Projectors can be an excellent visual media solution for many different events, but choosing the right one can be complex for the uninitiated. Unlike traditional television screens or monitors, projector systems require two pieces of equipment to function in concert: the screen and the projector unit. You'll need to consider both of these components and your environment when selecting a projector system.
Fortunately, choosing the right projector system for your event isn't rocket science. If in doubt, an experienced projector rental company can help you select the components that will work best for your needs, but these three tips will help point you in the right direction:
1. Start with Screen Size
Your screen size will determine many of your projector's other requirements, including its brightness. This fact can surprise many users, but it's relatively easy to understand if you imagine pointing a flashlight at a wall. If you stand close to the wall, a dim flashlight will do a good job illuminating a fairly small area. However, from farther away you'll need a much brighter flashlight to light up a larger area.
With a projector, you need to spread the available light over your entire screen surface. If you have a large audience with many people sitting far away, you'll need a larger screen so everyone can see clearly. However, a larger screen will also require a brighter projector to output more light. Making this decision first will make it easier to choose your actual projector unit.
2. Consider Ambient Lighting
Your screen size should be considered in combination with your ambient lighting considerations. In general, dimmer projectors will still work with higher ambient lighting levels if you keep the projector relatively close to a small screen. In other words, a smaller screen in a room with some ambient lighting from windows may not need a very bright projector, while you would need far more brightness in the same room for a larger screen.
Of course, outdoor environments are the worst-case scenario for any projector. If you're going to use your projector rental outside, you'll need to consider units with a much higher brightness rating than ones designed for indoor use. In these cases, it's best to discuss your needs with an expert to ensure your projector will provide a high enough lighting intensity.
3. Understand Color Brightness vs. White Brightness
Lumens are an objective measure of brightness, but they shouldn't be the only thing you consider. Manufacturers typically provide their headline brightness stat by measuring the brightness of whites. However, whites will typically be much brighter than other colors. As a result, two projectors with similar white brightness levels may still appear much different in person.
Fortunately, you can often find color brightness if you dig a little more deeply into projector specifications. If possible, you may want to ask for a demonstration if you're comparing two projectors with roughly similar white brightness lumens and differing color brightness lumens. You may find that selecting a slightly dimmer projector with higher color output is better for your specific needs.