How to Watch a Projector During the Day

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

Learning how to watch a projector during the day has unique difficulties unless you already own a top-end outdoor projector. Understanding how viewing angle works, lumens for brightness measurement, and more can feel overwhelming. Luckily, this article will clearly explain all common types of concerns. The best projectors are those that help you beat the summer heat, so grab a lawn chair and get ready to learn.


  • Using a projector for daylight viewing requires high lumens that maintain maximum brightness even when strong ambient light is from the sun.
  • You’ll need to choose a reflective screen for your projector to keep the bright image safe from natural light.
  • Use a white or gray projector screen, depending on the time of day and what type of shade you’re able to provide.

Using a Projector for Daylight Viewing

Figuring out how to watch a projector during the day can feel like a headache, especially when preparing for a party or presentation. There are a few things you can do to better prepare, like investing in a movie projector. High-lumen models usually are pretty expensive projectors, but the resulting picture quality makes the price well worth it. Learning how to test a projector lamp should be on your to-do list if you run into technical issues.

Insider Tip

You can improve even the most fantastic projectors with a fancy screen that supplies better image quality.

STEP 1 Use a High-Lumen Projector

Modern projectors come in far higher lumens than their predecessors. Because of this, you can get a standard projector that can still work in an outdoor space during the day. If you’ve ever wondered, “What kind of projectors do movie theaters use?” the answer is models with high lumens.

STEP 2 Keep Ambient Light in Mind

Unlike lux lighting on a projector, ambient light refers to the additive light coming from external light sources, such as the sun. Even the most fantastic projector on the market can’t outperform direct sunlight. Make sure you provide shade to prevent bad image quality. A crisper image is possible if you can use a canopy over the screen.

STEP 3 Use an Inflatable Projector Screen

This is especially important if you have an outdoor viewing party. Inflatable screens are easy to set up, and they provide more screen for less money. That means the projection size is larger, and the viewing angle is improved for all attendees. Just make sure you have enough outdoor space to accommodate a larger screen size.

STEP 4 Purchase a High-Lumen Projector

Projector brightness determines lumens, which are a measure of brightness. The brightest projectors are not classified as inexpensive projectors, running up into the thousands. However, for outdoor usage, you won’t find a better match than high-end models of projectors, like the Anker Nebula Capsule II.

STEP 5 Use a Large, White Screen

A white screen will provide the best image quality when using a projector for daylight viewing. This is because other types, like gray screens, don’t have the same reflective qualities. Outdoor projection screens do better with a white screen surface.


An aspect of projector ownership is that the projector lamp will eventually run out of usable hours and require replacement.


Is it possible to use a projector outside in the daytime?

Yes, and a portable projector is perfect for this purpose. Daytime viewings do come with more planning, like purchasing a suitable outdoor screen.

Can I put outdoor projectors in direct sunlight?

You shouldn’t place your equipment in direct sunlight. Instead, try to find a shaded place. Intense light during the daytime can cause malfunction due to overheating, light interference, and more.

How can I set up for a backyard movie viewing marathon?

If you’re planning a backyard movie night, invest in an inflatable projector screen and a theater projector. An inflatable screen is quick to set up and easy to use. Theater projectors can be pricey, but they’re worth it when watching your favorite movies.

Do I need a 5,500-lumen projector?

Bright projectors produce tangible results, and a high lumens projector works beautifully even on sunny summer days. You might be able to get away with something as low as a 500-lumen projector, but it won’t make the image bright.

STAT: The PC monitor and projector market in 2020 increased to more than 30 billion dollars globally. (source)

Beth Huston Profile image