ANSI Lumens vs Lumens
If you are constantly using a projector at your home or your office for your presentations or other entertainment needs, you may have overlooked one important detail of your device — the lumen. Upon inspection of your device, you’ll see that all projectors are marked with a certain lumen rating or value. In contrast, most modern projectors today are already marked with an ANSI lumen rating. So how do these two differ?
“Lumen” is actually the more generic term that refers to measuring the device’s luminous flux. This gives the user an idea of how much light can be output by the projector. So in much simpler terms, “lumen” is just measuring the entire light emitted by the source.
The lumen (bearing the symbol “lm”) quantifies the aggregate amount of light that can be seen as emanated by a particular light source (i.e., the projector). Mathematically, one lumen is equal to one candela multiplied by steradian (1 lm = 1 cd·sr). This is describing the lumen concerning candela. But when describing it about lux, it is written as 1 lm = 1 lx·m2, which is actually equating one lumen to the product of lux and a specific area being measured.
On the other hand, ANSI lumens have been specifically described and structured by the American National Standards Institute, thereby giving the name “ANSI.” Historically, the ANSI standardization of lumens was devised in 1992, which specifically measures the video lumen output generated by projectors.
The ANSI lumen is already a result of several variables like the contrast and brightness, measuring the white fields at certain multiple spots located on the screen, and averaging the said measurements, which are then multiplied by the total screen area. The resulting ANSI lumen measure is definitely more accurate than plain lumen. That’s why it is the barometer used by buyers who shop for new projectors.
However, basing the choice of a projector solely on its highest possible lumen rating may be misleading at some point. This is because an ANSI lumen does not clearly include other variables like screen material, the viewer’s eye tiredness, the amount of ambient light present, and other factors that may alter the projection image's brightness and clarity.
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