What Does Lumens Mean In Projectors?

Whether we are finding a projector for a classroom, auditorium, conference room, church, or business meetings, a few things need our undivided attention.

To be more specific, inputs, screens, color reproduction, pixel density, resolution, contrast ratio, LED, lasers, lamps, and more importantly Lumens.

“Lumen” is the most widely asked and confusing term that must be clarified just so you can bring the best projector home.

To be able to understand what lumen means in a projector we need to get familiar with lumens first;

What is Lumen?

Lumen is a luminous flux SI-derived unit that is used to measure the quantity of light emitted from a source.

So, what does lumen mean in projectors?

The lumen is formally known as “ANSI lumen”. It’s a term linked to the projector’s brightness. In simple words, the lumen is

  • A way of measuring projector’s light
  • The measurement of the projector’s brightness
  • A way of telling how strong a projector’s light source is
  • Measurement of luminous flux
  • A unit we use to measure the projector’s brightness in

If none of the above-mentioned definitions worked for you, I bet the last one has ” definitely” resolved the mystery.

What do lumens mean in general?

Keep the projector’s case aside, lumens in general means “light”. If we see it from this point of view, everything makes sense.

Lumens in projector mean how bright the device is;

Lumens are a way to measure brightness like mostly in Roku projectors. So when it comes to projectors, lumens tell how bright the projector will be. As high as lumens get as better the image and the brightness gets.

How Can You Understand Lumen Ever Better?

The concept of the lumen is often explained with the help of a foot candle.

The foot-candle is a non-SI unit of light. It means the amount of light the candle gives out, measured from a foot away.

As it’s simpler to understand this way, here we are going to use the same non-SI unit to understand the lumen’s concept better.

As per recent studies, one lumen is exactly equal to the one-foot candle of light that covers an area equal to one foot.

It is important to mention here that several lumens join up to brighten a projector. The average projector has at least 2000 to 4000 lumens to serve the purpose.

The better the figures, the more impressive the image and the brightness. If the confusion persists here’s how many lumens the other light sources have; According to recent research these calculations made

  • Candle – 14 lumens
  • Sunset – 400 lumens
  • Fluorescent office lighting – 400 lumens
  • Movie set lighting – 1000 lumens
  • 100 – watt light bulb – 1600 lumens
  • Sunny day – 100,000 lumens or more

Projectors do not need as much brightness as a sunny day, it would not work well if the brightness is more or less the same as fluorescent office light.

Whether you are buying a projector for a little home or movie theater or classroom, the projector should at least be bright enough to serve the purpose; as reports at least 3500 to 4000 lumens for an average-sized projector.

Lumen Power Understanding

Frankly, the lumen’s case is not as simple as it seems. You do not just have to know that a 3500 to 4000 lumens projector would work well or the higher the lumens the better.

To be able to bring a perfectly bright projector home or to determine how many lumens you need; one needs to know where the projectors would be serving.

If the room is dark or it receives sufficient natural light. If the room is dark 2000 to 3500 lumens basement projector is good enough however, in the other case you have to invest in some 4000 or plus lumens projector.

The above paragraph summarizes that how many lumens you need depends on two factors;

  • Size of the screen
  • Quantity of natural or man-made light in the room

The 2000 to 4000 lumens work for standard size lumens. If you are planning to go for bigger and expensive ones; you would be needing more lumens to light it up perfectly.


You can not bring a projector home by judging it from the size or the price.

To not end up in disappointment, you are required to pay attention to inputs, screens, color reproduction, pixel density, resolution, contrast ratio, LED, lasers, lamps, size, and lumens.

Lumens is the most widely confused term that means light. Lumens in projector also means light. It is a way of measuring a projector’s light.

The better the lumens the better the image and the brightness. The standard-sized projector has to 3500 to 4000 lumens to display better and brighter pictures. However, if you going for a size up you would invest in a projector with 4000 plus lumens.

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