How Many Lumens For Outdoor Projection – Welcome to Open Air Cinema’s outdoor projection tutorial. Outdoor projection conditions create a set of obstacles for your outdoor projector compared to a typical indoor projection environment. This guide brings together the collective wisdom and experience of our most talented outdoor projectionists and technicians to help you choose the right outdoor projector and guide you through the process of using your projector for outdoor film events.
This page discusses ambient light affecting contrast ratio, lumens, maintenance and many more features related to outdoor projectors and outdoor projection.
How Many Lumens For Outdoor Projection
Ambient light/contrast ratio for outdoor projection If a projector performs well on a screen in a dark indoor environment, you cannot expect it to perform as well on the same size screen outdoors. You need a brighter projector for outdoor projection!
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Here’s why: Imagine sitting in a dimly lit theater. You can see just enough to get to your seat without tripping and spilling your oversized drink. But you can hardly see the ads projected on the screen. This is because the projection surface actually reflects the light in the room back into your eyes, making the screen and image appear much brighter than when the light is dimmed.
Depending on the color temperature of the lights in the theater, the screen will reflect light gray or an orangey pink color. Now see the ads on the screen. Note at that moment that the darkest part of the projector’s image never looks darker than the light gray color of your projection surface. The blackest black you can see is actually the gray color. When the lighting is turned off and the screen no longer reflects the ambient light, the projection image reveals deeper blacks.
Suddenly, the projected image quality has improved significantly. The difference you see is called an improved contrast ratio. Outdoor environments often contain a number of variables that can negatively affect your outdoor projector’s ability to project a high-quality image. Moonlight, street lights, floodlights, house lights, campfires, a late sunset or even bright starlight can all affect your image.
Any kind of light will bounce off the projection surface back into your eyes, making your outdoor screen brighter. To pull off the perfect outdoor movie event, you want your outdoor projection surface to look black, not gray!
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What is the best solution for outdoor projection? Turn off as many lights as possible. Angle the screen so that the projection surface is shielded from ambient light. After you’ve done your best to check the outdoor conditions, use a bright outdoor projector! The more lumens the better. We recommend:
How many lumens for outdoor projection? If you’ve ever shopped around for a digital projector, you’ve most likely come across the term
More than once. Simply put, a lumen is a measure of the intensity of light radiation projected by a light source.
In the old days it was called candlepower, and it was measured in what were called candelas. A candela was the intensity of light emitted from a single candle made of exactly 0.167 troy pounds of tallow of a consistency thick enough to burn at a certain rate for exactly eight hours. Easy enough, as long as you can find tallow candles. Of course, it is no longer necessary to know the brightness of the whale pack to run a successful outdoor film event.
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In these days of precise scientific calibrations, a candela can now be defined as the luminous intensity of monochromatic radiation emitted by a predefined source at a frequency of 540THz with a radiation intensity of 0.001464128 W/sr. I understand? We don’t either, and luckily we don’t need to know.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) takes care of all that for us and breaks it down into a measurement called lumens, which is simply the measurement of the intensity of light emitted from a projector. Although it is not exactly correct to equate lumens with brightness, we can generally say that an image projected through an outdoor projector with a high lumen will be brighter than a projector with fewer lumens. Ideally, an outdoor projector is bright enough to display images that are sharp and easy to see under normal ambient lighting conditions – in other words, your audience can see your images without having to dim the lights to improve contrast. If you turn off too many lights, your audience may stumble around in the dark if they have to stand up.
It’s a good idea to have some lights on and have a brighter outdoor projector to counteract that. To make your outdoor cinema event as powerful as possible, you need to decide exactly what type of projector is needed for your venue. If you have specific questions, please call us to discuss what you need for your given screen size and placement ratio. We are happy to help you!
The importance of an outdoor projector Projectors have come a long way. Just 10 years ago, a 5000 lumen projector weighed almost 90 lbs, not including the cabinet! The entire package required two to three people to move the outdoor projector around from location to location. Today, projectors with the same brightness can weigh less than ten pounds.
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This is a huge benefit for all of us who do outdoor film events. Now one person can easily carry a projector that is bright enough to satisfy thousands of people. This is useful for outdoor cinema rental companies or events in many different locations. A lighter projector leads to more mobility and fewer headaches. Filters on your outdoor projector Your outdoor projector is an investment. To keep it running efficiently, all manufacturers recommend regular maintenance of the air filter. The time between cleaning/replacing the air filter may vary depending on your projector model and environment. If you often use your projector in dusty outdoor conditions—like on a baseball diamond or near a backyard barbecue—the air filter can make the difference between your projector lasting a few months versus a few years. Clean filters ensure good air flow. Your outdoor projector must constantly cool the housing and the hot bulb. Nothing will shorten the life of your outdoor projector faster than using a clogged filter or blocked air intake.
Replacing or cleaning your filter is a simple process. On most models, you can simply use your thumbnail to pull out the filter. Depending on how dirty it is, you can blow it off or wash it off. Make sure the filter is dry before replacing it. Never remove a filter from a projector that is turned on. It may be that your outdoor projection conditions will include a large crowd stirring up dust.
For example, Open Air Cinema produced an event for 15,000 refugees in a UN camp in Tanzania along the Burundi border. The venue was nothing but dry red African dirt baked on. As crowds of children gathered and danced to Tanzanian pop songs, clouds of dust rolled through the venue. We had anticipated these conditions and had attached a secondary filter system to the side of our Sanyo projector.
With two thick filters in place, the dust never entered the house. The projector was safe as it was not clogged with dust and the event was a great success! Keeping an eye on your filter helps ensure your projector stays healthy. Be sure to check it every time before starting your outdoor movie event.
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A few years ago we attended an outdoor movie screening in an outdoor amphitheater. The event producer had recently purchased an outdoor projector and used it to show outdoor movies throughout the summer. Halfway through the movie, the projector turned itself off. Shocked and nervous, the projectionist managed to turn it back on, but within minutes it went off again! At this point the crowd spoke in unison as the numbers on the screen indicated cool down times and warm up times. It became comical and many laughed and mocked the projectionist. But you can be sure that many others were annoyed. The projector was overheating and the projectionist didn’t seem to realize it. Maybe he had placed the projector too close to something and it was blocking the airflow. Or maybe the filters were clogged. Our guess is that it was the filters. It is normal!
Stay tuned for future tutorials: keystoning, proper cooling, menu knowledge, LCD vs. DLP, FullHD vs. 4K, front vs. rear projection, projector positioning and placement, long and short throw lenses, etc. Do you need an outdoor lens projector that produces a lot of light? If so, you may be wondering how many lumens you need.
This blog post will discuss the various factors to consider when choosing an outdoor projector and how many lumens to look for. So whether you’re looking for an outdoor projector, read on to learn more!
What is a lumen? A lumen is
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