How Many Lumens Are Good for a Projector And Why

When buying a new projector or trying to get the most out of yours, there’s nothing more important to consider than the number of lumens it offers.

If you don’t have the right amount of lumens in the device, then getting the brightest or the most colorful image will be difficult. And if you don’t take that into account, you may end up with an ugly-looking projection, a bad presentation, or a deficient image overall.

To prevent that, you’ll have to make sure of having the right amount of lumens. Here, we will teach you exactly require how many lumens for a projector. Come and learn!

how many lumens for a projector

What are Lumens?

Before getting into details, let’s learn what lumens are first. For most people, lumens are a measurement of light. But in reality, lumens do not measure light but the brightness of the light. So, the brighter the bulb is, the more lumens it creates.

If a projector has 2,000 lumens, it will probably offer a much less bright image than a projector that produces 4,000 lumens.

But it doesn’t always work this way. There are other factors we’re going over later. Overall, though, the amount of lumens refers to the amount of brightness. So a high measurement often means a bright projection.

Importance of Lumens in Projectors

You should have the idea already: lumens are important because they tell how well the image will project. Of course, the more lumens the projector has, the better the image will be. Even against artificial or natural light, lumens can have a significant impact on how well the picture looks.

If you have tons of lumens, the projector will go through other light particles and deliver a decent image. But if you have tons of lumens and there’s not much light around, then you can make a super bright image – but it can end up being annoying.

how many lumens for a projector

Lumens are vital because they tell you how much brightness the projector can be. And knowing the brightness level of your projector also lets you know if the device will work for you or not. We do a deep dive into the difference between lumen and lux in our article on how they are important in a projector.

Calculating the Lumens, You Will Need

Of course, there are many factors to think about before choosing the right amount of lumens that you may need. But this can take a lot of time and effort. So, it is always better to go over general measurements and have a more practical idea of what you can go for. Here are a few factors to consider:


First off, find out why you want to use a projector. For movies, you won’t need the clearest image out there, but something decently bright will be enough. As for presentations, you’ll want something that’s not too bright or too dark. You should focus on readability.

If you’re gaming, you’ll want to focus on the maximum brightness and colors possible. That will improve your gaming experience exponentially.

Type of Content

how many lumens for a projector

Similar to the reason for using a projector, there’s also the type of content you’re projecting. As we mentioned before, here you can find presentations, video games, movies, and videos.

Overall, we can say that the content varies between high-brightness content like video games and movies and low-brightness content like videos and presentations. For games and movies, we recommend nothing less than 2,000 lumens. But for presentations and videos, anything over 1,500 lumens will be enough.

Place of Projection

The size of the area or location also makes a massive difference in the number of lumens you’ll need. For example, if you’re projecting a movie outdoors, you’ll want a bright enough projection that goes through other lights and looks bright enough.

For indoors with little light, you’ll want something just bright enough, so you don’t get annoyed by the image. And if you’re inside with tons of lights, then you’ll want the brightest possible projector out there. Of course, only go for a super bright option if it is going to be used in places with a lot of light.

how many lumens for a projector

Size of the Screen

Everyone knows that to use a projector, you need a blank white wall or a screen. Depending on the size of the screen, you will know how many lumens you may need. Large screens often demand more brightness than smaller ones.

If you want to get the most out of a 9-by-5 feet screen, for example, you will need fewer lumens than getting the most out of an 18-by-12 feet screen.

Distance of Projector

Taking the screen size into account and the place of projection, you will also have to consider the gap between the projector and the screen. Usually, projectors stand about 10 feet from the screen in most places. Whether it is an office or living room, you will need about 2,000 lumens to make it work in low-light rooms indoors.

For large screens of about 15-by-12 feet, you will need to place the projector at about 15 feet. This will make sure that the image travels well enough to meet the projector. But for that to work, you will need enough lumens, which should be at least 4,000 indoors. For outdoors, you may need up to 10,000.

how many lumens for a projector

Ambient Light

The light around or inside the place of your projection is another important factor. This happens because the lumen refers to the brightness of the light. So, if you have a room full of light, you will need more brightness on your projector, which means more lumens.

So, to get the right amount of lumens, you should take into account how large you want the image to be and how far the projector will be from the screen or place of projection.

Contrast Ratio

The contrast refers to the color delivery of the projector. It is the difference between white and black. The more contrast ratio your TV has, the better the color delivery will be. Of course, the ratio is not too easy to pick or find for that. And here’s a good post about which picture technology you should choose between projectors and Tv.

A huge ratio means that your projector can handle a wider array of colors going from white to black. If the projector has a reasonable rate, then the image will be okay. Overall, if you can get a projector with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, that will help you get much better quality.


The resolution is another vital factor to think about. It refers to the height and width of the image in pixels. The more pixels the image has in width and height, the better the image will be. Usually, you’ll find projectors delivering a 1080p resolution, which is about 1920×1080 pixels. This is enough to provide an excellent image.

But if you want something even better, you can go for a 4K resolution. These are 3840×2160 pixels. This is the maximum amount you can get for a projector. If you pair up high amounts of lumens along with a nice resolution, then you’re likely to get superb image brightness.

how many lumens for a projector

How Many Lumens Do You Need

Now that you are sort of familiar with how lumens work and how they can differ depending on the different factors to consider, you can have a general idea of what to go for.

Here are a few recommendations to consider:

  • Indoor rooms with bright lights on a large screen (videogames and movies): between 4,000 and 6,000 lumens.
  • Indoor rooms with bright lights on a large screen (presentations and videos): between 1,000 and 2,000 lumens.
  • Outdoor places with low lights on small screens (videogames and movies): between 2,500 and 3,000 lumens.
  • Outdoor places with low lights on small screens (presentations and videos): between 5,000 and 10,000 lumens.

There’s no real rule to do this, though. But if you follow these measurements, you may end up with the right projector for your needs. If you can get a projector that allows you to change the lumens, it delivers. You have been told how many lumens is good for a projector; then you’ll have a huge advantage.

Get the Right Amount of Lumens for Your Projector Now!

There are many types of configurations and factors to think about here, so getting the right amount of lumens can be an extra difficult thing to do. Luckily, following our guide and having a better idea of the wide array of things to consider can put you in a better place when going for a new projector. You already know how many lumens a projector has.

After all, it all comes down to how bright you want and need the image to be. As long as you have that in mind when choosing, it shouldn’t be a problem going for the ideal amount of lumens.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick the ideal projector according to the number of lumens you need now! You won’t regret it!

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