Projection and Worship Imagery: Guide to Projectors

The gear that magically outputs light to form a beautiful images can be a complex piece of equipment to understand. Here are basics to help navigate the emerging types of projectors available on today's market.

LUKE MCELROY  ·  September 7, 2017

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Therefore, a 5,000 lumen projector is going to be significantly brighter than a 3,000 lumen projector. Projectors on the market range from 1,000 lumens to 40,000 lumens. Most medium body (or medium sized) projectors run from 3,000 to 10,000 lumens, and will fit most worship environments. The brands for projectors in this range most often considered by churches include Hitachi, Panasonic or Sanyo.

Most recently, I helped a church in Indianapolis who was using four Panasonic PT-DX610 projectors to create an ultra-wide projected image. The projectors they were using in the space were only 6,500 lumens each, and they were plenty bright enough for the space they were installed in. As you process projection needs, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Ambient light.
Ambient light is the amount of unintentional light in the room. This would include a reflection of light from your stage (if you’re unable to control it), natural light coming through the space’s windows, or spillover light from an adjacent lobby or other room. In general, ambient light is noncontrolled light, and it can be expensive to overcome!

2. House lights.
Do you have lights over your congregation? If so, make sure you can dim them or turn them off. Furthermore, how controlled are the spread of those lights? If they’re more like directional lights, then projection may not be affected, but if they’re flood lights, it could cause more ambient light issues.

3. Size of image.
The bigger your projected image, the brighter projector you will need. You need to achieve a standard brightness per square inch. Therefore, there should be a direct correlation to square footage and ANSI lumens.

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