Is this projector bright enough?

Or: “What are lumens?”

2500 lumen projector
2,500 lumen projector with quarter (?) for scale

Becca Not-her-real-name-son had her sales reps bring their own projectors for the meeting. This sort of thing can be a good way to lower costs. But when one of the reps pulled out a book sized projector fifteen minutes before a general session with 150 attendees I anticipated some trouble. This session was the premier of the organization’s new promotional video. When they tested it (five minutes before the session) everything was too dark. The actor’s faces were murky shadows. I sprinted to our office and swapped out the rep’s projector for one of ours. Then we all enjoyed a bright, crisp video.

Bringing your own projector can actually be a great option, but you’ll want to make sure it’s right for the job. When making meeting arrangements you’ll want to consider:

  • Screen size – The bigger the screen the brighter your projector will need to be.
  • Ambient light – If you’re in a room with huge windows (or outdoors!) you’ll need a brighter projector than a completely darkened room.
  • LumensLumens are a measure of brightness used to describe projectors.
7000 lumen projector
7,000 lumen projector with banana for scale

For a breakout room with a 6 or 8 foot tripod screen and the lights on, a 3,500 lumen projector should work well. For a general session you’ll likely want a 6,000 lumen or higher projector. (6k is good for say, a 7.5×10 foot screen, and going up from there as screen size increases) If you have complete control of ambient light, for example if the windows have black out drapes and you can dim or turn out the house lighting, then you may get satisfactory results with lower lumen projectors.

Have a question? I’d be glad to help.

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