How Many Lumens Do You Need to Project in Daylight?

Do you love movies and want to host the ultimate outdoor screening? Or maybe you’re a business professional looking to wow your audience with a powerful presentation. Whichever it is, you be wondering how many lumens I need to project in daylight.

Generally speaking, a minimum of 2,500 lumens is recommended for projection in daylight. However, a higher lumen count, 3500 or more, is often necessary for larger rooms or more vibrant images. The number of lumens you need to project in daylight depends on the size of the room, the brightness of the room, the desired brightness of the projected image, and other factors. 

Is it possible to do projection in straight daylight?

Yes, it is possible to do projection in straight daylight, but it is not recommended because daylight can significantly decrease the visibility and quality of the projected image.

Here are some reasons why it is not recommended to do projection in straight daylight:

1. Brightness

The sun’s luminosity levels vary, depending on your geographic location and the atmospheric conditions – ranging from a range of 32,000 to 150,000 lumens of direct sunlight. Hence, the brightness of the projected image may not be able to compete with the brightness of the daylight, resulting in a washed-out and low-contrast image.

2. Contrast

Daylight can also reduce the contrast of the projected image. Shadows and dark areas may not be as visible in the presence of daylight, which can make the image appear flat and lacking in depth.

3. Glare

It will cause glare on the projection surface, making it difficult to see the image. Plus, this can cause eye strain or discomfort.

4. Heat

The projector and other pieces of equipment may be susceptible to the scorching heat of the sun. Prolonged exposure to the blazing rays could reduce their lifespan and even cause irreversible damage.

5. Weather

Outdoor projections during daylight hours are at risk of being disrupted by adverse weather conditions such as wind or rain.

For optimal projection quality, it is best to do projection in a darkened or controlled environment with appropriate lighting and projection equipment. If you must project in daylight, it is best to choose a shaded area or use a screen that can minimize the effects of daylight on the projected image.

Things to Consider When Operating a Projector In Daylight

Things to Consider When Operating a Projector In Daylight

Projectors are an essential part of any presentation in a business or classroom setting. When using a projector in daylight, however, there are several factors to consider to ensure a successful presentation.

1. The projection surface isn’t directly exposed to sunlight

When using a projector in the light of day, one of the most crucial elements to keep in mind is that sunshine should never be cast directly onto the projection surface. 

If it is, the projected visuals may become hard to discern, appearing blurred and washed out. It is thus essential to carefully plan the positioning of the screen to make sure that any direct sunlight is avoided.

2. Keep the projector away from direct sunlight

It’s likewise important to keep the projector away from direct sunlight, as the heat and brightness from the sun can cause the projector to overheat, which can damage the device. Additionally, direct sunlight can cause the image to appear distorted, making it difficult to see.

3. Dim the room as much as possible

When it comes to watching a presentation in daylight, dimming the room is a must. To ensure the best image quality, use window coverings like curtains or blinds to block out the ambient light and turn off any unnecessary lights.

To illustrate this effect, take the Optoma HD146X  projector with its 3600 lumens, which needs a room dimmed from 30% to 40% to reach its full potential.

4. Shade

In the case of outdoor projection, it’s essential to create shade around the projector screen to prevent direct sunlight from falling on the screen. 

This can be achieved by using an umbrella, canopy, or other shade structure. Furthermore, you can position the projector screen in a shaded area, such as under a tree or building.

5. Placement of the projector 

If the projector is placed too close to the screen, the image may appear distorted, and the edges may be cut off. On the other hand, if the projector is too far away from the screen, the image may be too dim, making it difficult to see. 

You can use the projector’s throw ratio to determine the optimal distance from the screen. Projectors can be classified into three categories based on their throw ratio: Long throw, 

Short-throw and Ultra-short throw projectors. 

For example, the following table will show the different types of projectors and their placement from the projector screen to produce the best results.

Model/ ProductProjector TypeDistance from the Screen  Projection Size
LG HU715QW Ultra Short ThrowLess than five inches 80 inches
ViewSonic PS600X Short Throw4 feet and 10-inches  120 inches
ViewSonic PX747-4K Long Throw14 feet – 18 feet 130 – 150 inches

6. Avoid projection on the wall

If you are planning to use a projector in daylight, it is important to avoid projecting on a wall. Walls are not designed to reflect light optimally, and they tend to absorb more light than they reflect. 

This means that the projected image will appear dimmer, and the colors may not be as vibrant as they would be on a proper projection screen. Moreover, walls may have a variety of textures and colors that can affect the quality of the projected image.

7. Use a Projector Screen

The best way to ensure a clear and bright image when using a projector in daylight is to use a screen instead of a wall. Plus, when looking for a projector screen, it’s essential to think about the screen gain. This is a measurement of how much light the screen reflects in comparison to a standard white screen.

Screens with a higher gain will offer brighter images but they may have less room for a broad viewing angle. Lower gain screens provide a dimmer image but typically have a wider viewing angle. 

For instance, if you have a projection screen boasting a 1.5x screen gain value and your projector emits 1500 lumens of brightness, then the perceived brightness from the projection screen will be a whopping 2250 lumens.

The screen gain you decide upon will depend on the brightness of your projector and the amount of light in the viewing environment.

Is 7000 lumen good for a projector?

Yes, 7000 lumen is a good level of brightness for a projector. This is because it is a relatively high level of brightness than the standard lumens number, which means it can display images clearly in a variety of settings. It also has a wide range of applications, such as home theaters, large auditoriums, classrooms, and businesses. In addition, 7000 lumen is bright enough to ensure that the images displayed are clear and vibrant, even when the room is brightly lit.

Final Thoughts

A projector’s lumen requirements in daylight will vary according to the image being projected and its size and brightness.

It is essential to take into account the size of the audience, the distance between the projector and the projection surface, and the brightness of the environment when calculating the necessary lumens.

With a little bit of research and careful consideration, you can make sure that your projection looks its best in any lighting condition.