Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema LS100 Laser Projector Review – Performance

Epson Home Cinema LS100 Laser Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Brightness By Mode, Color Temp, Affect of ECO on Brightness, Audible Noise

LS100 Brightness

Light Canon doesn’t even begin to describe how bright this LS100 is. Although we note that we don’t have a great way to accurately measure UST projectors, Eric’s numbers in brightest mode came in over 6,000 lumens. We figure +/- 10% measurement accuracy at best, so let’s say that this Epson topped out at well over 5,000 lumens, and that means more than 4,000 lumens at full power in its best mode.

Even post calibration of its “best” mode, which Eric selected as Game for reasons explained elsewhere, and placing the LS100 in its eco mode, Eric’s measurement was 3192 lumens! OMG! In other words, that’s about as dim as you can make it!

Picture Mode Lumens Color Temp (Kelvin)
Dynamic 6992 6678K
Bright Cinema 5168 7377K
Cinema 5168 6763K
Game 5168 7652K

All you need in a fully darkened theater room on a typical screen is 450 lumens, so we’re taking over 6 times as bright as needed, and that’s really too bright for a pitch black theater room. That’s why this is a bright room projector! 

When we take the  “brightest” mode and do a “Quick cal,”  that’s about improving the color as much as possible, but without giving up a whole lot of brightness. After all, we do a full calibration of a “best” mode, for best, most accurate and faithful color.   Eric’s Quick-cal result measured 5,168 lumens at full power!

That’s commercial projector brightness. 5,000 usable lumens is about typical for a small hotel ballroom or a 200 seat university classroom! So, put on the shades and enjoy!

Measurements were taken at mid-zoom and normal lamp.

Brightness by Mode, Color Temp

The same chart above shows the color temperature of white for each mode when measured. Two of the modes get close to around 6500K (the ideal for movies, etc), while others are more in the 7500K range – a bit cooler (more blue) whites, such as is the case with Bright Cinema and Game mode.

Many folks like a cooler temp for sports viewing – I count myself among those, so I tend to prefer something around 7000K but never more than 7500K.  As you can see in the cart above, Bright Cinema is on the cool side, so from my perspective, a good choice for sports viewing if you are using the default settings.  Remember we publish the basic calibration info Eric came up with on the Calibration page, and on the Advanced calibration page (subscribers only) we have our settings for calibrating the CMS (color management system, aka, calibrating the individual primary and secondary colors.

Of course our full calibration for best color is targeting 6500K, and the Epson (as you can see on the calibration page, calibrates very nicely, not deviating an visibly significant amount from the proper color balance known as D65.

Affect of ECO on Brightness

Power Mode Lumens Color Temp (Kelvin)
Full Power 6992 6678K
ECO Mode 4864 6613K

The difficulty we have measuring UST projectors notwithstanding, Eric’s measurements have the Epson dropping down almost exactly 30% when going to low power (ECO) mode. That is in line with other Epson projectors, which almost all measure down 30% +/- about 2%.

Audible Noise

The Epson may be an incredibly bright home projector, but it’s also, not surprisingly, louder than most. Claiming -39 db, at full power, is in line with the quieter commercial projectors in the 5,000+ brightness range (after all, that is its pedigree), but, 6-8 db noisier than the high side of most home projectors. Consider – Epson’s own 5040UB claims -31db.

The LS100’s -31 db in its quiet mode, therefore is also on the noisy side but acceptable in a typical room that it will be used in. Personally, the LS100 in low power was quieter than the 5040UB mode at full power, when viewed. That’s because quietness specs are from a set distance from the projector.

Remember, in the real world, you sit much closer to a table top or ceiling mounted normal throw projector than you will to an ultra short throw. In my theater, for example, it’s about 6 feet from my ears to my ceiling mounted projector, but 10 – 11 feet from my same seat to the LS100 under the screen. And, if I wall mount the LS100 above the screen, then it’s a good 13 feet away from my head.

Count the LS100 as reasonable, but not great, in terms of audible noise in your typical living room/family room setup. By the way, no issue at all with full power noise levels when I’m watching my sports.  But full power and movies, I don’t think work well together.  That’s OK, it’s hard to imagine watching movies when you need full power’s brightness.

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