9 Best Outdoor Projectors of 2021

Backyard fanatics love to maximize their time spent outside, so why not extend the enjoyment by taking movie night into the yard?

An outdoor projector lets you watch your favorite TV shows or movies, or play video games in the backyard. Spend time with family and friends and make the most of warm days and evenings. A projector also makes it easy to take your party outside, without the hassle that comes with a television installation.

The best outdoor projector lets you set it up when you need it, and take it inside when you’re done. Or, install one permanently and enjoy it all year round.

We’ve looked at outdoor projectors and screens and have the top picks here for you, along with the answers to some key questions you’ll have as you search for the best outdoor projector for your backyard.

Our Top 3 Picks for 2021 - A Quick Comparison

Runner up #2
Mini projector
  • Extremely Portable 
  • Apple Airplay and Android Miracast Support
  • Rechargeable Battery
Runner up #3
Silver color projector
  • Smartphone Compatible
  • Come with Carrying Case
  • Versatile Connectivity

The Best Projectors of 2021

Best Overall

FANGOR 701 Video Projector

Projector with bag

With fully sealed optical components that keep dust off the projection light, this is a great choice as an outdoor projector.

Here are the other reasons we love it:

  • Brightness of 8500lLumens.
  • Besides the anti-dust design, it also features low noise output and a cooling system with an advanced copper radiator.
  • Resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, capable of displaying 4K videos.
  • Includes built-in stereo surround speakers, or connect an external speaker with Bluetooth.



  • Connect with the USB charger connection or screen mirroring with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • A bit pricier than some of our other options.
  • Also has HDMI, AV, and SD Card ports.
  • Some users may not recognize this brand.
  • Comes with a carrying case.
  • Cell

    Silver color projector

    Good quality at an affordable price.

    Here are the other reasons we love it:

    • Mirror movies, videos, photos and games from your smartphone using Wi-Fi or a USB cable directly.
    • Comes with a carrying case.
    • Built-in dual stereo speakers.
    • Versatile for all uses, with HDMI, USB, AV, VGA and SD ports.



  • 1920 x 1080 resolution.
  • Recommended for use in low-light environments.
  • Customize the projection screen size from 75% to 100% using the remote.
  • Need to use an HDMI connection and not WiFi for protected apps on a smartphone, because of copyright, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
  • Brightness of 8000 lumens.
  • Cell

    Mini projector

    A great choice for an ultra compact and portable projector.

    Here are the other reasons we love it:

    • Extremely versatile, as it has HDMI & Micro USB Cables, allowing you to connect to a camera, external storage drive, PC, laptop and more.
    • Connect without wires using mobile-to-projector mirroring with Airplay and Miracast.
    • Powered by a rechargeable battery.



  • Built-in speaker and onboard controls.
  • Won’t be as bright, at only 60 Ansi lumens.
  • Weighs only one pound.
  • The picture may not stack up to a bigger projector, with just a 854 x 480 resolution.

  • Cell

    Black color projector

    This is a popular choice for gaming, with an enhanced Gaming Mode that enables fast response time.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • Brightness of 3600 lumens provides a bright picture even in daylight or inside with the lights on.
    • High definition provides crisp images with a 1080p (1920×1080) resolution.
    • Long lamp life of up to 15,000 hours.



    • Game Display Mode also boosts shadows and dark scenes for greater visibility.
    • Not the lightest, weighing 6.2 pounds
    • Displays true 3D content from almost any 3D source.
    • Remote control is a bit frustrating to use
    • Quiet when running.

    Epson projector

    A solid choice from a name you know.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • Bright 2500 lumens of color and white brightness.
    • Provides widescreen, full HD picture at 1080p.
    • Adjust the contrast up to 35,000:1 for rich detail in dark scenes.



  • Innovative 3LCD technology provides clear pictures with no rainbow effect.
  • External speaker isn’t the greatest quality.
  • Connect with two HDMI ports to set up a cable or satellite box, Blu-ray Disc player, gaming console or other streaming device.
  • Need to connect via cable only.

  • Cell

    A lower priced option with the bonus of a projector screen included.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • Brightness of 6500 Lumens.
    • Full HD 1080p supported.
    • Display technology is LCD and the light source is LED.
    • Lamp life of 50,000 hours.



