Things start becoming very challenging when we look for the best product. It all happens when we don’t have enough knowledge about the particular product. Similarly, finding the best outdoor projectors is also a difficult task because of so many available options on the market, especially in 2023.
However, today, I’ll let you know which outdoor movie backyard projector will be perfect for you. I have a great experience with these toys, whether they are indoor or outdoor projectors.
So get ready to take your backyard/outdoor movie experience to the next level —as we all are staying at home during this Pandemic (covid-19), or #Coronavirus.
Before I go ahead, I want you guys to understand some of the critical factors about outdoor projectors, including display technology, bulb life, lumens & brightness. However, there are some other factors too, which I’ve covered in my ‘quick outdoor movie projectors buying guide‘ below.
5 Best Outdoor Projectors In 2023
|Outdoor Projector||Best For||Rating|
|ViewSonic PA503W 3600||Outdoor Movies||4.9|
|Epson Home Cinema 2150||Backyard Gaming/Cinema||4.9|
|Optoma HD142X 1080p 3000 Lumens||Outdoor cinematic experience||4.8|
|Epson VS250 SVGA 3,200 lumens color||Outdoor presentation||4.8|
|Optoma UHD60 4K Ultra High||4K outdoor Movies||4.7|
Detailed Reviews Of the Top Outdoor Projectors
ViewSonic PA503W is undoubtedly one of the most versatile projectors I have seen to date. If you are looking to buy the projector for educating people in a small business environment, this one would be a perfect pick. It is capable of projecting 120” from 15’ 8”; what’s even more amazing is that it makes the projections in an impressive brightness of 3600 lumens. Another quality that I found genuinely awe-inspiring is the unit’s long lamp life. The lamp of this ViewSonic creation can shine brightly for as many as 15,000 hours.
The device scores impressively even when it comes to its usability; I found the job of setting up and controlling this projector really easy. You will only need to plug n play your pictures, videos, and presentations.
- Cost-effective product
- Extremely light in weight
- Boasts as many as five view settings for optimizing brightness and color
- Doesn’t allow lens shift
- It is not Wi-Fi enabled
Without a doubt, one of the best projectors under 500 dollars, especially for outdoor. If you are looking for a feature-filled projector suitable for small setups, this is undoubtedly the model you should invest in. I was particularly happy to discover that the projector is compatible with Macs, PCs, as well as mobile devices.
Great for Outdoor Movies
If you are looking for a projector that you will be able to use both during the day and after sunset, this Epson product is one unit you should consider. It offers incredible projections irrespective of the lighting conditions it is used in; it is capable of producing equal white brightness and color at an impressive 2,500 lumens.
At 60,000:1, the dynamic contrast ratio presented by the unit is also pretty remarkable. This allows it to produce brighter and sharper images. The other feature that I found truly striking is the projector’s ability to enable wireless screen mirroring.
The device is capable of mirroring videos, photos, and apps by means of Miracast. Last but not least, the projector is wireless. As a result, it allows the user to walk around and speak when making a presentation without causing any encumbrance.
- Wireless device
- Creates equally great images on small backdrops and full screens
- It is highly user-friendly
- The internal speaker is not of high quality. Therefore, You will need to buy an outdoor speaker for better sound.
This Epson projector is suitable for almost every purpose an outdoor projector is used for. You will be able to use it to make presentations as well as to stream movies, games, and videos. Plus, you will enjoy fantastic clarity. All these make the unit a great purchase.
This product from the house of Optoma is a cost-effective and feature-filled outdoor projector offering 3000 lumens. Two of the fascinating features of the unit include 1.1 x Zoom and a contrast ratio of 23,000:1. I found the device particularly compatible with Blu-ray movies.
However, it would not disappoint you even if you pick other modes.
In addition, it is also a perfect outdoor projector for playing games; it is compatible with gaming platforms such as PS4 and Xbox One as well as personal computers.
With a lamp life of 8000 hours, the Optoma HD143X would allow you to view your favorite videos and movies for an extended period of time. This also means that you would not need to spend your precious time to look after the product.
- Runs for an extended period of time
- Enables easy connectivity
- Comes with a warranty of up to 2 years
- Rarely, it may offer excessive color separation
In spite of having a plethora of advanced features and offering high-quality images, the Optoma HD142X has been priced pretty reasonably. This is surely a good enough reason for buying the product. The other reason for which I am recommending the projector is that it is compatible with almost all platforms, including Mac, SVGA, FHD, XGA, WXGA, UXGA, HD, SXGA, VGA, etc.
