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Buyers Guide

Choosing a projector


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Quorum Pty Ltd

Projector Brightness

Along with Resolution, Brightness has a direct relationship on image quality. Not enough brightness and your image will look flat and washed out, with no vibrancy. It should be noted that the eye's sensitivity to colors strongly correlates to brightness. Increasing the brightness increases the perceived colour saturation.


Brightness can be measured in a number of ways, projector brightness is quoted in lumen (ANSI). The most common units are:

A unit measurement of brightness emanating from a light source. The standard lumen rating of a data projector is the average brightness measured at several points on a full white image.

A wax candle generates 13 lumens; a 100 watt bulb generates 1,200.

All of the specifications on our site are in ANSI Lumens, ANSI or American National Standards Institute is a standardized measurement system that can be used to compare projectors.

Note: "LED Lumens" are invented by LED projector manufacturers to make them sound brighter. If they were brighter it would show in the Lumen reading. We only list "LED Lumens" when no other measure is available. As a rule of thumb 300 LED Lumens equates to 125 ANSI Lumens (this is a rough guide)

Measurement of light emitted or reflected from a surface. The higher the rating, the brighter the picture. One foot-lambert is equal to the reflected light radiated by one candle over a one-square-foot area.

  • CRT TV measures approximately 50 foot lamberts (200 cd/m2) [peak luminance can be much higher]
  • LCD TV approximately 117 foot lamberts (400 cd/m2)
  • Plasma TVs approximately 175 foot-lamberts (600 cd/m2).
  • A cloudy day outdoors is about 100 - 300 footlamberts.

The International System unit of illumination, equal to one lumen per square meter. Also called candle-meter (cd/m²), Primarily used for projectors with lower lumen output.

  • Starlight:0.00005 lux
  • Moonlight:1 lux
  • Bright office:400 lux
  • Sunrise or sunset:400 lux
  • TV studio:1,000 lux
  • Sunlight (min.):32,000 lux
  • Sunlight (max.):100,000 lux
2003 spy kids 3D

Brightness of projectors:

Less than 1000 lumens - these are bottom of the lumens range and they are typically LED Projectors. If budget is an issue there are many projectors in this range. At this level image size has to be small and ambient light has to be kept very low.

1000 to 2500 lumens Most projectors in this range are for Home Cinema 1000 lumen machines are suitable for normal movie and gaming projection use, closer to 2000 Lumens would be recommended for 3D projection. Ambient light should be reduced to improve image contrast, although complete block out is usually not necessary depending on the image size.

For a Recommendation: 
Call 1300 88 11 79

For a Recommendation: 

Call 1300 88 11 79

2500 to 5500 lumens - this represents the high-performance range of the portable and semi-portable projectors. Products in this class are suitable for conference rooms and classrooms. They offer more flexibility in terms of ambient room light, since the image is bright enough for some ambient light without washing out the image. They also offer more flexibility in terms of audience size since they can illuminate a larger screen without much loss of image quality.

Commercial display 4000 lumen

Commercial display in a public space with ALR screen

5500 to 15,000 lumens - the bright projectors are used in a variety of large venue applications, including board rooms, conference rooms, training rooms, auditoriums, churches, concerts, nightclubs, Simulators and so forth.

Over 15,000 lumens - the Ultra-bright projectors are used in a variety of performance applications, including concerts, outdoor projection, Sport stadiums, and projections onto buildings.

How bright should your projector be?

In order to estimate how bright a projector you will need, three factors need to be considered:

  • Ambient Light - Room brightness
  • Screen size - bigger screen, brighter projector
  • Type of presentation - video and images or data

"Sufficiently bright" has been defined by Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in standard 196M as 12-22 footlamberts (41 - 75 cd/m2), though often 16 footlamberts is taken as the nominal goal.

However, this standard was developed for movie theaters with full light control. In a room with ambient light, this level of brightness may be insufficient. It can be seen that as new technology is introduced image brightness increases along with peoples expectations.

Firstly I'd like you to consider why commercial cinemas are dark? Its because even the brightest commercial projectors and TV's for that matter, Do not like light! No matter how much money you are willing to spend if you want to improve your image greatly, reduce the ambient light. This will maximize your projectors potential and allow you to use a lower lumen projector and achieve the same result. the other positive is that most high lumen projectors have a shorter lamp life around 2000Hrs.

