Projector Lumens and Screen Size: A Simple Formula

by Kevin Little

When it comes to an outdoor movie, projection may present the widest range of variables out of all of your equipment. Understanding terminology like projector lumens, resolution and throw distance will make you more aware of the situations you can successfully project in.

In the A/V industry, we have a simple formula for finding out whether your projector casts enough light for proper viewing: Lumen of projector divided by sq. ft. of the projected image.

The official “academy standard” for this equation is 14 Lumens, but as an outdoor movie operator, we have to look at things a little differently. If your event takes place in an area with outdoor lighting, such as an urban environment where dimming the lights is not an option, you may need a brighter projector.

In many outdoor scenarios, raising the ratio as high as 20 Lumens per sq. ft. is a wise decision. As an example: 4200 Lumens divided by 220 sq. ft. = 19 Lumens per sq. ft. – which should be plenty in battling the typical urban night lighting.

All of our projectors list the lumens (along with more technical information) for each. To match your projector to a particular AIRSCREEN® model, you can visit our Outdoor Movie Packages to see comparable models and projectors we use for each screen size.

If you ever need help in determining the right Lumens for your outdoor movie screen or assistance with purchasing a new projector, never hesitate to contact us. Our 21 years of  expertise is a click or phone call away!

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