurement than they may actually possess.

What Brightness Level Best Suits Your Needs?

When you’re shopping for a projector, it’s important to remember that you can’t just go out and purchase a high lumen device and get great picture quality. There’s no one size fits all approach to choosing a projector brightness for your needs.
There are a variety of factors that affect the level of brightness needed for delivering a quality picture. We’ve discussed them in this article. However, a key takeaway is the two factors that impact projector brightness requirements are: Ambient light & Screen size.

Home Projectors

In a home environment, you want to ensure that you choose a projector that is rated at under 3000 ANSI lumens. This is enough to project an 80” picture with minimal distortion easily. It’s worth noting, however, that with these projectors, significant effort needs to be placed on controlling ambient light levels.
If you are looking to project large images, then you need a projector with a higher lumen count. Although they are more expensive, the imagery is less affected by ambient light.
It’s easy to project an 80”+ screen size. People who choose projectors in this brightness level are usually aiming for better color performance, but on the other hand, they need to tightly control and reduce ambient light while projecting.
Again, it’s easy to produce an 80”+ screen, but the image quality is less sensitive to the impact of ambient light.
We’re not saying which brightness level of these two is better. It depends on different users’ needs. Both can easily project 80”+ screens and 3000+ lumens projector isn’t always more expensive.

Projectors for Business and Education

Since business and education are vast fields, there are a few lumen thresholds that apply to those industries.
To start, for smaller settings such as a meeting room or classroom, 3000-3999 ANSI lumens is ideal. This setting easily projects an 80”+ screen size, at a value price point. It’s best only to use projectors with these lumen levels when ambient light is minimal.
If you’re in a mid-sized meeting room or classroom, then you’ll want to explore purchasing a projector that is 4000-4999 ANSI lumens. This also delivers high-quality images of 80”+, but the higher brightness means that the user doesn’t have to worry as much about ambient light.
The final brightness level to note is 5000+ ANSI lumens. This provides a 100”+ picture size, making it ideal for large meeting rooms, exhibition halls, auditoriums, and more. The power of these projectors means they work well even with high levels of ambient light.

Making Sense of It All

Although projectors are relatively simple to use, choosing the best one to fit your needs is a bit more difficult. When it comes to striking a balance between value and performance, you need to consider how and where your projector will be used.
If you’re planning to use the device outdoors or in a room with much ambient light, then a high lumen count is essential. The same applies to situations where you’re using a projector in a large space, and/or require a larger screen size.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a budget-conscious solution, choosing a projector with fewer lumens is practical as long as you use it in a setting where ambient light can be controlled, and space of small to medium size.
Source: ViewSonic