The Optoma ML500 performed better than expected in light meter tests. Optoma has the ML500 rated at 500 lumens. The brightness of most projectors usually falls short of the manufacturers rating and even though the Optoma was no exception, it did get very close. In the projector's default settings, and set to Bright Mode, the ML500 put out 450 lumens. When switched to PC Mode, the brightness dropped a bit to 375 lumens. Cinema mode dropped the brightness to 300, but cinema mode always drops the brightness down to help increase the blacklevels in the image. This decrease in brightness is something that all projectors, regardless of make or model, do. Photo mode saw an increase in brightness to 350 lumens.