How Many Lumens Do You Need For A Home Projector? (Answered)

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The projector provides a charming home theater experience. That’s why newbies want to have a projector-based theater room. But you will have this question on your mind. How many lumens do I need for a home projector?

At A Glance: As a general rule of thumb; if your home theater doesn’t have any lighting in it then 1300 lumens are enough but if there are bulbs or ceiling lightening then 2000 lumens will be enough but make sure that the color lumens match the white lumens.

Keep reading to know more about the white and color lumens. Stay here to learn more about the ambient light and outdoor projector requirements. I will also be answering related questions. You will be educated more than your friends after reading this article.

What are white lumens and color lumens? (What brands are hiding)

These lumens are evident by their names. The white lumens mean the intensity of just the white color on the screen. The color lumens mean the brightness of all the colors in the image.

These two brightness metrics work together to craft the best possible image. 

If the color brightness is less than white, then the color in the image will seem so washed out.  If there is little light in the room, the image will be disturbed hugely.

When the color lumens are higher than the white. The image will look very vibrant when increasing the image size a little or watching it from a little away.

These two lumens metrics should be balanced to create a better picture. But brands hide the color lumens from you and just show the white lumens to you.

Which is the best balance between white and color lumens? The best balance will be that the color lumens should match the number of white lumens. This will create the best image, but brands don’t show the color lumens.

You should investigate these two lumens of that particular projector before buying it. If the projector has 3000 white lumens, then it should have 3000 color lumens too.

Many buyers complain about the colors washing out when they buy brandless or cheap projectors that claim very high numbers of lumens. 

This is the reason that they ignore color lumens and fall for the lumens number. These brands will show white lumens as lumens of the projector. But be aware.

Know can you use a regular screen with a short-throw projector? You will know many more things about screens.

Which lumens projector is the best for different ambient lighting conditions?

LumensSuitable Ambient Condition
1000 LumensZero lighting room
2000 LumensCeiling lighting decoration or a few bulbs
3000 LumensLittle ambient light in the room. 1 or 2 windows open
5000 LumensHuge amount of ambient light in the room
7000 LumensFor outdoor use but an hour before sunset

1000 lumens are good when the room is completely dark. The room is very well treated. Like you have black seating, black wall paint, and black carpets in the room. Here these numbers of lumens are fine. But buy projectors from reputable companies. They write the lumens on which their projector is actually rated.

When you have installed those ceiling decorations like a Rolls Royce car in the theater room then you will need 2000 lumens. Many enthusiasts are now installing these decorations in their theater rooms.

If there are 1 or 2 windows open in the room and light is coming through them then you need 3000 lumens to have the best picture. These numbers for lumens are good for dinner parts too where there are few amounts of lights on each table.

When there are 4 or more windows in the room and all are open then you need to have a 5000-lumens projector. This will give you a good picture.

But when you want to watch the movies outdoors then you will need 7000 lumens but this will work well when the light is 1 hour before sunset. But if you want a display for daylight then go for TV.

Know are short throw projectors any good? You will know about short and long-throw projectors.

Lumens vs seating distance from the screen

The lumens will not help a lot if you are seated away from the screen. There might be a few family members that will sit at the back or there might be a party night going on in the house. 

For that, you don’t want to sit very far away from the screen because then the colors in the picture will be washed out. For the best experience, you need to calculate the best viewing distance.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to multiply the diagonal of the screen by 1.5. But if you want to perfectly calculate this number for full HD, 4k, or 8K. 

Then I have articulated a detailed article on it. The best viewing distance for a home theater screen. You will learn how to calculate it for both TV and projector.

13 causes you must know that can damage the projector very soon. I have included those which I faced.

Projector lumens chart

Here is the chart so you can download it.

Projector lumens chart

Download this chart here from Google drive.

Did you get something out of this Lumens’ guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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How dark does a room need to be for a projector?

The projector is meant to be watched in a very dark room with no light at all. That’s why you need to achieve as complete darkness as you can.

You will get the best picture only when you make complete darkness in the room. Forget about lumens because the projector is made for dark rooms.

What is the difference between lumens & ANSI lumens?

They both are units for measuring the intensity of the light of the projector. But the ANSI lumens are a more sophisticated way of measuring light intensity.

In lumens, the light intensity measuring machine is held directly into the lens. While in the ANSI the projector is on in a dark room. Then the screen is divided into many parts. The light-measuring intensity device is kept in each divided part. The intensity is measured there.

Is there a projector that works in daylight?

There is no such projector that will work the best in daylight but if you need a display outdoors in daylight then you can rent a TV or huge wall displays for your event.

The projector is not made for daylight and TV can help you in achieving your goals for the event. You can rent a TV.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. This was my opinion, read more about it from this Reddit discussion. (Resource for the first answer)
  2. This was my opinion, read more about it from the Lifewire Blog. (Resource for the second answer)

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Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)

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