How Many Lumens For Outdoor Projector?

A projector with a higher lumen rating is capable of projecting well on bright, sunny days. It should have different ANSI lumens when projecting during daylight, twilight hours, or ambient light.

Brightness, contrast ratio, and resolution should be considered for excellent visual output with proper brightness and sharp detailing. The more lumens a projector has, the better the output quality.

How Many Lumens For Outdoor Projector?

A lumen is a unit of measurement that measures the intensity of light of a projector or other source device.

The outdoor projector requires an appropriate number of lumens to project a brighter and sharp image.

The outdoor projector needs to be powerful and should have high brightness to combat sunlight, especially during daytime conditions.

Besides light interference, brightness is also necessary for the optimum picture quality.

The minimum brightness required for outdoor projection is 2500 lumens. Though 2500 lumens is a good place to start, a projector has to have a higher lumen rating to project a clear image without looking too faint or washed out.

To project in an area full of ambient light, a projector should have 3000 lumens or up.

Outdoor projection under direct sunlight is not possible, there has got to be some shade or tarp.

Otherwise, invest in a 1200 lumens projector to project a visible image under direct sunlight.

Outdoor Projection Requires High Brightness

Consider 2500 lumens as a starting point, a projector has to be ultra-bright to combat not just indirect sunlight but ambient lighting as well.

As per the rule of thumb, if the brightness is only in hundreds, it is best to project in a dorm room.

The brightness rating needs to be the equivalent of 3000,4000 or 6000 lumens for better projection.

When projecting outdoors, contrast ratio and picture quality should be considered as well to project a clearer image.

The More the Merrier

The projector with the higher lumen ratings wins the battle along with a higher contrast ratio and resolution.

Brightness should not be the only consideration when shopping for a device for outdoor projection.

An outdoor projector is only worthy of the title if it has a lumen rating higher than the 2500 lumens spec.

Once the projector passes the lumens hurdle, then other aspects or features should be considered.

Projecting outdoors during the daylight hours requires at least 5000 lumens. Find a shade to minimize sun glare at high noon or afternoon to preserve the picture quality.

Lumens For Projector

Why Higher Lumen Rating is Needed For Outdoor Projectors?

Projectors are known to work in multiple room settings and lighting conditions. However, projectors have varying specifications that make them suitable for either dark environments or outdoor conditions.

One of the aspects is the lumen difference that sets the projector apart and decides whether they can be used outdoors or not.

Better image quality is achieved in dim light because of the difference in contrast ratio.

Outdoor projection is a bit problematic, you can not eliminate all light interferences such as moonlight, bright starlight, streetlight, or firelight.

Therefore, a projector has to have higher lumens to work in both daylight and dim light.

Lumens Rating As Per The Screen Size For Outdoor Projection

Not many projector users know that the lumen requirement is relative to the screen size.

Decide a screen size first and know the exact lumens that the projector requires for outdoor use.

The ideal lumen ratings required as per different screen sizes are given below.

  • 9×5 Feet – A projector screen of this size should have at least 2500 lumens, however, 3000 lumens are adequate.
  • 12×7 Feet – For a 12×7 feet projection screen, it requires a minimum of 3000 lumens, however, 3500 lumens are best.
  • 16×9 Feet – For a screen of this size, the minimum and appropriate lumen ratings are 3500 and 4000 respectively.
  • 20×11 Feet – Minimum 4000 lumens are required for a 20×11 ft screen and 5500 lumens are ideal for outdoor projection.
  • 25 x 14.5 Feet – As the screen size goes up, the lumen rating should be between 5500 to 10000.
  • 40×22.5 the Feet – Though the minimum lumen rating is 5500 lumens, the ideal brightness would be 12000 lumens.


For best and clear outdoor projection, a projector needs to be ultra-bright and relative to the screen size.

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