Projector Lumens and Outdoor Use


What are projector lumens and how is the best way of using a projector outdoors.

Planning an outdoor movie night? Deciding where to put the projector and screen for maximum impact, what equipment is available – what is most suitable for your back yard cinema, and how much is this going to cost? Do you even know the technology used?

Let’s step back and take a look at some of the common parts you will come across.

Lumen – you need to understand the quantity of lumens within a projector and how the number of lumens affects the quality of the image. The actual word comes from the French language and is the measure of light emitted by a source and the brightness which is visible to the human eye. This can be said of natural light sources like the sun and a candle flame and also a man-made light bulb. The greater number of lumens equates to the brighter the bulb, therefore the clearer the image, in this case of a projector. If you are considering an outdoor movie screening, then definitely the lumens will need to be higher – a high lumen projector will give a quality image with a clear and bright picture. This will give you the quality of professional displays. Just think about what time of day you will be showing a film or sport game… the daylight reacts differently to night light or even the twilight hours. Most of us will have enjoyed our best visual movie experiences in an almost black environment.

Different types of screens – from a basic white washed wall, through to an expensive remote controlled projector screen… any of these will work, but for the optimal experience and one to do your projector justice, opt for a white screen with a quality which reflects light, aka the Gain factor. It makes sense for the higher the reflective light, the better quality of image. Avoid any screen which is transparent or is a very thin material, as up to 50% of the image will be lost, resulting in the film being darker and with less clarity. Also consider other light factors, such as neighbors lights, street lights and indeed, the moon! Check for a few nights before deciding on the amount of lumens for a projector and also the quality of a projector screen.

Projectors – this will take up most of your budget, but money well spent. Even though there are so many on the market, there will be a suitable one for your, but it is a question of finding your specific requirements. Also think about how to mount it: table top, floor, fixed to a tree or surrounding building? One major inclusion should be a protective housing unit, also known as a projector enclosure. Although it looks like a simple metal box, it’s not, but will enable the projector to remain at an optimal temperature (preserving the expensive bulb), it is weatherproof against wind, rain, storms and the cold, yet provides a good level of security: complete with 2 locks and 2 sets of keys. A small price to pay for being able to watch movies and games outdoors.

Now all you need to do is chill the beers, heat up the BBQ and invite folk round for a great outdoor movie adventure.