Amazing Night Projector
The Epson VS250 SVGA offers white brightness and color in 3,200 lumens. This makes it a perfect projector for making vivid presentations, even when there’s bright sunlight outdoors. I was particularly fascinated to see the fantastic color accuracy the unit offers. You will struggle to such a functional product at a similar price range.
The device is extremely light in weight; as a result, you will be able to carry it with you wherever you go. Using the unit is also an absolute cakewalk thanks to the simple setup tools.
This Epson creation scores heavily even when it comes to compatibility. It supports HDMI, which makes it compatible with all the latest media players and laptops.
- It’s a device enabling USB plug n play
- The unit is portable and inexpensive
- Its long bulb life ensures that you will not need to keep spending for bulb replacement
- Doesn’t come with a carrying case
- You might find the audio output a bit lackluster
The biggest USP of this projector is its cost-effectiveness. Despite offering amazing clarity and brightness, the product is available for a nominal price (not even $400). What’s more, you will also not need to compromise with clarity and accuracy. What more can a user ask for?
Outdoor Movie Night
As its name suggests, it is a UHD (Ultra High Definition) projector. The device has been designed to meet the needs of people who want to enjoy super sharp images and spectacular colors when watching their favorite movies or making presentations outdoors.
The unit offers an incredible resolution of 3840 x 2160 at a brightness of 3000 lumens. What’s even more amazing is the projector’s contrast ratio; it has an unbelievable contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. The other features that I found genuinely overwhelming are its 1.6 x Zoom and a massive vertical lens shift of 15%.
It’s difficult to get such an excellent combination. The product’s lamp life is also quite impressive. If you use it in its Dynamic mode, the lamp will last for 15,000 hours. On the other hand, when used in Eco Mode, the lamp would run for 10,000 hours.
- Projects UHD images of up to 140” from a distance of 16 ft
- Offers fantastic picture quality even in case of the darkest scenes
- Doesn’t make much sound even when running on full power
- Offers impressive placement flexibility
- The product is quite expensive
I would advise you to buy this product if you are looking for a projector that you can pass on to your grandchildren. The Optoma UHD60 might be slightly expensive, but the features is equipped with easily outweigh its price.
Outdoor Projector Buying guide For 2023
Who needs the info? If you’re in need of best outdoor projectors, which won’t end up being a disappointment, then you are in the right place. For those who prefer spending time with family at moonlight or any time of the day, you can spice up the moment with an outdoor movie or a big game.
Besides watching a movie or a documentary, you can project and make presentations to your audience without any fuss.
I don’t just randomly recommend a product, but I ensure it’s perfect. As you scroll downwards, you’ll understand what to consider, the budget you should work with, and the most suitable preference.
What to consider before buying any outdoor projector for your backyard?
- Projection size
- Lamp life
The brightness level of a projector does not always determine its capabilities, but to a large extent, this applies. Now that you need one for outdoor purposes, the brightness should be as high as the lighting condition. If it were a projector meant for permanent installation or darker rooms, the brightness level would be of less concern.
However, you should choose a model with the highest possible lumen value. You don’t want the brightness to compete with that of the surrounding, do you? When it starts getting darker, the images and videos become clearer with vibrant colors. Besides, reading the wordings from the projector screen becomes much more accessible and visible.
The best lumen range recommendation is approximately 3000. Anything below this is cheaper, and you’ll probably have to sacrifice the image quality. Beyond this range, you’ll pay more for the unbeatable performance. Projectors, which exhibit more brightness and over 6000 lumens, are above the $1000 mark. If you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you can’t willingly purchase it. Therefore, the most suitable and budget-friendly choice lies between 2000 – 3000 lumens.
The output resolution of any display device will always determine the quality of the resultant image. A higher resolution with more pixels translates into a sharper and crisp picture. If the pixels are fewer, then expect poor quality and unclear vision.
Any resolution above 720p is ideal for projectors. However, having a value that is higher than this is much better. In case your projector screen is more than 120 inches, you should go for a model with more than 1080p HD output. You surely don’t want to display some boring blurry images, which will only ruin your day.
