It’s difficult to choose a projector that works in daylight because there is no single perfect projector. You need to take into account your budget, the size of your room, and the number of people in it.
We have considered that and done the research for you. Here are the top 5 projectors that work flawlessly in daylight for every budget and use case. We took the brightness, resolution/clarity, and build quality.
Let’s get right into the reviews.
Projectors That Work in Daylight: Our Top Picks
#1. Optoma UHD38: Best Overall
The UHD38 from Optoma is simply the best projector out there. We have tested a lot of premium and mid-range projectors from all brands including Samsung, Epson, ViewSonic, BenQ, Yaber, etc. but the Optoma UHD38 offers the best features-to-money ratio in our opinion.
- Great overall specs. You get true 4K (not “supports 4K) resolution and 4000 lumens of brightness: sufficient for daylight viewing.
- UHD38 has amazing gaming capabilities when set at 1080p. With a 4.2ms response time, low input lag, and a 240Hz refresh rate – this is a professional gaming-grade projector. These specs also aid in a better movie-watching experience.
- Image clarity is simply amazing with HDR10 support as well as HLG (broadcast-level display). The 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, Optoma’s UltraDetail for color accuracy, and dynamic blacks also help create stunning visuals.
- All of this is in a 10W machine.
- For a projector this expensive, a maximum size of 300-inches is a downer. The ideal size is 120-inches at ~13 ft., which is even lower. However, this is more than enough for the majority of use cases.
Verdict: We love the Optoma UHD38 for its performance, specs, build quality, and great looks. It can easily help you out in gaming, watching movies, or doing work under daylight and is a good investment for roughly 10+ years upon normal usage.
#2. Hopvision JQ818A: Runner Up
Our #2 pick is from Hopvision. There’s really nothing remarkable about this when compared to others on the list except the fact that it offers a great mix of features. All in all, this projector offers a balanced feature set in a digestible price range, and we love that. It comes with a 350-inches screen.
- Overall decent specs – native 1080p, 4K UHD support, 9500 lumens, 12000:1 contrast ratio, and great connectivity options make it a great projector for any use.
- Especially good for permanent and long-term usage because of its significantly moderate power consumption (80W), solid cooling efficiency, and higher-than-average lamp life (roughly 20+ years) in the price range.
- Comes with built-in dual speakers and a touch panel on the top.
- This one has almost everything we loved – so we were a little disappointed when we found the lack of Dolby support. This became a serious issue when some media won’t have any sound at all. If this happens with you, make sure you turn off Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 in your app settings.
Verdict: We love it after the Optoma UHD38 as it comes pretty close to offering the best visual experience for a company that’s not in the big 5 brands – all the while costing $230.
#3. Pansonite Mini Projector: Best Budget
This is a mini projector with great features for under $100. It offers a 200-inches 1080p display with a 3000:1 contrast ratio. It’s our budget pick because even though it’s not as bright – it surely packs quite a punch with very bright LED lights. The recommended distance is 5 meters.
- With 5200 lumens and high contrast, this is simply the best choice when you’re on a budget.
- The clarity is surprisingly good given the specs and the price point. Nice and clear except under harsh, direct sunlight – it offers a great viewing experience in multiple conditions.
- It’s battery-operated so that takes away the need to always find a power outlet nearby or to carry a strip. Just take it with you and go! Setting it up is pretty easy thanks to the small form factor – making it very mobile and convenient for everything from parties to trips.
- Focus adjustment can sometimes take longer. The lack of autofocus aside, the projector’s keystone and focus ring features take a while to calibrate perfectly. Not a problem if it’s going to be fixed permanently.
- Being a fairly fresh brand in the market, Pansonite’s customer support is quite lacking.
- Has no speaker.
Verdict: This is a good pick when you need a decent projector for less important purposes.
