Projector Buyers Guide

WHICH PROJECTOR?

 

Choosing Your Projector

What do you Need to Consider?

The Projector Location

Mounting Point

The Ambient Light (LUX) levels




Choosing Your Projector

Choosing a gobo projector can be a little daunting as there are many products on the market with features you may not necessarily need. There is never a "one size fits all" solution, so knowing what’s right for your installation is key. This is a simple guide to give you the basics to decide which model is right for you. If you still need more help or have very specific requirements for your projection or project, contact us HERE and we will get straight back to you.


The Basics

”Gobo” stands for Goes Before Optics. It is a compact stencilled disk used in lighting fixtures to produce a projected image on to any surface. The design could be anything, from a simple pattern, to a logo or message, a complex drawing or a photographic image.


Gobos can project:

  • Logos, text or messages
  • Abstract patterns
  • Photographic images – both greyscale & colour


They cannot project:

  • A video – This is called ‘data projection’
  • A ‘digital’ file that has been sent from a laptop or other device.

Please remember that your gobo is only as good as the projector projecting its image. Evica gobo projectors are the best on the market when it comes to optics, power and reliability. Check out our range HERE.


What do you Need to Consider?

  • The Location


This includes the environment, the elements the projector will be exposed to, projection distance and the surface you are projecting onto.


  • The Ambient Light levels


How bright is the area you are projecting in? Are you indoors or outdoors? What time of day do you need the projection to be seen.


  • The Projected Image


Here we are talking about the final image size as well as the design and the colours that will be used.



The Projector Location

 

If you are mounting the projector outdoors, exposed to the elements, in a wet area or somewhere like a factory floor you need a projector with a minimum rating of IP65. All the new Evica EP+ range are to this standard and can also be fitted with a protective cowl for extra protection.


Mounting Point


Where you mount your projector will dictate what type of mount or attachments you will need. Evica Gobo projectors all have a yoke/arm bracket with a13mm attachment hole that can rotate either side of the projector so it can be floor or ceiling mounted. Again we have many mounting options and adapters. Please contact us HERE for advice.


What distance are you projecting?


This is very important and combined with the image size you require you can choose from a range of lenses to get this right.  Also be aware, the further the throw of your projection the more power you will need to keep the projection visible. The brightness of an image on a surface is measured in LUX. We’ll talk more about this shortly.


What kind of surface are you projecting on?


Be sure to consider the colour and type of surface you are projecting on. This can cause problems if not considered.


Bright surfaces provide brighter projections. Dark surfaces absorb light so you will need a more powerful projector to compensate for this or make sure the image you are projecting only uses open white colour as this is the brightest your projection can be. Getting these factors right is a balancing act but we have charts for each projector that can help you with this; giving image sizes and brightness set against the different powered models and choice of lenses. If you need specific advice, contact us HERE.



The Ambient Light (LUX) levels


LUX and projection surfaces


If you are projecting at night time or in a very dark room you can use a relatively low powered projector as there is no other light to compete with.


In lit environments or daytime settings you are competing with the sun. This is where the power of your projector is key. The projector needs to over power the light which is already on a surface. The ambient light which comes from this surface is measured in LUX. This measurement is really useful to decide how much power you need.


How bright is the area (LUX) levels?


How much light there is on the surface you wish to project onto determines how bright your projection needs to be. This is measured in LUX. A light meter can measure this exactly but to give you an idea here is some typical LUX levels


Moonlit street wall 5 lux

Street lit environment at night 10 lux

Average lit living room. 25-50 Lux

Lit Pub wall/floor        100-150 Lux

Office wall with artificial light 150-300 Lux

Lit Supermarket 400-500 Lux

Operating theatre walls 1000 Lux


These figures are for artificially lit rooms without daylight factors. The sun is 100,000 lux so the amount of ambient sunlight on a surface can make a massive difference in which case a light meter would be required. As you can imagine there is no projector that can compete with direct sunlight!


HINT: IDEALLY YOU REQUIRE YOUR PROJECTION TO BE DOUBLE THE LUX VALUE OF THE SURFACE LIGHT YOU ARE PROJECTING ON


The finished projection size you are looking for:


The finished projection size is going to be determined by the distance you are projecting and the lens/beam angle you choose for your projector.


With any light, the tighter the beam angle, the more concentrated the beam of light is, hence the image will be brighter (but smaller). The wider the beam angle, the more surface area the light is spread out over so although it will be bigger, it will also be less bright and less sharp.


HINT: WHEN YOU DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THE PROJECTION ITS BRIGHTNESS DECREASES BY A QUARTER


All our products have specification sheets with charts that clearly show the LUX values at various distances/image sizes for each lens choice. You can download the charts for the EP+ range. They are also available on the product pages.

here---> PDFLumen/Lux Charts



So as an example

 

I want to project a beer brand logo on to a bar wall in the evenings.

 

The pub environment is approximately 100-150 LUX

My mounting distance is about 4 meters away.

 

So I look on the chart to see which model can project around 300 LUX (double the pub environment) at 4m and what lens would be required.

 

Well I see the EP40+ can project 396 LUX (more LUX than we need) at 4m distance using the WIDE lens and this would give an image 204cm (pretty big for a bar over 2m!) .

 

I see also that the EP20+ can project 246 LUX (borderline depending on exact measurement and environment) for a 142cm image using the MEDIUM lens or…461 LUX (nice and bright) for 98cm image using the NARROW lens.

 

DON’T FORGET THOUGH!

 

If you are projecting onto a darker surface or have a particularly dark design double everything again or more if necessary. And please keep in mind light perception is in the eye of the beholder. These tools are a good guide. If in doubt get a LIGHT METER!!