Another essential aspect to consider is the distance you’ll want to sit in order to have a clear image with much more delicate details. For the 1080p resolution, sitting a few inches away is enough to enjoy a smooth projection. However, anything less than 720p will force you to sit as far as 20” away from the display, lest you experience the individual pixels.
When it comes to the aspect ratio, the standard cinematic values are 16:9 and 16:10. The 4:3 versions are outdated, and therefore very hard to find display screens with a matching size.
The essence of a projector is to enable you to focus on a large screen, regardless of the distance. The image size tends to change whenever a projector is moved close to or away from the projection screen. This characteristic varies with projectors, and it is known as the throw ratio.
However, some irregularities may arise, of which you can quickly correct with either the built-in features or external plug-ins. For instance, you can fix tilted images brought about by the great distance, using the pre-installed settings. In the case of incorrect throw distance, a short or long-throw lens will sort you out.
Short throw projectors have less than 0.5 throw ratios, but these do not disqualify them from the list of projectors. They tend to be very close but still project larger images. The only hassle about them is that they can’t be mounted or taken down with ease unless you want a permanent installation.
Just like any other light bulb, the filament in projectors is prone to burning out and therefore need to replace. The struggle does not end there since the replacement will cost you almost half the price of the same projector. A projector, which consumes more power with more lumen output, is highly susceptible to heat damage and subsequently, shorter lamp life.
Now that you don’t want to spend more on replacing new filaments yearly, investing in a high-quality device is of great advantage. For a good deal, you can fall for one that has a span of up to 10000 hours. Such a projector will last you close to 20 years of active usage.
Most projectors come pre-installed with several inputs and outputs. Some of these include; audio ports, HDMI, Ethernet or RJ45 port, VGA input, USB port, and S-Video interfaces.
Although they are all great, having an HDMI is most important for a holiday projector. A high definition multimedia interface will transfer not only high-quality video but also send superior audio with speeds of approximately 15 Gbits/s.
An RJ45 port may be meaningless for a backyard adventure since no one is likely to install some outdoor internet line. However, you can opt for a wireless option for hassle-free internet streaming.
If you prefer analog audio systems, you can look out for a projector with audio ports. In this millennium, a digital audio system is very much better, easier to set up, and performs better.
There is no better deal than surpasses having built-in speakers in a projector. This means that there is absolutely no budget for shopping for another set of audio systems or speakers.
However, most projector models would require you to purchase additional audio enhancers. If you get a model with reasonable sound quality, then there’s a possibility that the video performance is reduced.
For external speakers, you should consider the sound quality, design, portability, and connectivity potential. Considering that you’re operating from the outside, the sound system should be resistant to corrosion and UV, very portable for maneuverability, and compatible with wireless connections.
What are the essential accessories you should buy when it comes to an outdoor projector?
Projector’s accessories may not be essential, but at least they will add more class and better your experience, primarily when you use them in your backyard. You can, therefore, choose to have several of them, or simply pick on a few. Listed below are some top suggestions:
- Projector Screen
- Projector Stand
The projector screen should always complement your projector, in terms of aspect ratio and the display screen size. The most common size is 16:9 for a 120-inch screen, although you can still get variable options. There are several things you should look for in a projection screen. Considering that you operate it from the outside, the device ought to withstand all weather conditions. The viewing angle, projector screen design, and how easy it is to install it, are among the few aspects to look for. Most of these models would include carrying bags, support rings, ground stakes, and rigging cords.
It is in the backyard, not indoors, where there are many options available for mounting the projector. Therefore, you need to be creative and find a way of holding the projection device in place. In this case, a projection screen comes in handy.
It should be easy to set up, assemble, or disassemble the parts. Other things to consider include; the storage capabilities, height range adjustments, and how well it will balance on the ground. A projector stand that can stabilize in the uneven ground and adjusts up to about 50” is a perfect choice. At least the height should enable you to project even on the most massive screens.
Generally, outdoor projectors have very poor inbuilt speakers, probably because of their designs. If you are lucky enough to find one with the ultimate audio quality, the video quality is likely to be meager. This is where the need for an external speaker comes in. Before you can add this accessory to your shopping cart, you should make sure that it is quite easy to set up and very portable. Moreover, the sound quality should be top-notch. If you want a permanent installation, portability may not be significant, but you can account for the durability potential.
FAQ: The most common questions about outdoor projectors?
