Pico Pocket Projector Brightness and Lumens

by TerriRexson

There are lots of different pico pocket projectors available. One of the key considerations is brightness. How many lumens do you need in a mini projector?

Brightness of Mini Portable Projectors

A Pico Projector is obviously not going to match the performance of a powerful desktop projector. But many people are surprised by how bright an image a mini projector can produce even in the ambient light of a meeting room or home. 

There's a huge range of different brightnesses for pico and pocket projectors though. The lumens value is what we are looking for here. As you would expect, more expensive projectors often offer the highest lumens values so you only want to pay for what you need. 

We'll also look at a range of mini projectors available in 2012 and the brightness they offer. 

P4 Pico Projector
Only $330.00

Pico and Pocket Projector Brightness

How many lumens do you need?

One of the items you'll see on the specification for a pico or pocket projector is the maximum brightness in lumens, or ANSI lumens. 

The higher the lumens value the brighter the projected image will be. The image will be brighter in a dark room, and smaller images will be brighter than dark images. 

A 10 lumens is at the very low end of brightness and you'll need a fairly dark room for an acceptable picture. 

Most Pico Projectors are under 50 lumens. When running on battery power 20-30 is typical. Many of these projectors can be used with ambient light with a small audience. 

We're starting to see new Pico projectors coming out offering higher lumens, but most are well under 100 lumens. 

A 300 lumens pocket projector is an the high end and will cope be able to display a large image with ambient light. Though definitely not to the brightness of a desktop projector (they have thousands of lumens.) 

10 Lumens Pico Projector

At 10 lumens the AAXA P1 Jr Ultra Portable Pico Pocket Projector is very much at the low end of brightness range. 

This projector is described as a personal projector. It offers an image with a diagonal of 10 to 50 inches but does require low light for a reasonable image and dark for a large image. 

It's a good option if you need a cheap pico projector for one or two people to use to watch movies in the dark. This is an older model portable projector which is reflected in the price. 

AAXA P1 Jr Ultra Portable Pico Pocket Projector

10 Lumens
AAXA P1 Jr Ultra Portable Pico Pocket Projector, LED, Med...
Only $129.00

20 Lumens Pico Projector

The iGo AC05050-0002 Pico Pocket Projector UP-2020 is a 20 lumens Pico Projector. There's a really big difference between 10 and 20 lumens. 

This Pico projector projects images of 5" - 70" viewable screen size (diagonal). For larger images you will need dim lighting, but the projector will cope with some ambient light in the room. 

It's good enough for occasional business use with smaller groups. It's ideal as an inexpensive projector to take traveling so you can watch movies on a hotel ceiling. 

iGo AC05050-0002 Pico Pocket Projector UP-2020

iGo AC05050-0002 Pico Pocket Projector UP-2020

32 Lumens Pico Projector

The 3M MP225 Mobile Projector offers an output of 32 lumens. This means the projector is better able to come with some light in a room, though of course you'll get the best results in a dark room. 

This projector works with a wide range of Apple devices and also laptops and video game systems. (You will need extra cables for some devices.)

"if you'd be happy with a 3.5 feet wide screen in a 45 watt lighted room, you'd be happy with this projector's sharpness." (Amazon.com)

3M MP225 Mobile Projector

3M MP225 Mobile Projector
Only $149.99

Brightness on Battery Power?

You will find that some pico and pocket projectors can only achieve their highest lumens when connected to a power source and have a lower rating on battery power. 

If you expect to rely on the battery for the projector then it's important to look at the lumens rating for battery power, not just the headline rating. 

50 Lumens Pico Projector

The Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector offers a brightness of up to 50 lumens. It's important to note that 50 lumens is only possible when the projector is plugged in to mains power, or is using an optional extended battery pack. 

When running on the included batter, the rating drops to 20 lumens. 

If you want a pico projector for home or business use where you will be able to plug the device in then you can project widescreen images of up to 120" diagonal. 

This is a very popular pico projector with excellent reviews. 

Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector

Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector
Only $99.0

80 Lumens Pico Projector

If you're looking for a small and very bright projector then consider the Aaxa P4 Pico Projector which offers 80 lumens of brightness. 

This is a recent model of pico projector which runs Windows CE which gives it the ability to work with documents and presentations without another device being connected. 

The Aaxa P4 Pico Projector is designed for business use. 

Aaxa P4 Pico Projector

Bright Pico Projector
P4 Pico Projector
Only $330.00

300 Lumen Pocket Projector

For a really bright pocket projector which will cope well with ambient light and offers a great picture, consider the Vivitek Qumi Q2. 

The Vivitek Qumi Q2 offers up to 300 lumens of brightness which will cope with daylight if the media you want to project is bright enough. 

" I was able to watch 'A bugs life' with full lights on in my basement. Not so with 'Gladiator'" (Amazon.com)

Vivitek Qumi Q2 300 Lumen WXGA HDMI 3D-Ready Pocket DLP Projector

Vivitek Qumi Q2 300 Lumen WXGA HDMI 3D-Ready Pocket DLP P...
Only $750.69

More Pico Pocket Projectors

An overview of available camcorders and video recorders with a built-in projector so you can easily share and view your videos and photos.
The FAVI A3 and W3 Wifi Pico Projectors are new for 2012. They have an operating system and are like a small PC that uses a projector instead of a screen.
Updated: 01/26/2012, TerriRexson
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Jimmie on 01/27/2012

Wow. I am amazed at how tiny those are! We had a bulky projector that was a pain to carry around. These look fantastic.

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