  • Connect with HDMI port, USB, SD card slot, and computer, AV and headphone inputs.
    • The cables are shorter than normal; longer cables would be ideal especially for outside
  • Built-in speakers for better sound
  • Small and easily portable-great for camping, outdoors
    • Need an external adapter to connect a smartphone using the USB port.


    portable projector

    Get quality sound from the unit with dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • A built-in battery delivers up to 2.5 hours of power in full power mode.
    • Versatile as it supports iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome and MacOS, and connects to gaming consoles as well.
    • Comes with a handy “Smart Stand” adjustable tripod.



  • The APTOIDE user interface lets you download apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and more on the projector.
  • Bluetooth connection is for audio only.
  • Use it to listen to music with a battery life of up to 5 hours.
  • Brightness rating of 300 LED lumens may not be ideal for every backyard.
  • 16 GB of internal storage.
  • Cell

    LG smart projector

    This is a high-priced projector for those wanting top-of-the-line quality.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • Brightness of up to 1500 ANSI lumens.
    • The Magic Remote lets you access LG webOS smart TV operating system, allowing you to stream on your favorite apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
    • Use it on a screen up to 140 inches.



  • Control the projector with your voice using the built-in Google Assistant and Alexa.
  • You’ll pay top dollar for this projector.
  • 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160)
  • You may not want to take an expensive product like this outside.

  • Cell

    Projector with Wifi

    A mid-priced projector with a high brightness setting.

    Here’s why we like it:

    • Brightness of 8500 Lumens.
    • HD video and 4K capability
    • Adjust the screen size from 75-100% using the remote.



  • Wi-Fi connection to mirror movies, videos, photos, apps and games from your iOS or Android device.
  • Can’t mirror with Google and Samsung phones.
  • Two built-in 3W HiFi stereo speakers and SSR audio system.
  • Q6 wireless projection doesn't support Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu - need to use another connection.
  • Connect to external speakers or headphones with Bluetooth.
  • Cell

    Things to consider when buying an outdoor projector

    Now you’ve got our recommendations in hand, but you may still be wondering: How do I find a good outdoor projector? Before choosing the best outdoor projector for your needs, here are some basics to consider.

    Permanent vs. Temporary Setup

    Everyone has different needs for their outdoor projector. One of the first questions you need to ask is whether the setup will be permanent.

    You can certainly install the projection equipment outdoors, and fix it in place, as long as you can be sure it’s protected from the elements. That includes the projector, possibly an external sound system, a screen (unless you choose to use a wall) and the power cords leading to the power source. The external video source can also be kept in place, or you can carry your laptop, tablet and more in and out of the house as you need it.

    For many who live in climates that are less forgiving, a temporary setup is preferable. That means having a place to set everything up when you need it. Or, install part of the setup, like a screen and outdoor speakers, and move the other equipment around as needed. With an investment in a projector, you may want to use it indoors sometimes as well, so a temporary setup would be your choice.

    Finally, don’t forget about a power source. While we do include projectors that run off a rechargeable battery, make sure a plug-in is near your setup. If you have a binge night, you’ll need that extra power source. It may even be worth installing an outlet with ground fault protection, preventing surges that can damage your equipment or create an electrical hazard.


    If your projector will be carried back and forth from the house to the backyard, you’ll want one that’s portable and easy to set up.

    It stands to reason that smaller projectors are better for those who want the flexibility of moving the project inside and outside. But pocket-sized projectors are not ideal for outside use. We did include some smaller sized projectors that are good for outside projection.


    The brightness of projectors is measured in lumens and ANSI lumens. Lumens is a rating typically given to lamps and light bulbs. ANSI lumens rates the light output of projectors, is more specific, and is standardized by the American National Standards Institute (hence the name ANSI).

    Most projectors have a lumens rating as a standard of brightness, although we do include some with ANSI ratings.

    That raises a few questions:

    • How many lumens do I need for an outdoor projector?
    • What is the minimum and maximum lumens for a projector?
    • What about ANSI lumens?

    Here are some guidelines.

