You don’t need to sit in total darkness in order to view films (or any other form of media) on a projector. High-quality projectors can deliver crystal clear images in brightly lit settings, including the outdoors. The best projectors for daylight viewing have enough lumens to hold up on a bright day and deliver an image quality that meets your standards, whether that’s 4K resolution or a high-contrast picture.
What to look for when shopping for the best projectors for daylight viewing
Brightness & contrast
Brightness is the single most important factor when shopping for good projectors for daylight use. This is typically measured in either lumens or a more accurate and standardized value known as American National Standards Institute (ANSI) lumens. If you’re using a projector before sunset, you’ll ideally want to look for a minimum of 3,000 lumens or 1,000 ANSI lumens to ensure that images won’t be dull or washed out by the sun. However, projectors with this much brightness tend to be cost-prohibitive. If budget is a factor, you may want to opt for a budget projector with fewer lumens and make adjustments to your environment for optimal viewing (e.g., draw the shades, or if you’re outside, set the screen up in a shady area). You can also sift through customer reviews to see how the projector performs in brighter conditions. Last, it’s also important to keep in mind that the larger the screen size, the more lumens are required for premium image quality. Essentially, the best projector screen for daylight use will be on the smaller end of the spectrum, but you can also set expectations for large-screen viewing accordingly.
You’ll also want to consider contrast ratio, which measures the intensity of light and dark shades against each other. The higher the ratio, the more contrast you’ll get. Generally speaking, you’ll want to aim for a ratio of 3000:1 — but a higher ratio will be even better for daylight viewing.
Another spec to consider is resolution, which will translate to image quality. Projectors typically display images in 720p, 1080p, or 4K — the higher the number of pixels, the sharper and clearer the image. Again, this will be a cost trade-off as higher resolution projectors tend to be pricier.
You’ll also want a projector with sound quality that suits the size of your space. All the projectors here have built-in speakers, but keep in mind you may want to use Bluetooth or AUX ports to connect external speakers for more immersive sound.
If you’re using your projector to watch content from your smartphone, look for built-in Wi-Fi so you can utilize the screen mirroring function — otherwise you may need to purchase an HDMI cable in order to connect. However, those who want to sync their projector with a streaming service should note that copyright protections will often block transmission when screen mirroring. In this case, you will need an Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku in order to stream on your projector.
Whether you’re in the market for a backyard movie projector or something for marathon gaming sessions, you’re in the right place — these are the best projectors for daylight viewing on Amazon.
Shop the best projectors for daylight viewing
In a hurry? These are the best projectors for daylight viewing:
- A mini projector that weighs just 2 pounds: AuKing mini projector
- An outdoor projector for screens up to 300 inches: DBPOWER outdoor Wi-Fi projector
- A budget-friendly mini projector that comes with a screen: NICPOW mini projector
- A portable projector that’s Wi-Fi-enabled: TOPTRO 5G Wi-Fi projector
- A premium projector with upgraded features & rave reviews: XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K projector
A mini projector that weighs just 2 pounds
Highlights: lightweight for portability, decent picture quality for the size
Projectors that work in daylight don’t need to be big, as evidenced by this compact outdoor projector, which weighs just 2 pounds. This unit emits a powerful 7,500 lumens and displays on screens between 33 and 170 inches. It has a resolution of 1080p, which is great for its compact footprint, though the contrast ratio is a bit low compared to other options on this list. Many Amazon shoppers were impressed with the size and price of this projector, with one in particular noting that “even in the daylight the picture was very vivid.”
According to a reviewer: “This projector is amazing during the daylight and even better at night. It’s nice and small and it’s also easy to move around and adjust. The projector doesn’t overheat too fast. I highly recommend others to get this projector.”
Lumens: 7,500 | Resolution: 1080p | Contrast ratio: 2000:1 | Display size: 33 inches to 170 inches
An outdoor projector for screens up to 300 inches
Highlights: accommodates screens up to 300 inches, high-contrast picture, Wi-Fi-enabled for screen mirroring from phones and tablets
If you want to view footage on a large screen, this outdoor movie projector has an impressive maximum display size of 300 inches. Solid image quality comes courtesy of 1080p resolution, but note that the brightness maxes out at 450 ANSI lumens. To make up for it, this projector has an impressive contrast ratio of 10000:1, and several Amazon reviewers reported it can be used in daylight conditions (even outdoors).