#4. Jifar H6: Best for Outdoor Movie Watching Experience
The H6 is a great projector for outdoor movie watching. Get a 1080p resolution in this 450-inches projector with Dolby, 5G, WiFi, and Bluetooth. Out of all the projectors we tested, this one gave the best color and viewing angle experience in cinema conditions.
- 15,000 lumens is definitely a huge number. This makes for a good daylight projector thanks to all the brightness. This one supports up to 4K resolution with a great viewing angle: making it perfect for watching movies and TV shows.
- 15000:1 contrast coupled with a native 1080p resolution makes for some brilliant and crisp viewing experiences.
- Offers hassle-free screen mirroring from phones and laptops. Setup is convenient, unlike many other projectors where you’re more likely to get confused before you can mirror a screen.
- Comes with a stereo speaker.
- Has no adjustable feet.
- Positioning/setup time is slightly higher than average, especially in the case of distances beyond 15 ft.
Verdict: This is the best high-brightness projector for watching movies in daylight under the $300 price point. Good compatibility, easy setup, and great build quality all tie in nicely and make for a great product overall.
#5. Epson Home Cinema 3800: Best for 4K
Epson’s Home Cinema 3800 is truly a marvelous native 4K projector for outdoors and under-daylight usage. If our priority was just a 4K resolution for streaming HDR content – we’d pick this one over our #1 pick.
- This projector achieves really stunning visuals with the help of resolution enhancement and image processing technologies proprietary to Epson – and these are some top-of-the-line techs we’re talking about. HD LCD chips with pixel-shift give you 100% RGB coverage.
- The display comes with 10-bit HDR and 12-bit video processing. 3000 lumens with 100,000:1
- Very high build quality for a 4K projector. No rainbow effect, high brightness, low maintenance.
- Comes with active 3D support, stereo speakers, and Bluetooth.
- A rating of 3000 lumens is lower than many cheaper projectors. Same for the screen size, which is 150-inches only. Though natural and sufficient, it leaves you wanting for slightly more.
Verdict: If native 4K at 60Hz with HDR is what you’re aiming for, then the Epson Home Cinema 3800 is the best projector for you.
How to Choose the Best Daylight Projector
The best projectors for daylight are those that offer a good build quality and come with high brightness (measured in lumens).
In outdoor settings, you will also be likely very far from the screen – so make sure that the size is sufficient. Keep in mind that the size (typically provided in inches) is the diagonal size from top-left to bottom-right and not the width of the screen.
The brightness of a projector is measured by its lumen rating, which indicates how many lumens it produces when it’s turned on. A projector with a high lumen rating is brighter than one with a low lumen rating, but not all projectors’ lumen ratings are available on the same scale.
To get the best performance out of your projector, you need to know how bright it is so you can choose the right one for the job.
The best projectors for daytime use will have an average of at least 2,000 lumens and up to 10,000 lumens or more. Lumen ratings are usually expressed as a range rather than as an exact count because manufacturers test their projectors at different brightness levels and then publish their results as a range.
Projectors come in different resolutions, which is the number of pixels they display per inch (DPI). The higher the resolution, the sharper your image will appear on the screen and the more detail there will be in darker areas of an image.
If you want to watch movies or play games on a big screen at home or work, you’ll need a projector with a high-resolution setting for the best results.
Even if you can get the highest lumens and resolution well within your budget, the project is pretty much useless if it requires a lot of repairs, malfunctions, or has a cheap build quality.
Generally, you’d be using your projector outside and it’s important that it’s built with longevity and durability in mind – with top-notch materials and parts.
Projectors that work in daylight are brighter and more vivid than those that don’t. They have a brighter image and can be used outdoors, even at night. Some projectors with built-in speakers can also be used as an indoor home theatre system.
Hopefully, our top picks allowed you to choose the best projector for your use. Whether it’s a premium 4K projector you’re looking at or something to make sure your movies are brilliant under daylight – we have provided options for different use cases.
Let us know which one you end up buying!