Projectors provide the ultimate home theater experience, allowing you to enjoy films and TV shows in a setting similar to what the neighborhood cineplex offers. Today’s projectors are smaller and more transportable than previous generations. And because projectors can connect to any device that can play via an HDMI port, such as a laptop or tablet, their uses have increased considerably.
Here are some of the great ways to use a home projector.
Get Into the Spirit
Nothing puts one in a holiday spirit more than seeing a home decked out with outdoor lights and beautiful wreaths. Add to the experience during the holiday season by projecting digital snowflakes or dancing sugarplums that fall across the front of your home.
More into Halloween? Create a bloody scene with your projector that requires no actual cleanup. Or on Independence Day enjoy a spectacular digital fireworks display in locations where real fireworks are banned.
Bring the Ocean Home
Having a pool party is a great way to have your friends and family relax during the summer. But the party doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. Using a projector, you can transform your pool into the ocean by showing images of tropical fish, coral reefs, and perhaps a dolphin or two. Add a relaxing soundtrack from your portable speaker and it’s a great way to end a fantastic day.
You could also mount a projector above a hot tub and provide a similar experience, whether inside or out. Just remember, the fish aren’t real!
A Musical Light Show
MusicBeam is open source software that enables you to use your home projector to create a laser show for your next party. Because sounds trigger MusicBeam, you’re able to adjust nearly every detail of the performance. Among the free show downloads for MusicBeam are Moonflower, Snowstorm, and more.
MusicBeam is Java-based, meaning that it runs on every major operating system. All you need is a laptop and your projector.
Time for a Story
There are hundreds of storybooks available for both computer and tablet users. With a projector, you can take story time with your children to a new level.
You can project the story on a bedroom wall as you read the action to your kids. Teenagers may want to do the same thing with digital graphic novels.
In the Bedroom
Need help getting to sleep? Mount your projector on the bedroom ceiling and project ocean waves or a beautiful rain scene while laying in bed.
Feel like cuddling before bed? Project a romantic movie to share with your better half.
Gather in the Kitchen
The kitchen is where families gather for food and conversation. It’s also a great place to use a projector.
In the morning, mount a projector pointing down at the kitchen bar and play content for your family to watch right on the surface during breakfast. Think the morning news or a cartoon.
During a lazy weekend day, mount a video projector to your kitchen ceiling pointed at the refrigerator door and watch some cooking shows. Don’t want to miss your favorite sports team even when in the kitchen to grab a snack? Project an NFL or MLB game on that same refrigerator door.
Inside or Out
Like a book club, quiz and trivia clubs offer a chance for friends to gather and have fun. Many of these games are now digital. However, instead of sitting around a laptop or iPad to play a game, use a projector. Better yet, create an outdoor tournament and invite even more people to play.
Have a gaming console? Xbox One or PlayStation 4 games look even better on a big screen.
An Art Project
One of the great summer pastimes for children is drawing on sidewalks or pavement with chalk. With a projector, you can take this experience to a new level and even get the adults involved. Project a black and white image on a removable surface such as the side of a garage. Trace over the lines of the picture using the chalk to create an impressive work of art.
Want something more permanent and a project for adults only? Project a mural design on a wall in your home and trace with a pen. Fill in your masterpiece later with paint.
Not into chalk drawing? Projectors are also an excellent way to experience a shadow puppet show.
Whether using your hands or actual puppets, use a white background and project the experience on a wall or table top.
And Yes, Movie Night
The best reason to purchase a home projector, of course, is to watch your favorite movies in a big way. Inside, projectors work great on a blank wall in your living room or home theater room. Outside, you can use a wall on your home or better yet, string a white sheet on a clothesline. Whatever you choose, a projector can turn any night of the week into something very special.
Home projectors are available with different features and at various price points. Each is relatively easy to set up, depending on the location. Home projectors aren’t just for showing movies and TV shows anymore. Whatever you decide, all you need is your projector, an HDMI-connected device, and a little bit of imagination.
How do you use your home projector?