How many lumens do you need to project in daylight?

Wondering if you can use a projector in daylight? Well, this article is for you.
Knowing that projectors don’t go well with direct sunlight, choosing a projector for a daylight setting could be hard. It is because the sun produces a brightness of more than 120,000 lumens. And it is hard to compete with such a staggering number of lumens, even with present-day technology. It is rather important to know how many lumens you need to project in daylight? So that you can make every last bit of your image visible. Even in bright daylight.
This article will discuss all the important points regarding the projection in daylight, types of setups, and the lumens required for projection in daylight. But before that, it is important to know what the term “Lumen” refers to?

What is a lumen? What is the brightness of a projector?

Brightness is the intensity of light that the projector lamp produces. It is measured in lumens/lux. Daylight is as bright as 120,000 lux. So, if you want to project an image or a video in daylight, you must deal with such high brightness. On a bright day, the high ambient light seems to rob your projector’s brightness, not because it does something to the projector itself. But the fact that your eyes adjust to the brightness of the day. And the projector’s brightness, no matter how high, seems insufficient. However, if you are in a room or something, you can control the ambient light by using curtains. It will help you to make your projection visible even in the daylight.
Moreover, a brighter projector can also be the solution. Therefore, Classes, boardrooms, conference rooms, and auditoriums with large spaces and bright light need bright projectors with many lumens. It is recommended to have projectors with lumens in thousands.

Why is brightness important to project in daylight?

There is an approximate relationship between projector brightness, image quality, image distance, color contrast, and ambient lighting. In short, your projector’s placement and need for projection depend on your projector’s brightness.
A common example of understanding the concept is considering the light coming from the car’s headlights. Suppose the vehicle is parked in a closed parking lot. The surrounding dark environment enhances the intensity of the morning. In contrast, it is hard to perceive the light during midday when the sun is on the rise. Therefore, for a projector set up in daylight, you need more than 3,000 lumens in combination with good contrast of 6,000:1 or higher. However, the resolution doesn’t matter as much as the projector’s ability to handle the daylight brightness.

What projectors are better for daylight projection?

For daylight settings projector with the highest brightness is the best. It depends on how you plan to set your projector up. For example, 2500-3000 lumen is the minimum threshold if you have ambient lighting in the surrounding. Multiple other factors also play a role, including the content you’re watching, screen size, resolution, etc. however, it is important for you to consider the lumens of the projector you’re planning to buy, especially for the daylight settings. This is because you probably would not want to regret the decision later.
Types of setups in daylight:
The daylight settings can be of two types i.e.
indoor or outdoor setting.
You can purchase affordable all-purpose projectors as well. But there is a difference between indoor and outdoor projections. Outdoor, the sun directly shines over your screen, causing the image to fade away. Also, there is a different requirement for choosing the brightness for both settings. If you fail to make a smart choice, it can result in a terrible viewing experience.
How many lumens do you need for outdoor projection in daylight?
First, it is important to understand first why you need to set a projector in an outdoor environment? And the challenges related to that.
Many people choose outdoor projection for camping, a party in the backyard, events, or other reasons. Setting a projector in piercing daylight needs you to have at least 3000-4500 lumens. But this doesn’t mean that you place the projector under direct sunlight. It would be best if you always kept the projector under shades so that it doesn’t get influenced by the sunlight. This is because Sun brightness is no less than 120000 lumen. And this cant is achieved yet. So when the sunlight directly falls on the screen, it causes the image to become faded and dim. It makes it almost impossible to see the projection. The dark content will be impossible to watch.
In contrast, the white screen doesn’t appear to be clear. However, you can try to overcome such a horrendous brightness with bright projectors. You can also adjust the brightness according to your liking, quality, and the brand of projector you use.

How much lumen is required for in-room projection?

A room with full-size windows has plenty of ambient light during the day. The ambient light refers to the natural light present in the room. When it hits the projection screen, the ambient light affects the projector’s brightness. Projection in a bright room during the day will require a projector with high shine to give good results. For indoors with controlled lighting, you need to have 1000-2000 lumens, medium lighting 2,000-4,000 lumens, and bright light/daylight 4,500-6,000 lumens.

