ANSI lumens vs lumens

Have you been thinking about purchasing a projector? If so, it’s essential to know the difference between ANSI and regular lumens. Read on to learn more about the vital difference between these two brightness measurements.

What is a lumen?

A lumen is a unit of measurement that denotes the amount of light emitted from a particular source. One lumen is equal to one candle’s worth of light, measured from a foot away (approx 30cm). Essentially, a lumen is a measurement of brightness at the source, not on the surface it illuminates, which is measured in lux – which we won’t go into here.

ansi lumen vs lumen

Why do we need to know about lumens?

The measurement of lumens is becoming more commonly known, as light bulbs of different technologies, such as incandescent, halogen, CFL and LED, cannot be compared by wattage. Instead, we measure the light they produce in lumen. 

What are ANSI lumens?

When projectors were first being produced and compared, manufacturers used different systems to describe how much light their projectors emitted. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) stepped in and provided a standard against which all projector manufacturers could measure their products.

In 2002, the most recent revision of ANSI lumen standards were introduced, which updated how a projector’s output is measured. The older method measures the light output at the centre of the lens, while the new method measures the light output across the entire frame. This gives a more accurate representation of how bright the projector will appear to the human eye.

What is the difference – ANSI lumens vs lumens?

The main difference between ANSI lumens and regular lumens is that ANSI lumens measures all the light emitted from a projector, while regular lumens only measure the light output at a specific point.

Additionally, ANSI lumens are measured using a specialised device that collects light from the entire frame. In contrast, regular lumens are measured with a simple light meter in the centre of the projection. This means that ANSI lumens are generally considered more accurate representations of a projector’s brightness.

How do I know how bright my projector is?

The best way to judge a projector’s brightness is by its ANSI lumen rating, sometimes displayed as ANSI brightness. This will give you the most accurate idea of how bright the projector will appear to the human eye. The higher the number, the brighter the projector will be.

1 ANSI lumens = how many lumens?

If the projector does not display ANSI lumens, it may instead offer up its LED lumens value, which is another way of saying its lumen level. You can convert this figure into ANSI lumen by dividing by 2.4.

For example, a projector with a LED lumens value of 1000 would have an ANSI lumen rating of 1000/2.4, which is 416 ANSI lumens.

Suppose you need to go the other way; simply multiple by 2.4. For example, 100 ANSI lumens convert to 240 lumens.

Knowing how to convert these numbers means you won’t be caught out when placing your next order for a projector – no more being forced to watch films on tiny screens in dark rooms!

How bright should a projector be?

The amount of ANSI lumens you need varies depending on the background lighting of the space you are in and how wide you are projecting, as the light spreads more as the angle of projection increases.

As a rule of thumb, you should look for the following ANSI lumen levels:

  • Dark Rooms: 300 to 600
  • Daytime / Curtains closed: 600 to 2000
  • Daytime / Curtains open: 2000+
  • Daytime / Outdoors: 3000+

We hope this guide helps you understand the difference between ANSI lumens and lumens and how to judge a projector’s brightness. Getting the right projector will ensure you avoid disappointment and make the most of your viewing experience.


Are ANSI lumens better than lumens?

ANSI lumens are a better measurement of projector brightness as they take into account the entire light output of the projector, not just at a specific point.

How many lumens is 1000 ANSI lumens?

Simply multiply by 2.4 to calculate how many X ANSI lumens are. In this case, 1000 ANSI lumens is 2400 lumens.

How bright is 60 ANSI lumens?

60 ANSI lumens (equivalent to 144 lumens) are not very bright. You’ll be able to light up a very small surface area in a very dark room, but that’s about it. It’s not suitable for most indoor use, such as films, but it might work if you want to add soft lighting to a footpath.

What does 100 ANSI lumens mean?

100 ANSI lumens means the projector will not be able to show anything large and bright, as it simply does not have enough brightness to do so. It may be able to show small, dim images in a very dark room, though. If you want to use your projector for anything other than very small, dark areas, you’ll need at least 600 ANSI lumens.

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