Lumens vs. ANSI Lumens: How Bright Should My Projector Be?

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • What is Lumen?
  • What is ANSI Lumen?
  • What is the Difference Between ANSI Lumen and Light Source Lumen?
  • How to Convert ANSI Lumen and Lumen
  • How Bright Should My Projector Be?
  • WEMAX Projectors: The Best Projectors for Home Theater, Business, Gaming, and Camping
  • Wrapping It Up

Portable projectors have forever changed how people watch television and movies on the go or at home. Feel free to take movie night with you on your camping trip and other outdoor activities, all of which can be more enjoyable if you can watch your favorite movies. You can bring a reliable portable projector for your camping trip, and be guaranteed to keep your family entertained.


What is a Lumen?

A lumen is a measure of the amount of visible light emitted by a light source. Lumens are important to understand and evaluate when choosing a portable projector. The higher the device’s lumen measure is, the brighter the projected screen output will be. This measure is similar to the way Watts measures the energy output of a light. Lumens just measure how high the brightness levels reach. The definition of the word "lumen" is "light" which makes it an easy term to remember.

The average lumen rating for an LED light of 8-12 watts is roughly 800 to give you an idea of scale. This method of measuring light is more reliable than the measurement of Watts, making it an important one to understand. 

The United States Federal Trade Commission now requires lights to be measured by Lumens to measure accurate brightness. Lumens are particularly important in projectors because they help offset the ambient light in the projection area and translate to a crisp and bright visual effect.

The average lumens in a projector is 1500, which is optimal in a controlled lighting area, and 2,500 if projecting in the daylight. The lumen rating of your desired projector will depend on what settings you will be using it in.



What is an ANSI Lumen?

An ANSI Lumen is another way to measure brightness, started by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI). This way of measuring is the most common for projector manufacturers and in determining the differences between projectors. This standardized lumen takes the average of many measurements to determine the brightness output of the machine. 

The ANSI lumen is vital to consider when choosing a projector because the ANSI tests it and can guarantee that your projector will reach the level of brightness specified. Three thousand ANSI lumens is the highest brightness capable of a projector.

To calculate the ANSI lumens of your projector, begin by measuring the area around your projector screen and dividing that by twelve. To find the area multiply the width of the screen times the height.

Once that is done, you will divide the lumens by the projector area you calculated earlier. At this stage, you will find the result in the ANSI lumen rating of your device if one is not readily available.

The ANSI lumen rating is the standard measurement because of its accuracy and reliability. It is also the most common way to compare different projectors when determining which one is the best for your needs. This method has been called the gold standard for measuring the brightness of a projector. The ANSI lumen measurement has maintained the trust of its users since its discovery in 1992.


What is the Difference Between ANSI Lumens and Light Source Lumen


ANSI Lumens

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), founded in 1918, is a non-profit organization that works with the U.S. Voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. This organization works to create standards for efficient and accurate industry measurements. ANSI created this measurement and defined it in the ANSI document in 1992. The LED lights came about in 1993, shortly after the ANSI lumens. Later, in 2006, the LED lumens reached a level of 100 lumens per watt.

Light source lumens are also known as lamp lumens. These measures the amount of light output emitted from the light source. This measurement was born around the same time as the ANSI lumens and LED lumens.

The ANSI lumens' purpose is primarily to rate how bright a data projector is and is the best method to use for comparability. You will commonly use LED lumens to measure household LED lights and large commercial fixtures such as Stadium Lights. You can use light source lumens to measure a wide range of light sources. The greater the brightness and intensity, the greater the light source lumens. 

These three measurements are easy to calculate, but they are all differently done. An easier way to calculate ANSI lumens is to find the total LED lumens and divide it by 2.4. LED lumens are calculated using the formula: 1 cd * sr. An easier way is to transfer measures from watts to lumens. Typically, one watt is equivalent to 130 to 200 lumens. The formula for light source lumens is a bit more complicated: E = F x UF x MF / A. The E represents the illuminance, the F represents the average lumens value of a light source, the UF is the coefficient of utilization, the MF is the light maintenance factor. Lastly, the A is the surface area covered by the light source.

There are benefits associated with each of these methods of determining brightness depending on what type of light source you are trying to measure!


Read more: How Many Lumens Do I Need For Outdoor Projector?