Do more lumens mean better projections?

Suppose you are talking about an outdoor daylight environment, yes. During the day, in highly luminous conditions, the brighter projectors will let you see the projections well. However, if you are using such a high brightness projector in a low light setting, it will hurt your eyes and can affect the picture quality as well. To make your projection visible in daylight, your projector must be at least 2500-3000 lux. Above, 3000 lux projector works best in brightly illuminated rooms. However, a projector with 3000 can also produce good results. However, this doesn’t count for use under direct sunlight but in some shady areas or a room with large windows. For direct sunlight, you need to have 120,000 lumens brightness. Such luminosity is currently impossible to get with today’s projection technology.

Are 5000 lumens good for a projector?

The 5000 lumens give better results than normal for an outdoor projector during daylight. Such a projector is ideal for ambient lighting and large spaces. So, a projector with 5500 lumens will be a perfect choice for a backyard party or lawn setting. An affordable laser projector will give you 6000-lumen brightness with 1080p resolution. You can also stumble on higher lumens depending on your budget and requirement. Projectors with high lumen can produce ultra HD images on comparatively larger screens.
Projectors that affect the lumen of a projector in daylight
If you are setting your projector in broad daylight, you need a projection of a thousand lumens. But the brightness is not the one thing that matters. There are so many other factors that also combine to make your projection to be visible. Few are discussed below.
This is because the sun can produce enormous brightness, and nothing can compete with it. However, it can steal your projector’s brightness and make the image appear faded, muddy, and ghostly. Sunlight can also cause overheating and damage the projector’s lens or harm the internal components. Therefore, sunlight must not fall on the projection screen directly. Using some shades to protect your image and projector is recommended.
Choosing a projector with good resolution will automatically make your projection suffer less. Otherwise, a projector with less resolution and almost no color contrast result in disaster. It makes the picture look muddy and faded. Therefore, your projector must be capable of depicting the images. A few years back, a projector with 1000 lumens would be good enough for dark rooms and a reflective screen. Bit now, you need more brightness and resolution to ensure each pixel is visible. You need to spy on a good projector for high clarity, even with more HD resolution.
Have some shade in the room:
Suppose you’re projecting in daylight but outdoor. The projection surface must be shaded. This is to protect it from sunlight. You can avoid the sunlight by using a shade, an umbrella, curtains, or following other strategies.
Keep the room as dimmer as possible:
If your projector is set up in a room, make sure the extra lights in the room are dim enough. Otherwise, you will have to squint your eyes to read the text on the screen. For a 3000-lumen projector, your room must be at least 20-50% dim.
Do not project on a wall:
If you’re planning to project in daylight, it is recommended not to project on a wall. The wall will absorb all the white light instead of reflecting it. This will make it hard to perceive the projection. Therefore you must not project on a white wall in daylight settings.
Use a dedicated projector screen to project in daylight:
You can use a dedicated projector screen instead. It is known as ALR (Ambient light reflection) screen. It uses a high reflective material with the capability to reflect the daylight into another direction. This ensures visibility.
Proper projector placement:
The projector placement plays a role in projection size. Projecting with a projector close to the screen can result in a small screen. However, a projector placed further away will cause a faded image with washed-out colors. Your projector can be a short throw, ultra-short-throw, or a long throw, depending on your need.
You have to look at every possible factor that can affect your projection in daylight; only then you’ll be able to execute the right brightness even in broad daylight.


All in all,
Finding the right projector is an act of hard endeavor unless you know the specifications. Once you understand things, shortlist a good projector and go with it.
You may need to set up a projector in a bright environment under a daylight setting for watching, work, or business purposes. Whatever it is, you will need a projector with high brightness, i.e., between 4000-8000 lumens, depending on your requirement. Therefore, you must be thoughtful of your need while making a choice. In this article, we have tried to explain “how many lumens do you need to project in daylight” well enough. We hope that it has helped you out in learning about your projector. If you still have questions or any recommendations, then comment right below.

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