Difference between indoor and outdoor projectors

Undoubtedly, the demand for indoor and outdoor projectors is getting massively high. But there exists a clear-cut difference between them. Here you can check out and get to know how these projectors are different from each other. The main difference between indoor and outdoor projectors is that indoor projectors are designed for use in controlled, sheltered environments, while outdoor projectors are built to withstand exposure to the elements and provide a clear image in bright ambient light conditions.

Overall, they differ in terms of brightness, durability, screen gain, screen type, the color of the projector screen and whether they are weather-proof projectors. Below you can see further details: 

How indoor and outdoor projectors are different?

We have listed a few of the differences, which will quickly explain to you how an indoor projector is different from an outdoor projector:


An outdoor projector needs more brightness and lumens than an indoor projector.

As we all know, outdoor projectors are placed in the backyards, front yards or any outdoor premise. When used during the daytime, they need more lumens. That is why outdoor projectors are designed to carry more brightness and lumens. High lumens make it easy for them to deal with sunlight and other uncertain and unpredictable atmospheres. The dull image quality will be displayed if it is an outdoor projector with a low brightness rating.

On the other hand, indoor projectors need less brightness and less lumen rating. They are usually placed in rooms, meeting rooms, conference rooms and theatre rooms where there is no sunlight. So, getting an indoor projector with minimum lumens seems appropriate.


Outdoor projectors look more durable than indoor projectors.

It is assumed that outdoor projectors must withstand unpredictable environmental conditions like heavy rain and strong wind. That is why these projectors are constructed more durably than indoor projectors.  

Indoor projectors are not exposed to uncertain environmental times. They never have to withstand windy and rainy times. For this reason, they remain considered less durable!


Indoor projectors need higher resolution than outdoor projectors.

It is proven that indoor projectors demand higher resolution because they are viewed from a shorter distance. This way, you can ensure optimal and excellent image quality. 

Outdoor projectors need less resolution because they are generally intended and designed to be viewed farther away. Though they have a lower resolution, but the image and color quality will not be affected at all.

Screen gain

Outdoor projectors have a high screen gain as compared to indoor projectors.

Talking specifically about screen gain, it is commonly noticed that outdoor projectors have a high screen gain. The screens are accompanied by a special coating to keep the picture quality brighter and noticeably visible and also no longer dull. Thus, the screens of outdoor projectors reflect more light as they have a high screen gain.

Indoor projectors have less screen gain. They are placed indoors and surrounded by less ambient light. You hardly have to do anything to control the ambient light. That is why less screen gain remains noticed in indoor projectors.

Screen color

Indoor projector screens are white, and outdoor projector screens remain available in black or white color.

First of all, talking about the screen color of indoor projectors! We have noticed that they are white. Remember that the screen color has the biggest impact and determines how the image quality will appear. Overall, almost every indoor projector screen is white. This seems to be the choice because white perfectly controls the unwanted ambient light and keeps the picture appears brighter, clearer and crisp in the room.

The screen color of outdoor projectors is either black or grey. They are high-contrast screens. Using dark colors enhances the contrast, brightness and color quality when you place a projector on an outdoor premise. It is tougher to control the ambient light outdoors; that is why screens are either black or grey because they easily absorb unwanted light.

Suitable screen size for indoor and outdoor projectors

You might be wondering what can be a suitable screen for indoor and outdoor projectors; here we are going to tell you.

120 inches or more is the suitable projection that an indoor projector can display. In the case of outdoor projectors, you can keep the screen size as much bigger as you can.

When getting an indoor projector, the individual remains restricted by wall space. That is why 120 inches of projection seems appropriate for indoor projectors.

The average size for outdoor projector screens starts from 120 inches and can go up to 300 inches wide. Furthermore, the average aspect ratio concerning an outdoor projector screen is 16:9.


Outdoor projectors are always weatherproof than indoor projectors.

As mentioned above, outdoor projectors must bear tough rainy, windy and stormy weather times. They are weatherproofed because minimal damage occurs even if they are exposed to rain or wind.

Furthermore, the outdoor projectors remain additionally protected with an exclusive weatherproofing coating. You never know when rain droplets or a gust of wind will blow your projector screen. That is why they guarantee to show weatherproofing nature and stand up every challenging weather time.

Which projector screen looks more challenging to set up?

Outdoor projector screens look more challenging and harder to set up than indoor projector screens.

When setting up an indoor projector screen, the process is easy. You only have to pull down the screen. That is all! Indoor projectors have fixed screens. You can either pull them down manually or use a remote control.

When it comes to setting outdoor projector screens, the process will take a bit longer. First, you must mount that screen on the wall or any tension frame. In addition, you have to drill holes in the wall, and here, you will need special tools as well. Keep the screen in a standing and firm position using weights. 


We hope you have understood the key differences between indoor and outdoor projectors. Giving you a general idea again! These projectors differ in weatherproofing nature, brightness, durability, screen color, screen gain and how much time they take to get set up. Stay tuned with us too!

Hi there! My name is Haris Rehman, and I review projectors for homes, movies, and offices. My passion for all things audiovisual has led me to test and review a broad range of projectors for consumers to help them make informed purchasing decisions. The reviews I provide are honest and unbiased based on my understanding of what makes a quality projector. Check out my blog for the latest reviews and insights.

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