Projectors have become the preferred option for people who wish to experience the thrill given by considerable projector cinema screens in the living rooms. Apart from being handled as an outdoor theater projector for homes, they are also beneficial in office presentations when you require connecting with a large group of audience.
Okay, before we talk about how many lumens your projector should have, let’s understand What a Lumen is. Lumen measures the brightness of the bulb or bulbs in a projector. Higher lumens equals – a brighter image.
For outdoor movie events, where the projection screens are large, the projector needs to be a high lumen projector so that large and vivid pictures can be produced.
The quality of the movie screen surface (the white part) is measured by the amount of light it reflects or its Gain factor. As a general rule, Projector’s screens with higher Gain factors produce higher quality images. This is because a transparent or see-thru, the screen will lose up to 50% of the light from the projector, which will produce a duller and less bright image.
A bright image on a high-quality screen is particularly important in an outdoor setting, where light distractions, such as street lights, can affect the image on a low-quality screen.
A high lumen projector and a screen with an appropriate Gain factor work together to produce the best quality images. It is important to ask potential audio/visual providers about both the lumen of their equipment and the quality of their screens. You will be glad you did your homework when you can offer your guests a theater-quality movie experience in an outdoor setting.
Yes, outdoor projectors also require maintenance in order to live long. However, maintaining them is easy, depending on your preference or tolerance to dirt. It is usual for dust particles to build up in the vent, which would interfere with the airflow. You can get rid of them using compressed air to blow off the dust.
Models that are more sophisticated feature dust filters for trapping dirt and dust. To clean the lenses, you need a microfiber piece of cloth and some alcohol.
One more task that’s a little bit expensive is replacing the bulbs. The procedure involves removing the screws to get the burn out bulb, replacing with a new one, then close the system.
Yes, they do. The best outdoor movie projector is that which exhibits 3D capabilities. There is no need to go to theatre films since you can still feel the same from the comfort of your backyard. A matching accessory for this device is a pair of 3D glasses.
When it comes to outdoor lighting, it is all about lumens. Lumens are the means of finding how bright a bulb is. A lumen is a unit of measurement which shows how much light is in a space or the brightness of the light source.
As an example;
A 1200×600 panel will emit 2800 lumens. Is that good?
Basically, for 250 square feet, you will need 5000 lumens to cover and light the space. Lumen output is what you should be looking at when installing panels, especially in offices and areas with extensive square footage.
Did you know watts measure energy and not light output? With new, energy-efficient technology, you can now use Lumens to ensure we have the right light output. As another example; 40 watts is equivalent to 450 lumens, in the case of the 1200×600 panel, which emits 2800 lumens, it would be equal to 150 watts.
In the case of the usage of screens and backdrops at concerts, Lumens become even more critical. If you have a screen measuring 14 feet, you will need at least 3800 lumens to ensure the area is lit sufficiently.
LED panels are now replacing the halogen and strip lighting of the 1990s, with schools, offices, hospitals, and factories using them for their number of benefits.
They give off the light so similar to daylight; employees are taking time to adjust to the more natural lighting rather than the warm amber glow of incandescent lighting.
The fact they can be manufactured to your specification and because of their thinness, they can be used for such a variance of applications, especially in areas where traditional incandescent lighting could not fit; such as backlighting in kitchens.
When it comes to the material, the majority are made using acrylic, which shatters resistant, as well as being able to handle extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Four standard kinds are widely used. Recesses, suspended, mounted, and built-in, each being adaptable for many applications and installations.
With their ability to give the perception of natural daylight, the fact they are energy efficient, and they can be adapted to suit most surface areas, LED panels really will be used more often in everyday commercial projects.
If you are looking to use them, always consider the size of the space and look at your lumen requirement, closely followed by examining the size you may need, as this will ultimately affect the overall quality of light.
Final Verdict: How To Pick the Perfect Outdoor Projector?
If you are looking for an ideal outdoor projector, these guidelines above will help you make the right choice. Whether you want something great for making document presentations or streaming a live video, an excellent outdoor projector will sort you out.
The main things to watch out for the best outdoor projectors is the lumen value, resolution, lamp life, and the brightness level. The rest may not be essential but are a bonus. Please understand that if you want an excellent performance outdoor projector, your budget should be above $400.
If you are interested in my other projectors’ articles, please take a look at them too: best projectors under $200, best projectors under $400, best projectors under $500.