How Many Lumens Do I Need for a Projector?

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One of the most important factors of any projector is the amount of light it can produce. The amount of light a projector makes is referred to as lumens. A projector with higher lumens will work better in brighter spaces, but it will also cost more to purchase and maintain. Determining how many lumens you need for a projector is fairly simple. We’ll walk you through what we’ve discovered over the years so that you can make the right choice for your entertainment space.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for a Projector in My Home?

Before deciding how many lumens you’ll need, you will want to make a few determinations about how you intend to use your projector. First, you’ll want to look at the room you intend to set up your home theater in. If you are setting up in a windowless room, you’ll get excellent picture quality from almost any projector on the market. Even a projector with only 1500 lumens will work well in a dark room.

The more light that you have in your room, the higher lumens you’ll need. In this case, you’ll want to aim for a minimum of 2500 lumens in order to get the picture quality you expect. Brighter rooms or large rooms will also require more lumens, so aim for 3500 lumens or more. >>> If you planning to set up an outdoor movie theater, this buyer’s guide might be relevant.

Size Matters- How Big Can You Go

If you want to generate large screens over 100-inches, you’ll want to focus on projectors that offer higher lumens. Bigger screens require a brighter light in order to get clear details and vivid colors. If you are trying for a moderate size screen, like something around 56-inches, most projectors will have you covered with high enough lumens to accomplish the goal.

When you are going big, say 150-inches or larger, you are going to need a more powerful projector. We would recommend something with at least 4000 lumens if you are planning on getting a big screen effect, details are important. Higher lumens will make the difference between getting the results you want.


Picking the ultimate in lumens doesn’t mean that you have to have the most powerful projector on the planet, it just means picking the appropriate level of lumens for the size of the screen and the type of room you plan on setting up your theater space within. One of the best things that you can buy as an accessory for your entertainment space is specially designed curtains that black out the light. You’ll also have better results using a high-quality projector screen, particularly when using a lower-lumen projector in brighter rooms.