Do Projectors Work on Black Walls?

Whenever it comes to projecting images onto a wall, the first thought that comes to our mind is a white wall. It is right to always follow our instinct and go with the safer and widely used option.

However, modern projectors come with tremendous flexibility relating to projector screens. Today, projectors can be paired up with a variety of screens of different colors.

Projectors work perfectly on colored walls. The surrounding environment and lighting conditions also determine what would be the right color for the wall.

Though using a white projector screen is the end of the discussion for many people, still, you can try other options like black or grey walls.

Do Projectors Work on Black Walls?

Yes, projectors can work on a black wall with ambient lighting in the viewing area.

Most people now consider black and grey walls as these special projector screens work the best in terms of white contrast and light absorption qualities.

Black projector walls provide better contrast and absorb a lot of ambient light.

As there would be more ambient light in the room, a projector with higher light output would work best.

Also, the reflectivity of the wall needs to be increased to maintain image brightness.

Using A Projector on Black Walls

The black projection surface works similar to the grey wall but takes it a step further.

Black level is improved greatly when using black projection surface. Black is essentially the absence of light, since the color does not reflect any light and dilute or wash out other colors, pure and unadulterated colors will be projected onto the screen.

If you are unable to darken the room or want the lights on while watching movies, a black wall or screen should be your go-to option.

A lot of contrast is lost when projecting on a bright color or white screen.

Black projection wall displays darker blacks better thus amplifying the contrast between black areas and other colors. It also mitigates the dulling of some colors.

Drawbacks of Using Black Walls

Not all is merry and bright when using black-colored projection screens. If you decide to paint the projection screen black, here are some drawbacks you should be aware of.

Not So Bright Visuals

Though the contrast levels are great, the image may not be as bright or vivid as compared to a white screen.

The output gets bright with lighter color screens. The projector should have a higher lumen rating to produce brighter visuals and achieve the picture quality you want.

Rainbow Effect

With black walls, the brighter visuals could give a shimmer or rainbow effect. Darker color screens also suffer from spots, tints, or hotspots.


Darker paints for projection screens cost more than their white color counterparts. Since white projection walls have been widely adopted and used for a longer period of time.

As white projection paints are commonly used and produced more than darker color paints, they are relatively less expensive. For darker paints, you would certainly have to pay more.

Things To Consider When Using Black Wall For Projection

If you have made the call to switch from a white projector wall to a black surface, here are some things you should know before hopping on the black projection wall bandwagon.

Wall Colors

If you want better quality, contrast ratio, and black levels, the color of the ceilings and walls should be preferably dark.

Pay attention to adjacent colors and surrounding hues to make sure projection is of desired quality.


The projection room does not have to be dark and creepy, therefore, install sufficient lights to lighten things a bit.

Install a few dimmable lights behind the seating area and near the projection wall.

Using the Right Projector

Some projectors fail to work on darker color screens and walls. Projectors for black walls should have high lumen output to project brighter and vivid images. Some projectors are factory-built to project images on black or grey walls.


Projectors can work well on grey, black, and other darker color walls. The outcome is better for certain scenarios with improved contrast and black levels. Projectors project subpar images when used in a completely enclosed, devoid-of-light area. Make sure an adequate number of lights are installed in the room for better projection.

Read also: Cinemark Vs AMC


  • Will Nob

    Will Nob has extensive experience with Laser Projectors. His job was to assemble laptops and projectors for a famous company in the United States. Several of his articles and research papers have been published.

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