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What to Look For in an Outdoor Projector?

Outdoor projectors are a great way to make the most of your home theater experience. You can use them indoors and outdoors, depending on where you want to watch TV. 

Outdoor projectors are more affordable than traditional screen TVs because they don’t need additional equipment like a mount or frame to install in your house. 

But how do you know which one is best for your needs?

In this blog post, we will cover what qualities you should be looking for when shopping for an outdoor projector so that you can find the perfect fit!

What to look for when buying an outdoor projector

Here are some key qualities to look for in an outdoor projector:


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Brightness is the most important factor in an outdoor projector because it will determine how well you can see your images and videos on screen. Projectors typically have a brightness rating on their packaging, with values ranging from 1600 lumens to 5000 lumens. 

The higher the number, the brighter your projector will be. For outdoor use, you want to make sure that the brightness is at least 2500 lumens or more so it can combat natural light and show up against the sky.


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Next, you want to look at the projector’s resolution. Most projectors have a native screen size of 720p or 1080p, but their projected images will be of lower quality than that in order to work with many different types of screens and settings. 

The higher the resolution on your projector is, the better it will display high-definition content.

Look for HD resolution or higher so that you can enjoy the best possible picture quality.

Contrast Ratio

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The contrast ratio is the difference between how bright something appears to be and how dark it looks. It’s important because you want your images and videos to look as clear as possible, even when there are a lot of other lights outdoors. 

The higher the contrast ratio, the better. You should look for a projector with at least 3000:1 or more to make sure that it is projecting well on your screen.

Throw Ratio

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The throw ratio is the distance from your projector to the screen. The higher this number, the further you need to be sitting back in order for it to fill up your entire view. You want a high save range because if you are too close or too far away then that can impact how clear and bright the image will appear on your screen.

The throw ratio for an outdoor projector is normally 2:1. This is a good throw ratio to work with because it will give you enough space to move around and still have the projector in a good position.

Projectors that have 1:1 throw ratios or less or considered short throw ratios.

Power source

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You should also consider the power source for your outdoor projector. There are many different types of power sources, but the two most popular ones are solar and AC. 

Solar is a great option because it uses natural light to produce energy so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery or needing an adapter.

AC-powered projectors will need a power cord that can connect directly to your home’s power supply or to the nearest outlet. This is a great option for an outdoor projector because you won’t need batteries, but it may be more expensive and time-consuming than solar.

You should also keep these things in mind when shopping:

Ease of installation and use

Outdoor projectors should be easy to assemble, install, and get set up without a lot of fuss. You don’t want any hassles when you’re watching!

High contrast rating

This refers to how much difference there is between the lightest and darkest colors on your screen. Ideally, you’ll want a high contrast rating for outdoor viewing because it will be easier to make out details in both bright and dark scenes.

Projection type

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There are two types of projection: front-projection (which is more expensive but provides better picture quality) or rear-projection (which is cheaper but has a lower image quality).

 Front projection tends to be better for movies or TV shows while rear projection works well for video games.

Portable and lightweight design

You don’t want to lug an unwieldy projector around with you, so make sure that it’s portable enough for your needs!

Bulb Life Expectancy

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Bulb life expectancy is important because you don’t want to have to replace a bulb every couple of months. The higher the rating on your projector, the longer it will last before needing replacement. Most projector bulbs last between 1500-2000 hours.

Warranty coverage is also essential so that if anything goes wrong with your projector then you are covered and can get fixed for free or at least save some money by not having to fix it on your own.


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Lastly, you want to look for features in your projector like speakers or wireless connectivity capability so that you can set up a complete outdoor TV system without needing anything else. Some projectors also have the ability to be mounted outside of windows and walls which make them great choices!

Selecting an Outdoor Projector Screen

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For an outdoor projector, the screen size should be large enough to give you a clear, sharp picture and not too small so that it feels like your TV is in your face. (It’s hard to watch football when the players are practically on top of you!)

The best projector screen size for a good outdoor experience is about 100 to 120 inches, which is big enough that you’ll have a clear view of the screen from anywhere in your yard.

 It will also make it easier to watch from a distance. This size should be just the right balance between too big and too small so that the picture quality isn’t compromised by being either too grainy or too pixelated.

When selecting a screen size for your outdoor projector, you’ll want to consider the size of your yard (or house, depending on where it will be installed) and how big you need for a viewing experience that is right for both adults and kids.

Qualities to look for in an outdoor projector screen include a lightweight and portable design, durability to withstand the elements (including rain), easy assembly, good warranty coverage, and a high contrast rating.

How much should I spend on an outdoor projector?

The price of an outdoor projector is dependent on a few different factors:

  • What size screen do you want?
  • How much power does it use? Solar or AC powered?
  • Do you have to worry about changing batteries when using an outdoor projector?
  • What is the resolution of your projectors? Higher resolutions mean more money.

Also, you should consider the quality and durability of a projector to make sure it will last for years outside in harsh conditions. Some materials are better than others: metal is great because it holds up well against the wind but plastic can break


What is the best size screen for outdoor projectors?

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For outdoor movies look for a projector screen size of at least 120 inches. The larger the screen size, the bigger your viewing experience and the more fun you’ll have with family!

How many lumens do you need for an outdoor projector?

For outdoor use, it’s important that the lumen count be at least 2500 to combat natural light sources like sunlight or artificial lights from inside your home theatre. That way, you’ll be able to see your images clearly against the sun and any other light sources that might be outside of your home theatre.

How many lumens do you need for an outdoor projector at night?

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2500 lumens should be plenty enough if you are using your projector at night. It’s important to evaluate your backyard lighting situation so that your images are easy to see and there aren’t any distractions from other outdoor light sources, like street lights or porch lights. If you have street lights or some sunlight still present when you watch outdoor movies you may want to go up to 3000 lumens.


As you can see, there are many things to think about when shopping for an outdoor projector so that you choose the perfect one! Keep these qualities in mind as you look for the best one to fit your needs.

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