Many people are looking into getting projector enclosures as their main means of protecting their projectors while projecting movies and the like outdoors. With that said, let’s look into the many options available when it comes to protecting your projector when watching videos in your backyard or setting up your own drive-in theater.
The proper structures must be made to safeguard your projector from the elements. You should also be more aware of the weather. Don’t insist on using your projector in the middle of summer, where it could overheat or shorten its lamp lifespan.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Outdoor Movie Night
You should also avoid exposing it to rain or excessive sunlight as well. Do you want to protect outdoor projector devices and types of equipment? Keep on reading, friend.
Outdoor Projectors and How to Protect Them
Here are the things you need to know regarding how to protect your outdoor projector from damage while it’s outside as opposed to keeping it safe in your home theater.
Why Watch Movies Outside Instead of Inside?
It’s great to watch movies in the dark. It’s nice, comfortable, and snug. However, ever since the lockdown happened, people got an overdose when it came to watching movies at their home theaters.
They want to engage in some outdoor activities within their backyard so as not to break quarantine protocols. Projector-based home video entertainment has also become more commonplace due to the dramatic fall in the price of such hardware.
Projectors became easily within everyone’s grasp, particularly the middle class.
Projectors Can Be Quite Sensitive
As any experienced owner of projectors will attest, projectors can be quite sensitive to damage. They’re primarily susceptible to overheating, which is why you should space out your usage of them to prevent temperature-related damage.
Like any other piece of equipment, if you drop your projector you’re likely to end up with a damaged device since they usually don’t have shock-absorbent fall protection.
Additionally, water can be a problem when it seeps into their electronics, which is exclusively an issue when doing outdoor or backyard movie viewings.
The Basics of Projector Maintenance and Protection
The high-end electronic audio-visual product that’s accessible to everyone should be carefully taken care of. But how? You should avoid exposing projectors to overuse and inclement weather.
Overheating, ironically, isn’t as big of a problem when viewing movies outdoors because of the wide-open spaces, the wind, and the extra ventilation room even though the sun can overheat the device as well via direct sunlight. A gazebo is usually excellent protection for outdoor projectors.
How Do Owners of Outdoor Projector Installments Protect Their Investment?
Outdoor projectors aren’t a new thing. The only “new” thing about them is the fact that ordinary working-class people can afford them.
Many of these projectors are used for outdoor advertising or for the old-timey drive-in theater, particularly when it came to the shift from film projectors to fully digital ones.
They’re electronics that can get damaged by rain or shine, so they’re typically protected by the structure surrounding them.
Should You Build a Gazebo for Your Outdoor Projector?
Many working-class or middle-class homeowners cannot afford to make a new gazebo, especially in today’s economic landscape.
It’d be more practical to get a high-lumen (5,000 lumens or more) mini projector with its own battery on a table with an umbrella, invest in an inflatable screen, and then have it project from there.
Even then, you need to protect that projector from accidental drops, drink spills, and overheating from particularly hot summers.
Using Common Sense for Safety and Prevention
As the old chestnut claims, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Therefore, to safeguard your outdoor mini projector, pocket projector, pico projector, or short-throw projector, you should have things like a stable table to proper the projector on, an umbrella to shield it from excessive sunlight exposure, and keep your projector indoors if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Don’t risk getting your projector wet in the rain no matter how water-resistant it claims to be. Precaution is worth its weight in gold.
How The Pros Protect Their Outdoor Projectors
According to Hitachi, projector-based outdoor advertising increased by 23 percent in 2015. If anyone knows how to protect their projectors, it’d be these businesses and their competitors using projector-based ads as their marketing edge.
Many ad agencies rent out these projectors mounted unto roofs or in the parking lot for the sake of height and protection. The roof might need to be restructured to accommodate the projector, though. But it keeps the hardware safe from vandalism and theft.
Mother Nature Is Cruel and Pitiless
The winds, the nimbus clouds full of snow or water, the hurricanes, the typhoons, and ultraviolet rays don’t care about your feelings or how much money you’ve invested into your projector hardware.