    Most projectors have brightness control options, which helps when you’re wondering: Do outdoor projectors work in daylight? The answer is yes, and some are better than others.

    To project outside, you probably need a minimum of 1000 lumens of brightness. In a darker setting, you can turn the brightness down, and in daylight, or in a brightly lit room indoors, you can turn it up. For instance, daytime viewings would probably need about 2500 lumens. Adjustments can be made to get your ideal setting. But be sure to choose a bright enough projector for your needs.

    As for ANSI lumens, a rating of 500-1000 should be sufficient for a projector installed relatively close to the screen. Anything medium to long range probably requires 1000-2000 ANSI lumens.

    Even at night time, the brightness in backyards can vary greatly. If you live in a city, your yard is likely much brighter due to ambient light such as streetlights, compared to your friend who lives on an acreage or farm. So a hard and fast answer for an ideal brightness setting isn’t always possible.

    And then you may wonder: Which is better, DLP or LCD projector? Both are good, with a few differences.

    DLP or Digital Light Processing projectors have sharp, high quality projection, with 3D capacity. But many believe LCD projectors provide a sharper picture, and they are generally (but not always) less expensive. DLP technology can often fit into a smaller sized projector, and do have a high contrast and less visible pixels. LCD has a richer color even in ambient light, and by using less power, they also throw less heat.

    In the end, the difference in perceived quality may be a personal preference for the type of image generated by the technology.


    Many projectors include speakers, but that may not be sufficient if you’re projecting in a big backyard. The option to connect an audio source by cable or Bluetooth may be important to you. Just remember your neighbours when you set the volume. Or, invite them to the viewing party!


    Using Your Projector

    One projector does not suit all people, because everyone will have different uses for it. Here are some examples along with what that may mean for your choice of the best outdoor projector for your yard.

    A projector can be used to watch movies, whether that’s stored on a flash card, USB drive, or hooked to a streaming service like an Amazon Fire TV stick. If you plan to watch movies, then consider the video source and make sure your projector is compatible with it (has a USB port, for instance.) Some have the capacity to run an app like Netflix right on the projector.

    If you’re gaming, once again consider the input source for the games. Do you need an HDMI port, or a computer port? Or both? Do you need to connect to a source that’s farther than most cables will reach? Or is it easy to drag your computer outside?

    If you’re planning to purchase a projector with Wi-Fi capability, will your wireless Internet connection reach the location in the backyard you intend to use? Or will you need to purchase a Wi-Fi extender?

    Consider the ways you may use your projector before making a final decision on your best outdoor projector.

    Should You Get a Projector Screen?

    Once you choose the best backyard projector, you need to decide whether you want a projector screen.

    It’s true that you can use any flat surface to project your movies, TV shows or games: The wall of the house or garage; a flat portion of your fence (if the fence is solid and not slatted); a bedsheet hung from the deck railing or fence; or a home-made screen made of foam board or painted plywood.

    But if you invest good money in a projector, it’s worth spending a little more to get a real screen.

    When searching for a screen, check the specs as most screens are designed for specific resolutions. You should also consider size, since a rectangular screen will be better for movie nights, while gaming can be accommodated with a square screen.

    If you plan to use your projector and screen indoors as well as outside, find one that’s easy to move and will fit in the room which you plan to use for projection in the house.

    The Verdict

    An outdoor movie night is a fun way to extend the enjoyment of your backyard sanctuary. Why be cooped up inside in beautiful weather when you can be lounging in the yard, watching your favorite show, gaming with the kids, or cuddling up in front of a romantic flick?

    There are many choices for every budget and taste, and with our guide that includes considerations when shopping and some top picks, you’ll be able to choose the best outdoor projector to make your backyard the envy of the neighborhood.

    About The Author

    Ardith profile picture

    Ardith Stephanson


    Ardith Stephanson has a journalism degree and spent years having fun as a sports writer for a national newspaper. She has also worked in communications and marketing, ran a successful communications business, and is a national award-winner. These days, she prefers to focus solely on writing, and to spend a lot of time in her backyard, where her garden, the firepit, local birds and her bee barn keep her busy and entertained. She writes about her adventures at theardizan.com