In warmer weather, getting everybody outside for a movie or TV night can be such a treat. It's hard to beat the freedom you can feel when enjoying a viewing session in your own garden.
To really maximise the experience, you could invest in (or build) an outdoor viewing area that's shaded from sunlight with some comfortable garden furniture. Plus, this will enhance how clearly you can see the projector!
Read on for our favourite projectors that can be used outdoors. They range in price and come with a variety of features, so you can choose the right one for you.
How do I choose the right outdoor projector?
There are a few things to consider when deciding on the best outdoor projector. Brightness, resolution and portability might be three of the most important factors, but other features like smart technology or image upscaling might be better for what you're after.
Unless you have a dedicated dark space for your outdoor viewing, it's likely you'll need a projector with bright lighting. The light conditions outside can vary, so projectors that can detect this and adjust the picture accordingly work well. Brightness is measured in ANSI lumens, where usually the higher the number the brighter the image. But this is offset against the size of the picture, so it's important to make sure it's bright relative to the image size.
The resolution will determine the quality and maximum size of the image. If you're after an outdoor cinematic experience, you should look for a projector with high quality picture such as 4K UHD.
Portability depends on whether you have access to a power source outside. If you don't, it'll be best to choose a projector that can be recharged or powered by a power bank. If you do have a setup with power, you can go for a projector with more advanced features that a portable one wouldn't necessarily have.
Most projectors allow you to wirelessly stream from a smartphone or laptop, but some have built-in smart apps allowing you to access viewing platforms straight from the device. This is ideal if you have limited devices spare and don't want to double up on the power being used.
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Best outdoor projectors to buy in 2023
Anker Nebula Solar Portable
One of the best-reviewed projectors when it comes to portability, Anker's Nebula Solar Portable Projector delivers high-quality video without needing to be plugged in. After a three-hour charge time, the device is fully charged and ready to be taken outdoors.
It produces a 120-inch display delivering 1080p visuals, backed by HRD10 lighting with the brightness level of 400 ANSI lumens. The audio is powered by Dolby Digital Plus software on dual 3W speakers. Plus, it has an auto-focus feature to reduce position-setup time!
It can easily be paired wirelessly with your device, like a smartphone or laptop, or you can enjoy the 5,000+ viewing apps available on the Android TV 9 system.
The Epson EF-12 is a serious choice for outdoor use. The compact projector can reach a brightness level of 1000 lumens making it ideal for differing light conditions. Epson also uses a 3LCD display system that produces improved brightness across the whole colour range.
The screen can be projected up to a size of 150" which is more than enough for creating your very own outdoor movie theatre. And with Full HD resolution and a contrast range of 2,500,000 to 1, you won't be missing out on quality either.
LG CineBeam HU710P
The advanced size and quality of this projector's display is reflected in the price tag. The LG CineBeam HU710P uses a hybrid laser and LED projector to produce a display that has an impressive 4K UHD quality up to 300" wide.
For vivid cinematic viewing, it doesn't get much better than this. 'Iris Mode' can detect the lighting conditions and adjust the brightness accordingly. And with a huge 2000 lumens, the projector should be able to keep up with the outdoor light.
What makes this projector more portable is its ability to be powered by a power bank. This is ideal if you don't have access to a mains supply outside, as you can position it in any spot in your garden as long as you have a charged-up bank.
Its Full HD resolution and bright lamp should provide some vibrant colours during outdoor viewing sessions. Plus, it runs quietly and consumes a low amount of energy, which should be pleasant to have in the background of your favourite movies.
Nebula Cosmos Max
4K Ultra-HD resolution and 1500 ANSI-lumen lighting give the Nebula Cosmos Max an outstanding feature set. The projector has a built-in digital zoom to more easily change the size of the image, up to a maximum width of 150".
An advanced feature is its ability to upscale non-HDR content, so the image will become enhanced in real-time as you watch it. Plus, it has 360 degrees of true audio with speakers that use Dolby Digital Plus and Sound Dimension.
A smart projector with a more premium appearance, the VIEWSONIC X10-4K can deliver 4K resolution video in a screen size of up to 200". Motion blur and dark details can be improved automatically with the system's ability to detect such issues.
The projector can be activated by voice using Alexa or Google Assistant and the soundbar can be connected to via Bluetooth, for access straight from your phone or laptop. It also has a built-in smart platform where you can access viewing apps like Netflix and YouTube.
LG CineBeam HF60LSR
The compact size of this projector allows for easier portability, perfect for taking it into the garden for an outdoor viewing. And for when you don't have access to your laptop, you can use a USB key to access your content.
TruMotion is a neat feature, generating frames between existing frames to improve how smooth the viewing experience is. It has a Full HD LED display that can extend up to 120" wide.
Dan works across a range of Our Media's special interest brands. With a keen eye for what makes a product great, their expertise comes in handy when writing for publications like Countryfile, Science Focus and YourHomeStyle. Outside of work, their passion for creative culture pushes them towards music and the arts.