Runco Lightstyle LS-5 Projector Review

Runco LS-5 Measured Brightness

The other two Runco’s we’ve reviewed in the last year, were veritable light canons compared to most home theater projectors we review. The LS5 projector, however, is, as intended, rather average in brightness. Runco considers the LS-5 projector to be ideal for home theaters sporting screens of up to about 110″ diagonal (unless you go with high gain screens).

Mike found the brightest of the color temp settings to be 7500K. The chart below shows the default lumen measurements for each of the color temps, along with the actual color temp measurements:

Brightest Measurement:

792 lumens @ 7500K setting, with SatCo turned on

Runco LS-5 Post-Calibration Brightness:

648 lumens Measured

Lumen Output for Various Color Temp Settings
5500 554 @ 5276
6500 613 @ 6082
7500 662 @ 6928
9300 597 @ 8278
Native 650 @ 6432

Out of the Box: Lumen Output for Various Color Temp Settings

This single chip DLP Runco is very typical in terms of brightness, when compared to other home theater projectors in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range. It offers better than average brightness when in its best mode.

In reality, Runco specs the LS-5 at 1000 lumens at D65. Mind you, we don’t do a full Ansi lumen measurement (blending measurements from many points on the image), but we measure with the zoom at the midpoint of the range. Most projectors in “best” mode come in way below claim. Consider, a typical Epson home theater projector might claim 1600 lumens (not D65), produce about 1300 lumens the way we measure in brightest mode, but only about 500 lumens at D65 (6500K) after calibration.

Color Temp over IRE Range, 6500 and Native Color Temps
6500 Native
30 IRE 6038 6427
50 IRE 6068 6429
80 IRE 6054 6434
100 IRE 6082 6432

OK, back to the Lighttyle LS-5. The projector lacks a bunch of preset modes like most lower cost projectors (and many in this price range) have. It does, however offer a number of color temperature settings from 5500K to 9300K, plus “native”. Mike calibrated the LS-5. He did his calibrating using the Native setting, which started out closest to the ideal 6500K (very, very close), interestingly, the 6500K setting mostly yielded temperatures over the brightness range (IRE) in the 6000K-6100K. That’s not too far off, but Native was simply a better choice. Mike also commented, that no matter what setting, the color temp remained extremely consistent from white (100 IRE) all the way down to the very dark greys. Better yet, let me just pass on Mike’s words:

“While the preset color temps all were a bit low, they are incredibly consistent across the IRE range. It has the flattest color temp graph I’ve ever seen. Once a RGB gain and offset adjustments are made, grayscale response is excellent, with the lowest overall Delta E I’ve ever measured. The CIE chart shows that colors are nearly spot on as well. -Mike”

For those of you who must look:

Click Image to Enlarge

OK, moving on:

The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness:

LS-5 lumen Output (Eco Lamp, 6500 Color Temp):

443 lumens, down from an impressive 613 at full power. That represents a drop of between 27 and 28%, fairly typical, for an Eco mode on a home theater projector

Lens Zoom Brightness
Zoom out 615
Mid zoom 613
Zoom in 558

The Effect of lens zoom on brightness:

Once again, the Runco optics have interesting properties! Normally lenses are brightest at wide angle. Of course with a zoom that’s only 1.3:1 the shift in brightness is normally not great, not the up to a 50% reduction going from wide angle to telephoto found in projectors with 2:1 zooms. In this case there’s almost no change in brightness though much of the range, and only about 10% across the entire zoom range. As a result, where you place your LightStyle LS-5 when you mount it (within the zooms range), will have no really significant impact on picture brightness.

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