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities allow for wireless screen mirroring from your smartphone or tablet, while multiple ports allow you to connect the projector to various media devices. Another great feature: This projector has a zoom function that shrinks images without you having to physically move the projector — helpful for making quick and easy adjustments that will give you the best picture possible.
According to a reviewer: “Awesome picture quality. Bright picture even in daylight. Sleek design. It’s great that you can send pictures and video to it via Bluetooth. The focus adjustment is great. […] I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a great projector. Love watching movies on it.”
Lumens: 450 ANSI lumens | Resolution: 1080p | Contrast ratio: 10000:1 | Display size: 50 inches to 300 inches
A budget-friendly mini projector that comes with a screen
Highlights: budget-friendly, screen included
Easily one of the best budget daylight projectors, this pick works on displays as large as 240 inches, making it a powerful machine for its price. The trade-off for the price is a lower 720p resolution, as well as a lack of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, but it has still earned over a thousand five-star ratings for its performance. It has a decent contrast ratio, and while the lumens aren’t listed, several reviewers reported a clear screen in daylight conditions — one wrote, “it was still very bright outside and the picture was very clear and totally watchable.” Dual speakers are built in, and the unit also comes with a 100-inch projection screen, which is a convenient bonus for your next outdoor movie night.
According to a reviewer: “I was impressed with the overall functionality of this projector. At this price range it’s hard to imagine something better. I was doing testing while it was still daylight and even then the picture quality was great, nice contrast and everything works just out of the box. It took a couple of minutes to adjust the angle and focus. After that, connected macbook over hdmi and picked the sound source as hdmi in mac os settings. That’s all! Highly recommend.”
Lumens: not listed | Resolution: 720p | Contrast ratio: 6000:1 | Display size: 32 inches to 240 inches
A portable projector that’s Wi-Fi-enabled
Highlights: low-profile touch-screen functions, built-in carrying strap for portability, Wi-Fi-enabled for screen mirroring from phones and tablets
This 5G Wi-Fi-enabled projector is definitely one to consider, especially if you plan to use the screen mirroring function on your iPhone (you can also use screen mirroring on an Android if you download the Miracast app). It has a projection size of 50 to 300 inches, and it connects to devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or one of multiple HDMI ports.
The handy built-in carrying strap makes it easy to transport the projector between locations. Just keep in mind, at 280 ANSI lumens, this projector is a bit dimmer than others on the list — so you may want to draw the shades if you opt for this pick. That being said, several reviewers were pleased with its daylight performance, perhaps in part due to the fairly high contrast ratio. Although images display at a resolution of only 720p, one enthusiastic Amazon reviewer described the image quality as “bright, clear, and crisp.”
According to a reviewer: “Great projector with many nice functions. Bright and high definition pictures for any occasions, even in a room with some ambient light during day or with some light on during night. […] Very convenient, great picture quality, just turn it on and enjoy a family movie night or enjoy some short videos mirrored from your mobile devices.”
Lumens: 280 ANSI | Resolution: 720p | Contrast ratio: 8000:1 | Display size: 50 inches to 300 inches
A premium projector with upgraded features & rave reviews
Highlights: brightest picture and highest resolution on the list, premium Harman Kardon speakers, voice control, auto-focus
For a cinematic experience outside of theaters, this bright projector with 4K resolution is worth the investment — and reviewers have raved about the image quality, “even in daylight, with sunshine flooding the room.” Along with an impressive contrast ratio, it projects images at 2,200 ANSI lumens — more than adequate for daylight environs — on screens between 40 and 200 inches.
Harman Kardon speakers provide premium-quality sound, and you’ll also get other upgraded features like auto-focus and intelligent screen alignment. Built-in Chromecast lets you screen mirror from Android and Apple devices, and Google Assistant provides voice control. Despite this pick pulling out all the stops, reviewers still found setup to be “fast and easy.” In short, if you’re looking for a big-screen viewing experience that’s equal to TV quality — even in bright conditions — this is worth the price.
According to a reviewer: “Best Projector for viewing 4k movies. It works as advertised. I have a dolby atmos home theater setup along with a 250 inch screen. OMG, this projector comes to life when you throw any 4k movies at it. The picture quality is life like.”
Lumens: 2,200 ANSI | Resolution: 4K | Contrast ratio: 10000:1 | Display size: 40 inches to 200 inches