Lumens and ANSI lumens are frequently seen in the specification box of projectors. They are both units for brightness. Are lumens and ANSI lumens the same?

Are lumens and ANSI lumens the same?

The answer is no.

Lumens vs ANSI Lumens

Lumen is a general brightness unit, which is applied to many areas. It may refer to ANSI lumens, LED lumens, light source lumens, or ISO lumens if there is no additional explanation. Among the lumens unit above, ANSI lumens and ISO lumens are brighter and the light source lumens perform the worst if the lumens value is the same. It is more likely light source lumen for some cheap projectors with higher lumens value.

light source lumens and ANSI lumens
Credit: BenQ

ANSI lumen is the standard brightness for the projector industry. ANSI lumens show the brightness of the projected image of a projector. It adopts a 9-point measurement method, which has strict rules and guidelines. ANSI lumen is widely used by most projector brands in the world market.

Some projector manufacturers adopt lumens to label their brightness directly, and you may not identify the brightness unit clearly without careful checking.

To conclude, lumens is a general and loose brightness unit while ANSI lumens are the standard and internationally recognized unit for projector.

projector lumens and brightness

Why do some manufacturers label their brightness with ANSI lumens?

Some well-known established projector brands will add additional explanations to show the real lumens unit and standard.

But some new brands will label the light source lumens as lumens to make their projector appealing.  Generally, the bigger the lumens figure, the brighter the brightness if the lumens unit is the same.

Light source lumens describe the brightness of a light source, which is higher than the real brightness of the projection image of a projector.

Therefore, you should check the lumens unit of a projector before purchase. You can use the Lumens to ANSI lumens converter to convert different lumens units.

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