Read more: Why ANSI Matters: Shining a Light on Projector Lumens


How to Convert ANSI Lumen and Lumen

The good news is that sometimes you won't use the formula to determine your ratings! When comparing a lumen vs ANSI lumen, consider how they can be converted. LED lumens are increased by a factor of 2.4 based on the ANSI lumen. Therefore, an ANSI lumen of 50 would translate to 120 LED lumens. Likewise, an ANSI lumen rating of 1000 would equal 2,400 LED lumens.

Similar to LED Lumens, light source lumens convert into ANSI lumens and vice versa. An ANSI lumen vs lumens (light source) convert by multiplying the ANSI brightness times 16 to get the light source lumen. For instance, 50 ANSI lumens convert to 830 light source lumens. One thousand ANSI lumens would convert to 17,000 light source lumens. When deciding whether to use the measurement of lumens vs ANSI lumens, remember that they can always be converted and that ANSI lumens are the most accurate.

If you use these conversions, light source lumens can also be converted to LED lumens, starting with whichever one provided. If you convert LED lumens to ANSI lumens, you can then convert that to light source lumens by dividing it by 16! 



How Bright Should My Projector Be?

When determining how bright your projector should be, there are a few factors to consider, such as if it is for indoor or outdoor use, ambient lighting, the size of the screen, and the distance of the projector from the screen.

If you use your projector for indoor use, the recommended rating is one that is at least 1,000 lumens depending on the indoor lighting. However an outdoor projector needs to be between 2,500 to 3,000 lumens.

This is because outdoor space is usually full of ambient light, especially on a bright and sunny day or a night when the full moon is out and bright. If you are in a place lit with street lights, security lights, car lights, or other ambient lights, you need a higher lumen rating for your projector.

The bigger your screen size, the higher the lumen rating will need to be for your projector. For example, a 9x5 ft. screen would require at least 2,300 lumens during the day and 1,500 lumens at night. A 20x11 ft. screen would need at least 7,500 lumens in the day and only 4,500 lumens at night.

The further away your projector is from the screen, the higher the lumen rating is required. The distance between your projector and screen is easy to manipulate, as it just means you would need to move your projector closer or farther away until the screen is bright and clear.



WEMAX Projectors: The Best Projectors for Home Theater, Business, Gaming, and Camping 

WEMAX is the leading brand of portable projectors with many different models.


WEMAX Go Ultra-Portable ALPD TI DLP Laser Projector for Camping and Traveling

Wemax Go

The WEMAX Go Ultra-Portable ALPD TI DLP Laser Projector for Camping and Traveling features intelligent screen alignment and automatic keystone correction. Intelligent obstacle avoidance and automatic TOF focus are additional qualities of this machine. It has a built-in Smart OS and app store and measures 65 watts or 300 ANSI lumens of brightness.

It's small size allows you to pack this with your things and takes up very little space in your vehicle that is already probably full of luggage. This projectors' ability to auto adjust to different situations makes this the ideal choice for your next camping trip! 


WEMAX Nova 4K UHD HDR Ultra Short-Throw Laser Projector

Wemax NOVA

The WEMAX Nova 4K UHD HDR Ultra Short-Throw Laser Projector is perfect for TV, gaming, and movies. It features WiFi, Bluetooth, and a voice command remote. The lumen brightness rating on this machine is a whopping 2,100 ANSI lumens. This machine allows you to take your gaming to the next level with a clear, crisp, and large view of your game! You are ensured to have the advantage over other players by diving into the scene of the game with this projector!


WEMAX Go Advanced


WEMAX Go Advanced Projectors

Last but not least, the WEMAX Go Advanced is another perfect for camping or traveling because of its small size. This one features a tabletop mount and is 65 watts or 600 ANSI lumens, making it brighter than the first one mentioned, making it the ideal camping gadget for small projections at close range while camping.

Knowing the difference between these device ratings is the best way to choose the one that is right for you. Comparing the light source lumens vs ANSI lumens, as well as LED lumen vs ANSI lumens of the projectors will ensure your satisfaction in the long run!

WEMAX makes your decision easy by providing you with all the device specifications. WEMAX is the leading brand for laser projectors, portable projectors, and LED projectors and has a one-stop solution for your vision application needs.



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