One of the key elements separating a good projector from a superb one is brightness. More brilliant colours and a crisper overall image can be expected from a lamp that is brighter. Since the projector can now compete with more environmental ambient light, it also becomes more adaptable. Similar to how the degree is the unit of measurement for temperature or the decibel for sound, the lumen is the accepted unit of measurement for light. The amount of light emitted by a typical candle in one second is roughly equal to one lumen.
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The brightness of some projectors is specified in ANSI lumens. Although you will increasingly notice this designation on home theatre projectors as well, this is most frequently seen on data projectors. The American National Standards Institute, or the professionals in charge of guaranteeing measurement accuracy, is known by the initials ANSI.
So, how many lumens are sufficient?
When choosing a TV, you can compare models’ images side by side in the store and essentially assume that they would appear the same in your living room. However, projector images depend more on the physical environment. The brightness of your bulb will depend on both the distance and the surrounding lighting. Since ambient light is the most important consideration, let’s start there. A bulb of roughly 1,000–1,200 lumens ought to be sufficient to get a satisfactory picture if you’ll be operating your projector in a fully dark room.
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