What color brightness means for your projector

Did you know that the rate of projector brightness (usually measured in lumens) is only based on white light? I didn’t and so as 70% of projector buyers. Last week (Sept 10), Epson invited the media on a technology briefing about the projector specifications.

When choosing the right projector, also put into consideration the Color Brightness specification. It is a new international standard that measures a projector’s red, blue and green light. Projectors with the same white brightness, in fact, differ due to the level of Color Brightness.


The briefing that was held in their headquarters in Ortigas focused on the Color Light Output (CLO) metric that measures the Color Brightness. Epson demonstrated how color brightness makes a difference with their proprietary 3LCD technology that gives a balanced level of brightness in white and color.

Pioneered in the 80s, 3-chip LCD projectors work by splitting the white light into red, green and blue through dichroic filters or mirror assemblies. Each mirror only allows a certain color to pass through while reflecting the others to their individual LCD panels. After the colored light is filtered, they are again combined into a dichroic prism that forms the final picture and then reflected out towards the lens.


Some of the advantages of 3LCD versus the 1-chip DLP projectors include:

  • Brighter colors
    3LCD projectors combine and project the light beams to form the right color for every pixel whereas a single-chip DLP projector create colors by filtering the light through a color wheel and projecting them in a sequence and rely on the human eye to interpret the correct colors of each pixel.
  • Balanced white and color output
    Because the lumens of both are equal, 3LCD projectors tend to produce better color balance. 3LCD projectors also produce softer tonal gradations. In effect, colors are more vibrant and realistic.
  • No “rainbow effect”
    A single-chip DLP projectors filter light using the color wheel hence, rendering sequential single-colored beams. This may cause viewers to see the “œrainbow effect” or color breakup in the images which usually happens when either the image being projected or the observer’s eye is in motion.


Actual demonstration of two LCD projectors (one with Epson’s 3LCD technology and another with a sing-chip DLP) were shown in the briefing. The 3LCD had a white and color brightness at 2600 lumens while the single-chip DLP had a white brightness at 2700 lumens and color brightness at 720 lumens. As it turns out, the 3LCD projector still produced vibrant colors and natural skin tones even if the white lumens was lower than the single-chip DLP projector.

To learn more about Epson and Color Brightness: visit: www.epson.com.sg/colorbrightness.

To learn more about 3LCD engines, visit: www.3lcd.com.

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