Without getting too scientific and technical about the matter, Lumens are a measure of visible light from a certain light source. The brighter the source, the higher the lumen rating it will have.
Conventional light bulbs measure the amount of electrical power it requires for operation in Watts, and about 60 Watt light bulb translates into a LED lamp with 800 lumens. To simplify it even further, a single lumen should equal the light a candle provides when viewed from one foot away, so a standard LED lamp outputs the same amount of light as 800 candles.
Lumen Rating in Projectors
Lumen rating in projectors is an indicator of the maximum brightness the projector is able to produce. It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of lumens does not relate to the size of the image whatsoever. However, the larger the image, the brighter it will have to be in order to achieve the best viewing quality.
Lumen rating directly relates to the conditions the projector is being used in. It is not an uniformed piece of information on paper that is supposed to guarantee the best quality in any environment. Less lumens are required in rooms that are well lit, while more lumens are required if you are going for that cinema experience in the pitch dark room where the only source of light is the projector itself.
How Bright Should My Projector Be?
In order to answer this question, several factors need to be considered. The first is the maximum amount of people that are going to be in the room at the time of the projection. This is important due to the size of the projected image since larger images require higher brightness levels. More people usually equals larger image size which diminishes the brightness since the light is spread over a large image.
The second factor is the amount of light already in the room. Darkened rooms usually provide the best quality, regardless of brightness level. However, even the moonlight greatly increases the amount of light in the room, so unless you aren’t planning on keeping the room completely dark, more lumens will be required.
The downside of keeping a projector in a dark room is that it can produce too much light if the right projector isn’t chosen, resulting in a poor and unpleasant viewing experience. The amount of lumens you need also depends on whether or not the projection screen is available.
Most screens are able to provide quite a lot of light reflection, minimizing the amount of lumens that are needed for a great viewing experience. Walls on the other hand provide almost no reflection, so naturally they will require a projector with a higher lumen rating.
Choosing the right amount of lumens is no easy task since a lot of factors influence the quality in the end. Should you decide to purchase a projector, make sure that you are aware of all the conditions the projector will be used in to maximize the viewing quality.