Lumens has been the universal indicator for the brightness of a projector and it is reasonable to assume that the brighter the projector, the better… or not?
Brightness of the projector is decided largely on the ambient condition of the room during which the users would like to operate in (not when all lights and window blinds are closed). The size of the desired screen as well as the area of the room should also be taken into consideration.
Deciding on the projector brightness involves some quick assessment of your room as follows:
1. To determine the right screen size for the room
– A quick gauge is to use a screen height 1/6 the length of the distance between the screen to the last row of audience
2. Position where you can place/ mount your projector
– The further you require to mount your projector, the brighter you require due to light loss on extended projected distance
3. Identify the lighting positions
– Any lighting installed just in front of the screen would require an additional 20-30% Brightness to show projected image clearly
With the above 3 points in checked, a user will be able to filter out specific projector requirements and zoom in on the available brightness specifications.
Rule of thumb:
– A typical meeting room of 5-10 paxs will require between 2000 – 3000lm projectors
– A conference room of 10-20 paxs will require between 3000 – 4000lm
– A Lecture Theatre of 50 paxs will require between 4000 – 5000lm
– Auditoriums 5000lm and above subjective to the setup conditions
But having said the above, it is important to understand that the brightness specification in brochures and catalogues may not be a true indication of its exact brightness. It does not help with the fact that manufacturers are using different Brightness Standards for their projectors.
A ‘brand A’ 3000lm projector may look totally different from a ‘Brand B’ Projector with the exact same brightness specifications. Some projectors are bluish base bias and some are yellowish based bias giving users a harder time in distinguishing which actually looks brighter.
A side-by-side demo will help to differentiate the difference better and the user can choose the right brightness that best meets his/ her preference.
And since brightness of a projector deteriorate over time, it is always good to get a projector 500-1000lm brighter than what is required. It can be operated on ECO Mode when it is brand new and switched back to NORMAL mode when the image began to look dim. This has proven to be especially useful in saving lamp life and prolong the lifespan of the lamp.
A Quick Tip:
Getting a screen with black borders helps our eyes in perceiving the image to be brighter and sharper. The black border enclosing the projected image giving the image more depth and hence ‘boosting’ the image quality.