13 Fun Ways to Use a Video Projector in Your Home
Projectors provide the ultimate home theater experience, allowing you to enjoy films on a big screen without setting foot outdoors.
Today’s projectors are smaller and more transportable than previous generations. And because projectors can connect to any device that can play via a HDMI port, their uses have increased considerably.
Here are some cool things to do with a home projector.
1. Get Into the Spirit
Nothing puts one in a holiday spirit more than seeing a home decked out with outdoor lights and beautiful wreaths. Whether the winter holiday or some other annual celebration, projecting images onto your home can raise the mood. The video above is a great place to start.
Prefer Halloween? Create a bloody scene with your projector that requires no actual cleanup. Or on Independence Day enjoy a spectacular digital firework display in locations that ban real fireworks.
Don’t forget to hook up your sound system to enjoy the bangs!
2. 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. With a projector, you can transform your pool into the ocean! Use it to display 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!
3. A Musical Light Show
MusicBeam is open source software that enables you to use your home projector to create a laser show for parties. 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. The results can be stunning but remember to try it out with plenty of time before your next party!
4. Time for a Story
There are hundreds of storybooks available for desktops, mobiles, and tablets. With a projector, you can take story time with your children to a new level.
For example, you might project the story onto a bedroom wall as you read the action to your kids. Teenagers may want to do the same thing with digital graphic novels. With a digital projector displaying books on Kindle or Comixology, the story can really come to life.
5. Let Zoom Fill the Room
If you’re working from home and using video conferencing software like Zoom, it can be difficult to discern faces. Even with a high-resolution monitor, and fast data connection, things can be unclear.
A solution to this is to blow up the video conference with a large screen. Projecting the conference onto a screen or wall will help you to see who is who.
6. Sleep Better With a Projector
Need help getting to sleep? Mount your projector on the bedroom ceiling and project ocean waves or a beautiful rain scene while lying in bed. Or place it at the side of the bed, pointing up, so it projects onto the ceiling.
Want to cuddle before bed? Project a romantic movie to share with your better half.
7. Gather in the Kitchen
The kitchen is where families gather for food and conversation. It is also a great place to use a projector.
In the morning, mount a projector pointing down at the kitchen bar, perhaps displaying the morning news to accompany breakfast. If you have children, age-appropriate content might be preferable.
Or, point the video projector to your refrigerator door and cook along with some celebrity chefs. It doesn’t end there. Reluctant to head into the kitchen while watching your favorite team? Project the game onto that same refrigerator door.
8. Projector Games for Parties
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, it’s fun to use a projector instead. Better yet, create an outdoor tournament and invite even more people to play. You could even use the projector to play video clips while your teams answer questions.
9. 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.
10. Maximise Home Schooling
Whether you home school as part of your family routine or it is enforced, a projector can help. Forget the whiteboard or chalk board—use the projector to display project ideas, videos, and more.
Getting home schooling right is difficult; a flexible approach to communication is key. While one day it might be useful to have your children using Scratch on a PC or tablet, the next a big screen projection of educational programming can help.
So, don’t rely on the projector—just add it to your home school arsenal.
11. Shadow Puppet Show
Not into chalk drawing? Projectors are also an excellent way to experience a shadow puppet show.
Whether using your hands or actual puppets, simply project a white light onto a wall or tabletop. Your puppet show might tell a story, or you might just teach your family how to shape their hands. Perhaps go further and create cardboard cutout silhouettes.
12. Video Games on a Big Screen
A games night is a good choice, but for high octane gaming, why not connect the projector to your console? All it needs is your games console connected to the HDMI port (or VGA if necessary for older consoles). Remember—a projector is basically a display system, so you can plug in any video device to enjoy output on the wall or screen.
Gaming with a projector is perfect for spectator video games and e-sports, although you may prefer it as an immersive single player gaming solution.
Standard projectors are adequate for gaming, but for quality results, try one of our list of the best gaming projectors .
13. And Yes, Movie Night
The best reason to purchase a home projector, of course, is to watch your favorite movies in a big way.
Projectors work great on a blank wall in your living room or home theater room. But if you take it outside, you can use a wall or even string a white sheet on a clothesline. Whatever you choose, a projector can turn any night of the week into something special.
If you’re watching a movie, don’t ruin it with poor sound. Take the time to hook up a soundbar or surround sound for the best experience.
Try These Cool Projector Ideas
We’ve given you 13 things to do with a projector. If you have one lying around gathering dust, it’s time to start using it.
Home projectors are available with different features and at various price points. Each is relatively easy to set up, depending on the location.
As you can see, these devices are suitable for more than movies and PowerPoint. Whatever you decide to do, all you need is your projector, an HDMI-connected device, and a little bit of imagination.
Don’t already own a projector? Try one of these budget projectors suitable for laptops and smartphones .
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