I first wrote this article in response to a question about screens from someone who recently purchased a Sony VPL-HW40ES
projector. That projector musters up about 1700 lumens, and well over 1000 lumens even calibrated.The same general advice about screens applies to a great many of projectors in today's market. For instance, the more expensive HW55ES
is only slightly less bright, and while better suited for a dedicated theater, the same advice for screens applies here.It is also relevant to most Epson projectors, as they tend to have 1,500 to 2,400 lumens to work with, and for Panasonics. JVC projectors aren’t quite as bright as that, but for JVC owners, this article is helpful nonetheless. Just realize that those JVCs are typically under 1000 lumens when calibrated - so, the same rules, with a slightly smaller screen.While some popular Epsons and Panasonics only calibrate in the 500 - 700 lumen range for their best picture, they have very good “brighter modes," which are still in the ballpark of 1,500 lumens. Thus, when using those better modes, the advice given here for the HW40ES becomes virtually identical to any of the projectors mentioned above.When it comes to many of the DLP projectors - Viewsonic projectors, Optomas, BenQs, Viviteks, Acers, etc., the brightness tends to vary greatly from model to model. Again, if those projectors can muster up a good picture with 1,200 to 2,400 lumens, this advice applies. If the projectors are of lower brightness, such as the Sharp XV-Z30000 and definitely some of the Optomas and BenQs, then the problem is that some of those really aren’t geared for rooms with any significant amount of ambient light. Keep them in cave-light environments, use them only at night when those rooms can be almost fully darkened, or invest in some blackout curtains from Amazon
like those mentioned in some of Nikki's reviews.