If you're looking for an outdoor projector to show your holiday cheer to all your neighbors, you've come to the right place! In this guide, we'll walk you through the features to look for when making your purchase, as well as some of our favorite models. So whether you're looking for a projector to deck out your lawn or just want to watch a movie under the stars, we've got you covered.
Brightness – How many lumens is enough?
When it comes to choosing the best outdoor projector, most people want to go with the brightest option. After all, who wants a projection that’s difficult to see? However, brightness isn’t the only factor you should consider when purchasing an outdoor projector. You’ll also want to think about resolution, portability and price. In terms of brightness, most people find that the right sweet spot is around 3,000 lumens. Anything higher than that gets exponentially more expensive and may not be worth the extra money. On the lower end, projectors with fewer than 1,000 lumens may not be bright enough for use outdoors.
Output Resolution and Aspect Ratio
When it comes to output resolution and aspect ratio, there are a few things to consider when choosing an outdoor projector. The good thing with all projectors is that as they have moved closer to or farther away from the screen the overall image size changes as well. So, if you have a limited amount of space or you need to move the projector around often, this is something to keep in mind. There is also another class of projectors known as short throw projectors that have extremely low throw ratios meaning that they can be extremely close and still provide a large image. Typically these are not ideal for outdoor settings due to the seating arrangement and lack of ceiling mounts, but if your needs fit this description they are definitely worth considering.
Projection Size – Is bigger really better?
As with all projectors, the distance between the projector and the screen (or wall) affects the image size. The further away from the screen, the bigger the image will be. So, if you have a large space to work with, a projector that can create a large image may be ideal for you. However, keep in mind that not all projectors are created equal. There is another class of projectors known as short throw projectors that have extremely low throw ratios. This means that they can be placed closer to the screen than other projectors and still provide a large image. Typically, these are not ideal for outdoor settings due to the seating arrangement and lack of ceiling mounts.
Lamp Life – Don’t get burnt out
When it comes to lamp life, you typically get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a projector that will give you a couple of years of use, you should expect to be paying right around $500-$700 for a 1080p and up projector with a minimum of 2,000 lumens of power. If instead you’re opting for a budget 720p option with the same lumens, you’ll be spending around $300-400. Once you start including extras like 3D capabilities, wireless streaming, and long life bulbs, that price can inflate by around an additional $100 or so. Make sure to take that into account when budgeting for your new purchase!
Ports – Connections are essential
When it comes to ports, connections are essential. Make sure that the model you select includes an HDMI port, VGA port, and a USB port. If you want to use your projector for business or educational presentations, you'll also need an audio input. If you're looking for a 1080p and up projector, with a minimum of 2,000 lumens of power you should expect to be paying right around $500-$700. If instead you're opting for a budget 720p option of the same lumens you'll be spending around $300-400. Once you start including extras like 3D capabilities, wireless streaming, and long life bulbs that price can inflate by around an additional $100 or so.
Speakers – You want to feel like you are there
When shopping for an outdoor projector, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. The most important factor is the resolution. A projector that is 1080p or higher will give you the clearest image. If you’re looking for a projector to use in a backyard movie night or for sports, you’ll want something with a minimum of 2,000 lumens of brightness. This will ensure that your image is not too dark, no matter what time of day you’re using it. The price range for these projectors hovers around $500-$700. If you’re on a budget, or don’t need the best resolution, 720p projectors start at around $300-400. These projectors still have a high enough lumen count to be used outdoors during the day. However, if you need extras like 3D capabilities or a wireless signal, the price will go up by around $100.
Features – 3D, streaming, and more
If you’re in the market for an outdoor projector, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. The first, of course, is the resolution. Most good projectors start at 1080p and go up from there. If you’re looking for a 1080p and up projector, with a minimum of 2,000 lumens of power you should expect to be paying right around $500-$700. If instead you’re opting for a budget 720p option of the same lumens you’ll be spending around $300-400. Once you start including extras like 3D capabilities, wireless streaming, and long life bulbs that price can inflate by around an additional $100 or so
Cost – What is the best bang for the buck?
What's the best projector for your money? It really depends on what you're looking for. If you want a high-quality, 1080p projector with good brightness (2,000 lumens or more), you can expect to pay around $500-$700. However, if you're content with 720p and don't need all the bells and whistles, you can find a decent option for around $300-400. And if you're looking for something extra special, like 3D capabilities or wireless streaming, be prepared to spend a little bit more—around $100 extra. It's important to keep in mind that these prices are just ballpark estimates; depending on the brand and specific features, the cost could go up or down.
So how do you pick the perfect outdoor projector? It really depends on what you’re looking for. But as long as you keep in mind the five key factors – brightness, output resolution and aspect ratio, projection size, lamp life, and ports – you can’t go wrong. And our outdoor projector buying guide will make the process even easier.
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