Brightness is one of the most important factors separating an okay projector from a great one. A brighter lamp will mean more vibrant
So, how many lumens is enough?
When you’re shopping for TVs you can judge the pictures side-by-side between models in the store and basically expect them to look the same way at home in your living room. Projector pictures are more space-dependent, however. The distance and the ambient lighting will both play a role in how bright you need your lamp to be.
Let’s talk about ambient light first, because that’s the most significant factor. If you’ll be using your projector in a completely dark room, a lamp of around 1,000-1,200 lumens should be plenty to get a good picture. When we say completely dark, though, we mean movie theater dark. If you can’t fully cover all the windows in the room, this will limit your TV viewing to night-time, as even filtered sunlight can wash out the image.
If you want the option of having a few lights on without ruining the picture, a brighter lamp is a smart idea. Something around 2,000 lumens should be plenty bright enough to compete with standard indoor lighting or bleed-over from closed windows. You should need anything over 3,000 lumens unless you plan to watch the projector in fully-lit spaces.
The distance the light has to travel will also affect how bright you need it to be. The further the projector is from the screen, the bigger the image will be. In most home theater applications, a distance of around 6-8 feet should be sufficient to get a good-sized screen. Further away than that, and you’ll want to get a slightly brighter lamp—at least 1,500 lumens in a dark space, or around 2,500-3,000 in moderate lighting.
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