Is 5000 lumens good for a projector?

Is 5000-lumens good for a projector? It’s the highest range of projector brightness, meaning it’s commonly used for outdoor projectors. As an indoor projector, it can exude immense brightness even at peal 4K ultra HD resolution and with various ambient light sources nearby.

At any rate, if you want to know more about 5,000-lumen projectors, lumens in general, and outdoor projectors, then keep on reading.

Is 5,000-Lumens Good for a Projector?

Absolutely. The more lumens the better but naturally, you’re limited in terms of pricing. High-lumen projectors tend to be more expensive than their low-lumen counterparts save for portable or pico projectors that have a portability selling point.

The quality of the projector depends not only on the lumens though. You also need to think about resolution, screen size, contrast ratio, aspect ratio, and so forth. The resolution can range from standard definition (CRT TVs), HD (widescreen HDTVs), or UHD (pixel-dense cinematic screens).

Larger resolutions and screen sizes require more concentrated and much brighter beams of light. 5,000 lumens is your closest thing to a one-size-fits-all brightness level.

Is 5000 lumens good for a projector
Is 5000 lumens good for a projector?

What are the Lumen Counts of Common Light Sources?

How bright is 1 lumen compared to 1,000 lumens? Let this list of common light sources allow you to wrap your head around how bright things are relative to their lumens. A dim candle has 14 lumens and works best in the darkness.

Meanwhile, a sunny day at noon is so bright it offers 100,000 lumens or more across the board. Daylight is so much brighter than any manmade device.

  • Candle: 14 lumens.
  • Sunset: 400 lumens.
  • Movie Set Light: 1,000 lumens.
  • 100-Watt Light Bulb: 1,600 lumens.
  • Fluorescent Office Lighting: 400 lumens.
  • Sunny Day: Up to 100,000 lumens or more.
  • Home LED DLP Projector: 2,000 to 3,000 lumens or more.
  • Business Laser DLP Projector: Up to 5,000 lumens or more.

A 5K lumen business or home theater laser DLP projector can mitigate even daylight, but obviously, you shouldn’t place it directly in the middle of the sun’s rays because daylight will always beat out artificial light in terms of brightness.

A little shade and proper screen placement is enough for a 5,000-lumen projector to remain perfectly clear when viewed outdoors without requiring a 100,000-lumen lamp or laser powering the device.

What are the Lumen Requirements of Business Projectors?

Here are the lumen thresholds to remember for various industries when buying projectors for business applications and educational fields.  This is based on the 80-inch screen size, by the way.

  • Below 3,000 ANSI Lumens: Digital projectors going below 3,000 lumens tend to be the ones made back in the 1980s to 1990s. Otherwise, they’re pico or pocket projectors with limited lumens due to their size. These work best in dark rooms with blackout window curtains.
  • 3,000 to 3,999 ANSI Lumens: This lumen count range is perfect for smaller settings such as small meeting rooms or classrooms. It’s a perfectly serviceable brightness level with a budget-friendly price point. It works in any place with controlled or minimal ambient light.
  • 4,000 to 4,999 ANSI Lumens: This is the ideal lumen count for projecting HD images at mid-sized places and spaces. It’s the projector of choice for A/V presentations at the auditorium or university-sized classrooms. It could even fit small theaters with larger-than-80-inch screens.
  • 5,000+ ANSI Lumens: 5K lumens is the lumen count being discussed in this article. It’s ideal for everything, particularly big convention centers or advertising at huge billboards. Its lumen count is so bright and intense that it could cut through intensity-robbing daylight.

5,000 ANSI lumen projectors are particularly favored for drive-in or backyard theater settings without you having to wait until dusk or nighttime to start your screenings. You don’t necessarily need a 100,000-lumen lamp to make your projection visible, after all.

What are the Lumen Requirements of Home Projectors?

In a home cinema or home theater setting, you should pick a 3,000 ANSI lumen projector as your budget option. This lumen count is enough to cover an 80-inch and above projection. Most homes can only fit an 80-inch projector screen anyway.

You may also like: The Secrets to Projector Brightness Finally Revealed

When it comes to this type of home cinema projector, significant effort is required in order to control the amount of ambient light in your living room. Ambient light can rob your projector of intensity and color, making its projection dimmer and more faded.

  • Bigger Screens Require More Lumens: Notice how when you move your projector closer to the screen, the shrunken image is more intense. The bigger your projector screen is the more lumens your projector should have to make up for a larger area of light distribution.
  • Under 3,000 ANSI Lumens: The most affordable of home or consumer-grade projectors tend to have a 3,000 ANSI lumens limit. From there, they become more and more expensive. That might also be because HD, FHD, and UHD projectors requiring more lumens per square inch.
  • Above 3,000 ANSI Lumens: If you’re gunning for an above 3,000 ANSI lumens or even 5,000 ANSI lumens of projector brightness, it’s likely that you have the cash to burn for an Ultra HD 4K resolution laser projector since those are typically also 5K lumens in terms of brightness.

The vibrancy of your UHD projector at 4K in pixel density requires 5K in lumens. High-resolution projectors tend to be darker due to how pixel-dense they are, thus requiring more powerful lamps to balance out their darkness with vibrant light and color.

If you can get blinds or curtains for your windows, you can better control your room lighting. Also, when projecting something on the big screen, turn off your lights and lamps because the darkness aids in making the screen seem brighter.

In Summarization

You don’t need a 5,000-lumen projector but if you can afford it, get it. It solves most issues regarding ambient light and can work from daytime to nighttime whether you’re screening something outdoors or indoors. It’s mostly the price point that keeps 5,000-lumen projectors the current standard.

Exceptionally bright projectors don’t become glaringly bright in darker rooms. Otherwise, you can always lower the brightness of the projector to compensate. Also, remember that it’s not a coincidence that your 5K lumen projector is likely 4K, or 8K in resolution—they go hand-in-hand.


  1. What Are Lumens? And How to Use Them to Choose a Projector“,, January 14, 2020

James Core

I love my projector system and I am here to help you find the right projector for your needs.

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