Don’t panic, summer is not over yet, you still have enough time to arrange an outdoor movie night with your friends or cousins. You must know, apart from food and sitting arrangements there are some prerequisites that need to be done before getting the party on. Remember, a projector is the oxygen of the night, though it doesn’t mean you start thinking of the pricey ones. Markets are overclouded with a range of projectors for any reason you can think of, be it a home theatre or an outdoor movie night. All you need is to go through this outdoor projector lumens guide to get your hands on the right one. As everyone knows the two main things that set aside any projector are its resolution and the lumens.

Lumens in simple words

Now, you must be wondering what Lumen is? Actually, a lumen is the measurement unit that measures the light intensity projected from a light source. The count of your outdoor projector lumens will dictate about the size of the display you can project on. Basically, in outdoor projectors, you need something that is bright enough to make the images sharp and clear even in ambient lighting condition. In simple words, you don’t have to turn the lights off in the backyard just to make the screen visible.  

Minimum amount of lumens for an outdoor projector

Keep in mind there is no hard and fast rule about the number of lumens needed for an outdoor projector, but the greater the better. However, experts advised that the acceptable/minimum amount of lumens for an outdoor projector is 3,000. With this count, you can easily project anything before the sunset. Being a host, you will be definitely wishing for enough lighting so that the guest can move around safely. Thus, if you keep the lights on or light-up a few lanterns the higher number of lumens will allow you to watch the movie without any turbulence.

Projector Lumens Guide

This table will help you understand how much lumens you will need for an outdoor projector.

Screen size Minimum Lumens Ideal Lumens
40 x 22.5 5,5000 12,000
25 x 14.5 5,000 10,000
20 x 11 4,500 7,500
16 x 9 3,000 4,500
12 x 7 2,300 3,000

I hope a large number of people wouldn’t be able to understand the science of lumens until they have a little background in this field. In simple words, an outdoor projector with high lumens will look clearer and brighter than those having low lumen ratings.  All the leading outdoor manufacturers list the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) lumen count on the projectors. So, read the box carefully before making the final purchase. 

Some insight into projectors

Apart from lumens, there are few other things that need to be considered while buying an outdoor projector, as it’s a one-time investment and should be made wisely. Following are a few things that play an effective role in the overall performance of the outdoor projectors.

  • Resolution
  • Brightness level
  • Quality and screen size
  • Keystone correction
  • Connectivity options

Furthermore, in order to get more out of your outdoor projector in an outdoor setting, you just need to opt the one having HD resolution at least. HD screen produces a sharp and bright output which is what you need for an outdoor projection.


It is advisable to all the beginners or the ones having little or no knowledge of all these technical terms to invest in an outdoor projector with 5500 lumens at least. It may be a bit costly, but will definitely worth the price. This project will not only enables you to enjoy a fun-filled movie night with your friends but will benefit you in the long run as well. Moreover, apart from getting the best lumens in a projector you also need to improve your expertise about the projector features and screen positioning in order to evade light bleeding and sound distortion.