Projector Reviews

Classroom Projector Report: Best K12 School Projectors for Education – Performance

The 2012 Classroom Projector Report is sponsored by: Click Here!

NOTE: I am still adding data to this page The measurements for the last education projectors will be added as the reviews post over the next week.

Classroom Projectors - Brightness

Here in 2012, we find that most of these projectors reviewed are a bit brighter than last year.  That said, overall, the industry news is that the typical purchased projector is basically the same brightness as the typical projector in 2011.  That is, 2700 lumens claimed.

Overall, in our report, though, the average reviewed projector for our report is lower – due to the addition of three pocket projectors, which are no where near as bright as the rest, even though we have more over 3000 lumen projectors than in previous years. Let’s face it folks; you are going to need one really screwed up classroom – that is, a very bright one – perhaps with skylights, to really challenge or defeat a 2500 to 3000 lumen projector in a classroom.  That’s especially true on a typical, rather reasonable screen size that one typically finds in most classrooms (80″ or less).   Then, of course we have a few “modern” light engines, various LED and or Laser designs.  While those mostly measure 2000 – 2500, we’ve yet to measure one close to 200 lumens. This time around 1685 lumens was the highest for one of those.

tep into the WayBack machine.  Do any of you remember “Mr. Peabody, (a very smart dog), and his pet Sherman (a boy), from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show?  In 2001, the most popular commercial projectors for small auditorium or hotel ballroom work, were only 2000 lumens, and those for screen sizes typically 15 to 25 feet diagonal.  Of course back then, things were strictly dark or near dark room for presentations. Today we routinely put a 3000 lumen projector in a modest classroom with 30 kids and a screen typically between 60 and 80″ diagonal, 100″ diagonal at most.

Keep in mind, to fill a 25 foot diagonal screen requires a projector 5.25 times brighter than is needed to fill a 10 foot diagonal projector screen to the same brightness (yes 10 foot diagonal, not 100” diagonal).

Most projectors come up measuring short of claims, although, in fairness, most manufacturers want to base claim on the maximum brightness they can achieve. That doesn’t mean that you always have a good image when doing so. In our measuring, we normally make sure that the lumens we quote are watchable. Our goal is to provide numbers that represent reasonable expectations. Pushing contrast so far, to get more lumens, might find you some, but give you an image that may be near unusable.

When it comes to Brightness – as affected by a zoom lens, most projectors for education have limited zoom ranges.  In fact Ultra short throw projectors of which there are several, and many (Very) Short Throw projectors, have no zoom lens at all.  For the rest, with zoom lenses, we measure with the zoom at mid-point – not at its brightest, or dimmest.  Only when you get a projector with a lot of zoom range, such as 2:1 on one of the Casios, is the difference due to the zoom lens, really significant.

Again, there were a couple of projectors sporting more than one eco mode, just to complicate things.

Please note, for this chart, many measured brightness numbers have been changed relative to the reviews, for the following reason: