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The Best Projectors for Bright Rooms Make Watching a Breeze When the Blinds Are Up

There’s no beating the kind of cinematic experience that a movie theater projector can deliver. But even if you’re dropping thousands of dollars on a class-leading 4K stalwart from the likes of Sony, JVC or Epson, the fact remains that most of us aren’t working with viewing environments that are built from the ground-up to accommodate projectors. 

Thanks to things like windows and light bulbs, the rooms in most modern homes are prone to all kinds of distractions from an abundance of ambient light sources. Now here’s a hard truth: ambient lighting and projectors don’t mix. But fortunately, many projector and TV brands take a “fight fire with fire” approach to ambient illumination. 

What is Ambient Lighting?

Generally speaking, ambient lighting is any kind of interior or external source of illumination (such as sunlight) that fills a room. Certain fixtures like fan lights, chandeliers, and lamps are typical sources of interior ambience, and for the most part, these are lights we simply cannot live without. That being said, there’s been a long-standing war between ambient lighting and different types of home theater displays for decades now, and the battle shows no signs of stopping. 

You see, TV and projector screens will always look the best in darker spaces, but besides investing in blackout curtains and thousand-dollar-plus anti-ambience screens, the only true way to fight a room bathed in ambient hues is with a TV or projector that can get really bright. Unfortunately, top-notch brightness tends to go hand-in-hand with rather lackluster colors and contrast. That’s not a hard rule though.

As you’ll see from the six projectors we chose for today’s roundup, there is a world where bold brightness, amazing colors and contrast, and fair prices all sing campfire tunes in near-perfect harmony. 

The Best Projectors for Bright Rooms At a Glance

best ultra short-throw

Epson EpiqVision LS800

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best for the workplace

BenQ MW560 Business Projector

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best splurge

Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K

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best portable

XGIMI Elfin Mini Projector

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best overall

Best for: Rooms brimming with all kinds of ambient lighting, to the point where it’s hard to even look at your phone in these spaces.
Why we chose it: The Optoma CinemaX D2 is not only one of the best projectors for bright rooms, but it delivers some of the best colors and contrast of any model on the market.

Read More: The Best Projectors

Key specs: 

  • 15 x 22.1 x 5.1 inches
  • 18.52 pounds
  • 4K resolution
  • HDMI (eARC), Digital Optical, Aux

The Optoma CinemaX D2 is a melting pot of all the best projector features we could possibly ask for, and it throws an image like a champ in a room filled with ambient lighting. This is thanks in part to the D2’s mighty 3,000 lumen output, but bright-light capabilities is just the tip of the iceberg with this model. 

There’s also HDR10 support, a 30,000 hour lifespan for the lamp, an unbeatable 1,800,000:1 contrast ratio, and the much-lauded ability to create a 120-inch picture from a relatively short throw distance. “Ultra short-throw” has become a staple of projection tech over the last few years, and while we feel that the Epson EpiqVision LS800 is the best UST model for bright spaces, we feel that the Optoma CinemaX D2 is the best projector overall when it comes to sun-drenched environments and other sources of illumination.


  • Top-shelf picture quality
  • 3,000 ANSI lumens
  • 30,000 hour lamp life
  • Includes Android TV
  • 240Hz refresh rate


  • Expensive

Best for: Dialing in the kind of colors and contrast that you’d see in a movie theater.
Why we chose it: With its 4,000 lumen max and SuperColor picture tech, it’s hard to beat the kind of picture the amazing ViewSonic PX748 delivers.

Read More: The Best Projectors for iPhones 

Key specs: 

  • 8.7 x 4.3 x 12.2 inches
  • 2.8 pounds
  • 4K resolution
  • HDMI, USB, Ethernet

When it comes to breathtaking picture quality, the ambient lighting in your theater-space stands zero chance against the almighty ViewSonic PX748, a powerful 4K projector that is built to handle pretty much any source you want to connect to it.

Thanks to its chart-topping 4,000 lumen output, combined with UHD resolution, the PX748 delivers bright and stunning visuals, which are further buttressed by ViewSonic’s SuperColor feature. The latter will adapt the many onscreen hues of the projector to be optimized for whatever types of window and fixture lighting are present in your home. That’s on top of HDR capabilities, high refresh rate (240Hz), and low input lag, making the PX748 one of the best projectors for 2023. 


  • Amazing picture
  • SuperColor for enhanced colors/contrast
  • 4,000 ANSI lumens
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • 4.2ms input lag


  • Expensive
  • No digital optical output
best ultra short-throw

$2,999.99 $3,499.99 14% off

Buy Now On Amazon

Best for: Bright rooms that also don’t have a lot of spots for a projector to physically live.
Why we chose it: On top of its ultra-bright image output, the Epson EpiqVision LS800 can also throw a 150-inch picture, and only requires a few inches for throw distance. 

Read More: The Best Short-Throw Projectors

Key specs:

  • 13.4 x 27.4 x 6.2 inches
  • 27.6 pounds
  • 4K resolution
  • HDMI

Ultra short-throw projectors may be more expensive than the other bright-room projectors, especially when you start factoring in features like HDR and 4K resolution. But when it comes to amazing UHD hardware that only requires a few feet for optimal throw-distance, it’s easy to see why projectors like the Epson EpiqVision LS800 are so incredible.

One of our favorite features of this projector has to be the super-cool combination of 3 chip-coloring and HDR. The former truly dials in the brightness (delivering a whopping 4,000 lumens), while both the 3-chip tech and HDR work in unison to accentuate colors in ways that only an OLED TV can rival. And the best part: To get a full 100-inch picture (although the LS800 of throwing a 120-inch display), you only need 3.9 inches of space between the projector and whatever screen or wall you’ll be using.


  • Incredible short-throw capabilities
  • 4,000 ANSI lumens
  • Delivers a 100-inch picture with 4-inch throw distance
  • Impressive HDR features


  • Very expensive
best for the workplace

Best for: Presentations, bar graphs, and all the other projected essentials of a water-cooler wonderland. 
Why we chose it: The BenQ MW560 has every input and output you could ever want on a projector.

Read More: The Best Home Theater Projectors

Key specs: 

  • 11.42 x 8.7 x 4.72 inches
  • 5.6 pounds
  • 1080p HD
  • HDMI, USB, VGA, Composite, S-Video

At home, we usually only need to worry about HDMI (and sometimes USB) when hooking up components to our projectors. But when it comes to connecting computers, tablets and phones at the office, you’ll want a projector that includes as many inputs and outputs as possible. Enter the BenQ MW560.

Not only is the MW560 a great value, but it’s also engineered to look fantastic in bright rooms (thanks to its 4,000 lumen output), features a myriad of connections (including HDMI, USB, VGA, composite and S-Video), and will project a full 150-inch picture. The only downside with this last laurel is that you’ll need about 10.5 feet of throw distance.

And for those workplaces that are constantly giving presentations, there’s even three built-in picture presets (Data Review, Presentation and Infographic) you can switch between for getting the best picture for all those PowerPoint slides. 


  • Plenty of inputs to choose from
  • 4,000 ANSI lumens
  • Built-in picture presets
  • Capable of throwing a 150-inch picture
  • Good price


  • Not as picture-focused as other models
  • Requires a 10-foot throw distance for max image size
Courtesy of Amazon
best splurge

Best for: Impressing your friends (and yourself) with one of the best feature-loaded projectors that money can buy.
Why we chose it: The Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K delivers a stunning UHD picture, and who can deny the lunchbox-adorableness of that little carrying handle? 

Full Review: Anker Nebula Cosmos 4K

Key specs: 

  • 10.35 x 6.5 x 8.66 inches
  • 10.69 pounds
  • 4K resolution
  • HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Aux

Anker’s lineup of awesome 4K projectors are built for both everyday users and videophiles that expect nothing but the best. And for the latter crowd, the Nebula Cosmos 4K is the model we’re going to highlight today. 

Where to even begin with this titan. Well for starters, it’s built not only for simple portability, but with its bevy of available inputs (including HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, and Aux) and amazing picture specs, including 4K resolution, HDR, and intuitive suite of Intelligent Environment Adaptation (IEA) customizations, the Cosmos is designed to be the one and only projector you’ll need for years to come. 

We also love the included Android TV dongle that gets you access to over 7,000 apps, and the ability to project a 150-inch picture, with only a few feet of throw distance to worry about. Sure, it may not be the brightest model on our list (throws up to 1,840 lumens), but the picture quality and list of other accolades is hard to beat.


  • An all-in-one projector/media hub
  • Breathtaking picture
  • Intelligent Environment Adaptation
  • Android TV (with included streaming box)


  • Expensive
  • Not as bright as other models
best portable

Best for: Throwing it in a backpack and taking it to and from work, school, and the smokey VFW post your grandfather hangs out at.
Why we chose it: The XGIMI Elfin may be small, but its HDR strengths and prolific sound system make the Elfin one of the best portable projectors you can buy.

Read More: The Best Portable Projectors 

Key specs: 

  • ‎7.56 x 7.63 x 1.89 inches
  • 4.41 pounds
  • 1080p HD (w/ 4K HDMI passthrough)

While it’s not exactly ergonomic to carry a home theater component around, there is a rather impressive subset of projection tech designed for quick and simple portability. And as part of this niche, our favorite model for bright rooms has to be the XGIMI Elfin. 

Now on paper, you’ll notice that you’re only getting up to 800 lumens, which doesn’t even come close to the 4,000 maximum that many of the models on our list are capable of; but when you’re dealing with a bite-sized projector, these lower readings are common. There’s plenty more to love here though, including 1080p HD with a 4K HDMI input, HDR10, an onboard Harman Kardon speaker system and an Android 10.0 platform for all things smart TV. 


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Solid HDR capabilities
  • Android TV
  • Decent price


  • Not as bright as other models
  • Not a 4K projector

How We Chose the Best Projectors for Bright Rooms

Picking a projector is no easy feat, and when you’re looking for models that are equipped to tackle bright spaces, there’s even more criteria to consider. Here are a few of the most vital product features we weighed when selecting the six projectors of this roundup:


If you’re dealing with a super-bright viewing environment, one of the most important considerations to make when investing in a projector is its ANSI lumens. In a nutshell, this is a measurement of how bright a projector can get. 

With values typically hovering anywhere from the low hundreds up to 4,000 lumens and more, the simple science behind the metric is the bigger the number, the brighter the image output. And when it comes to viewing spaces that must contend with a fair amount of ambient lighting, we did our best to highlight projectors that soared in the lumens department. 

In fact, save for one or two entries, most of the projectors on our list can deliver at least 3,000 lumens or greater.

Picture tech

Projectors that are tailor-made for bright rooms are not all created equally, and like any TV you would buy today, it’s just as important to invest in a projector that’s loaded with class-leading features that accentuate and improve upon the natively-impressive image that your Optoma or Epson is capable of displaying. 

Scanning our roundup, you’ll see plenty of 4K, HDR, and impressive contrast ratio call-outs, in addition to display features like auto key-stoning and other automated image correction tech. A good projector may be engineered to get nice and bright, but a great model will look and feel like the kind of projector you’d find at your local cinema. 

Throw distance

A projector’s throw distance is how far away from a wall or screen your projector needs to be in order to project its maximum image size without any kind of degradation. With most models only requiring a few feet of throw to get the biggest picture possible, there are a few entries in our roundup that require a bit more distance. 

Now this doesn’t mean that these projectors are bad choices. In fact, there are plenty of award-winning projectors on the market with required throw distances of 10 feet or more. But when creating this list, we tried to throw our own spotlight on models that achieve excellent bright-room picture with as little spacial limitations as possible.

This is also why we called out two UST (ultra-short-throw) models. Yes, in terms of investment, this type of projector is going to cost more than most, but this is because a majority of UST projectors only need to be positioned several inches from the wall or screen, while still being able to throw a picture as large as 300 inches in some cases.