ANSI Lumens Vs Lumens

When it comes to buying a projector, especially for first-time buyers, they often get confused while checking the brightness level. In many instances, you will find that some projectors are coming with ANSI lumen for their brightness specification, while some others are only offering lumens for the brightness.

In general, as a buyer, we tend to go for the highest brightness level at our price, but the ANSI lumen and lumen specification often leave us in a split.

Apart from the specification, you will also find that a 1000 ANSI lumen projector costs the same as a 2000 lumen projector which leads to more confusion. To clear the confusion for first-time buyers, we have created to highlight all the facts related to ANSI lumens vs. lumens.

ANSI Lumens VS Lumens

Both ANSI lumen and lumen are the standard units of measurement that are used to define the brightness of a projector. The factor that differentiates ANSI lumen from lumen is the brightness accuracy of ANSI lumen.

ANSI stands for American National Standard Institute, and it tests the brightness level of the projector, which leads to better accuracy. Lumen, on the other hand, is standardized by the International System of Units, and it is not as accurate as ANSI.

Lumen is widely considered as the SI unit of measurement of luminous flux, which is the amount or intensity of light emitted per solid angle. Even though ANSI lumen is not the SI unit for brightness but nowadays, it is widely preferred by most reputed manufacturers.

Since the ANSI lumens are properly evaluated under different conditions and circumstances, most of the reputed manufacturers standardize their brightness levels before putting their products on the market.

The lumen figure of the projector is also standardized, but it doesn’t get evaluated much under different conditions, so it doesn’t produce a highly accurate value. The reason ANSI lumen was introduced is that it helped projector manufacturers to put up a precise brightness measurement and also helped them in gaining trust from their customers.

In general, 50 ANSI lumen is similar to 120 lumens, so there is a massive difference in their rating when it comes to figuring the brightness level of a projector.

What is ANSI Lumen?

ANSI lumen is a popular unit that is used for measuring the luminous flux of a projector, and it tells you accurately the actual amount of brightness you will get. Even though it is considered as a unit for defining the brightness level of a projector, it is not the standard SI unit of brightness.

This unit is assigned by the American National Standards Institute that tests the brightness of a projector under various circumstances, thus bringing out an accurate value of luminance level.  1 ANSI lumens is similar to 1 lumen, which is 1 cd X sr, so the dimension of both the units is the same.

The method of measuring the ANSI lumen of a projector is quite stringent as the light output of a projector is recorded at nine different points on the screen. Then the average of those nine points is calculated, which is again multiplied by the area of the screen, and it results in the accurate ANSI lumen of the projector.

The reason this measurement is widely preferred by many manufacturers is that it doesn’t change with the size of the image or screen, so the accuracy of the brightness rating is always best. However, there is a cost associated with the evaluation process, and only a few reputed manufacturers opt for this evaluation process.

Ranging from Epson, Sony, Optoma, LG to ViewSonic and many other reputed brands are known for providing ANSI lumens when they put out a new projector in the market. A projector with ANSI lumen is much more trustworthy than a lumen rating because you know you are getting an accurate brightness rating.

What is Lumen?

Lumen is the standard SI unit for the measurement of brightness produced by a projector, and it still serves as an obvious choice for many manufacturers. Lumen rating for brightness is standardized by the International System of Units, and each projector with a lumen rating goes through a standard evaluation process.

The main application of the unit is to put out ratings of the light output of different bulbs used in the projector, and it includes LED, fluorescent, incandescent light bulbs, etc.

Lumen is a term that was derived from the Latin word “lumin,” which means light, and it basically tells you the amount of light intensity across a solid angle of one luminous flux.

“lm” is the standard symbol used for describing the lumen of a projector, and “J” serves as the symbol for denoting the dimension of luminous flux. You will also come across the term lux associated with lumens, and it also helps in determining the brightness of a projector. However, the term lux (luminance) determines the reach of the light from the light source of the projector.

Whereas lumen determines the overall light produced or brightness generated from a light source through a specific area. Almost every manufacturer in the world uses this SI unit to determine the brightness, but it doesn’t come with high accuracy.

If a projector comes with 2000 lumen, it might seem high in figures, but in reality, it is pretty low, and you won’t get a considerable brightness level. Lumens are evaluated under different circumstances but don’t go through a strict evaluation process like ANSI lumen.

So, now the question of which would be better when it comes to choosing a projector. Here are some major differences that make them slightly different from one another.

Difference between ANSI Lumen and Lumen

Here are all the key differences between the brightness measurement of ANSI lumen and Lumen;

  • Lumen serves as the SI unit of brightness, and it is followed by almost all the manufacturers in the world. Whereas ANSI lumen doesn’t serve as an SI unit, it has become a popular unit to describe the brightness of the projector more accurately. However, the ANSI lumen is standardized by a renowned agency, so it has proper legitimacy.
  • ANSI lumen is much more accurate than lumen as it is evaluated under different circumstances. Moreover, during the evaluation process, the average value of the luminous flux at nine different positions on the screen is calculated. However, the evaluation process of the lumen is not very stringent, and it goes through fewer evaluation processes. The main down point in the evaluation of lumen is that it is recorded from one position, so it won’t give you an accurate figure of the brightness of a projector.
  • ANSI lumen is a standard unit that has been structured by the American National Standard Institute. The organization follows a properly evaluated procedure to measure the luminous flux of a projector. Lumen, on the other hand, follows a standard procedure to evaluate the luminous flux and is standardized by the International System of Units.
  • “lm” is the symbol that is used to describe the lumen of a projector, but ANSI lumen doesn’t come with any symbol.
  • ANSI lumen is mainly utilized to denote the brightness of certain types of light output, so it has some limitations. However, you can’t say the same for lumen because it can be used to denote the brightness of various types of light sources that include LED, incandescent, fluorescent, etc. Notably, the number of light sources associated with lumen is relatively higher than ANSI lumen.
  • Only a few projector manufacturers in the world offer ANSI lumens to determine the brightness rating of their projector. However, the lumen is widely used by projector manufacturers as the cost of the evaluation is relatively less.

Final Verdict

Both ANSI lumen and lumen are used to denote the brightness of the projector, but ANSI lumen offers more accuracy. However, it doesn’t mean lumen ratings have low accuracy, and it gives the brightness rating for specific situations.

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