It’s basically a mix of maintenance, presence of mind, accident mitigation, and setting up the proper structure that will shield your projector from the wrath of Mother Nature.
Any hardware is susceptible to damage if left in the outdoors unprotected even if they’re made extra durable for that very task (most “outdoor” projectors aren’t even waterproofed).
What About Your Sound System and Cables?
You also have to worry about your sound system and cables. One way around this is to invest in a battery-powered projector and similarly setup speakers, like Bluetooth ones.
If your mini projector requires you to plug it into an electrical socket, make sure you have the extension cords required to make this work, like the ones you usually use when hanging your Christmas lights or light-up Halloween decorations.
Additionally, a surge protector might be a good idea to prevent phantom power or short circuits to occur on your poor projector.
Further reading: How to Connect Audio to Projector
Do-It-Yourself Protection via Manmade Structures
According to BenQ, more than 16 percent of their purchased projectors were used for outdoor home entertainment 5 years ago in 2015.
Many people create their own “drive-in” home cinema near their parking space or garage. You can opt for built-in options for projector defense and protection beyond putting rubber stops on the legs of the table you’re putting your projector on.
Some invest in plastic tubs with a window cut out for the lens for the device to stick out of, which certainly does protect it from the elements while saving money.
The Issues with DIY Projects for Projector Protection
The plastic tub solution, while innovative and relatively easy to do, has several issues. You can’t use it outside permanently, for one thing. You have to remove it after the show, movie, or marathon, thus requiring setup for the next showing every time.
It doesn’t feature heating/cooling/venting. This can cause condensation to build up inside the tub because of the extreme heat coming from the projector. You have no means of ventilation, so the condensation can cause the circuit board to corrode.
Molded Fiberglass Boxes on eBay and Amazon
Do you want to avoid potentially blowing your expensive projector lamp light bulb due to overheating? Don’t use a DIY solution for anything other than a temporary fix. This is especially true if you foresee having to do outdoor movie screenings in your backyard for the foreseeable future (in light of current lockdowns and quarantines due to Covid-19).
The solution to this is to invest in a projector protector in the form of molded fiberglass boxes sold on Amazon, eBay, and many other eCommerce sites. They provide cooling with a small fan, quick-release latches, and the like.
Professional Options for Safeguarding Your Projector
Molded fiberglass boxes with fans and latches have their flaws too. There’s no opening for the lens, your projector can still get stolen, and it’s strictly used for only small projectors instead of big hulking ones.
These problems and more are addressed by ProEnc’s projector protection solutions. Their version of a projector shield, box, or case includes high-security locks to prevent theft at the fraction of the price of similar protective measures used by ad companies to secure their projector-based marketing.
ProEnc’s Claims to Fame
ProEnc projector protection solutions are more state-of-the-art than a DIY plastic tub or fiberglass boxes from eBay.
They’ve improved upon those other outdoor home cinema protective containers and created their own self-ventilating protector box that’s ready-to-use right out of its package.
This container has high-security locks to ensure that your valuable hardware is protected against theft while at the same time shielding it from UV rays, rain, condensation, and other outdoor elements. It even comes with a 3-year warranty for good measure.
People want to deploy their projector hardware outside because it’s fun to watch movies in wide-open spaces, or at least wider spaces than their home entertainment center “man cave”.
Projectors deployed out in the open yard require a modicum of protection from the elements, yes? If you’re curious what the appeal of watching a movie outside instead of inside your home theater is, there are many reasons.
Your yard can house more people, for one thing. You can use a wider inflatable screen, for another thing. With that said, protecting your projector investment can boil down to safety tips and tricks, using a gazebo, or employing more professional solutions for protecting outdoor projectors.
- Tony Bell, “How to Protect Projectors Outdoors“, ProEncLtd.com, March 29, 2016
- “How to Use a Projector Outside During the Day“, Home Theater Academy, Retrieved November 10, 2020
- Jonah Matthes, “Using a Projector Outside During the Day“, The Home Theater DIY, Retrieved November 10, 2020