Ever heard "You can watch it in daylight" Ok maybe you can, but Lumens/brightness can only help the bright part of the projected image, blacks in an image are not projected, light is switched off. If you watch in daylight the dark areas of the image which are not projected will look grey and washed out. No matter what the brightness is.

If you have no option but to project in a lit room, you will need the extra bright projector with higher contrast.

If your room is very well lit, your projector is competing with this light, and you will need more lumens. If you reduce the room to half of its ambient light, you would need less lumens. Rooms with minimal lighting and block out blinds and curtains will require a far less powerful projector.

If you are planning a fixed installation, we have a number of categories to help you narrow your search depending on the venues size:

Video and graphics, tend to be shown in a darkened room therefore you need less lumens. However, if your audience needs to take notes or see the presenter, the room will be lit and you will need a brighter projector to work with the room lights.

  • Small Venue - small classroom and conference room a brightness 4000 to 6000 lumen.
  • Medium Venue - large classroom, lecture theater or boardroom, 6000 to 10,000 lumen.
  • Large Venue - University auditoriums, 10,000 to 15,000 lumen.
  • Ultra Bright - Sports arena, concert halls, theater, 15,000 lumen up.
long to wide throw

The bigger the screen, the more lumens you will need. If you double the screen size, say from 60" diagonal, to 120" diagonal, you have incresed the surface area 4 times. So you will require four times the brightness.

Firstly, work out the size of the image you want. This is not just as big as the wall, although it can be. As a rough guide remember that you should be at a distance from your screen less than 1.5 times its diagonal for that real cinema feel.


Most people including resellers don't know the big difference content makes. Certain projectors are designed for video and data, others for data, and some for video. Uninformed resellers will recommend the wrong type. Buy the wrong type and your brightness can fall by 30% to 40%. Talk to sales

When looking at the specified brightness of a projector, data projectors quote a brightness for projecting data images, not video. Video projectors are specified for video, not for data. Many installers don't know this, and install under powered projectors. End result is, the 4000 Lumen data projector is showing your video at 2400 lumens.

Audience Size

Larger audiences need larger images, larger images need brighter projectors, and brighter projectors have greater lumen ratings.

In a dark room with controlled lighting

  • Small group 6 people (min 80" screen) - approximately 1500 ANSI lumens.
  • group of 20-25 people (min 100" screen) - around 3000 ANSI lumens
  • larger groups (min 150" screen) - you should consider 6000 ANSI lumens.

The larger the audience, the larger the venue, and the larger the screen. Remember if the room is not dark, brightness will need to be increased dramatically.

Note: Double the diagonal, is four times the area

long to wide throw

Connect with your Audience

Reference Chart

Zero ambient light- dedicated room
Slight ambient light, dimmed lights
High ambient light - lights on
Full Daylight
Not recommended

Brightness Screen Size
Lumen 75" 100" 125" 150" 175" 200" 225" 250" 275" 300"

We recommend

This is a guide and does not guarantee a good image. As we have stated there are many things to consider. Generally if you have a lot of light to contend with, buy the brightest Projector in your budget. We recommend, you call and talk to sales, before you decide.

Copyright ©  Quorum Pty Ltd 2015
Projector and replacement lamp prices are in Aussie Dollars. They include GST and delivery, There are no hidden charges the price you see is the price you pay.

Prices and product availability can fluctuate and are subject to change without notice.

Commonwealth Bank Secure Payments  Visa payments accepted  Mastercard accepted  Buy with PayPal

website security certificate
All Online Payments processed
securly by Comm Bank.
We never see your financials

Copyright ©  Quorum Pty Ltd 2015
Projector and replacement lamp prices are in Aussie Dollars. They include GST and delivery, There are no hidden charges the price you see is the price you pay.

Prices and product availability can fluctuate and are subject to change without notice.

Commonwealth Bank Secure Payments  Visa payments accepted  Mastercard accepted  Buy with PayPal

website security certificate
All Online Payments processed
securly by Comm Bank.
We never see your financials