Ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens may not be necessary for all users, but they may be the ideal option in many situations. A regular projector screen works well enough for most users. However, a projector often may have to be installed in a room with uncontrollable ambient light. In such conditions, the imagery projected will be washed out, impacting the viewing experience. Ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens are the perfect fit for such scenarios.
What are Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) projection screens, and How Do They Work?
Ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens are designed to counter the effect of ambient light on imagery to present a clear and accurate picture to the viewer. When the ambient light in a room used for projection is high, it will affect the quality of imagery generated. The surrounding light will clash with the illumination from the projector’s light source, washing out the imagery. Its color and contrast will be affected. For rooms with low light, the effect may not be noticeable. However, as the amount of light increases, the effect becomes more pronounced, affecting the viewing experience of the users. While turning off lights or using curtains is a recommended solution, it may not be viable in all scenarios, such as a room or auditorium with large windows allowing natural light.
Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) projection screens are designed to tackle the same in rooms where it is not possible to control surrounding light. Their projection surface is designed in such a way that the light coming from a particular direction can be redirected specifically. An ALR projection screen reflects maximum light from the projector in the direction of the audience instead of the sides. At the same time, ambient light coming through windows or from artificial fixtures is reflected away from the audience. It prevents the ambient light from washing out the imagery.
An important condition for ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens to work is that the ambient light should not come from the direction of the projection. Therefore, it is important to properly align the projector and the screen with respect to each other. The projector is generally placed perpendicular or orthogonal to an ALR screen for maximum effectiveness.
Popular Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) Projection Screens
Here are a few excellent ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens that will suit home theater and presentation rooms with high natural light.
1. Elite Screens Sable Frame CineGrey 3D Ceiling and Ambient Light Rejecting Fixed Frame Projector Screen ER120DHD3
Elite Screens Sable Frame CineGrey 3D ER120DHD3 is an excellent Ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screen for buyers who need a fixed frame option. It makes use of CineGrey 3D material that is characterized by its 90° viewing angle and 1.2 gain. The screen even comes with an ISF certification for accurate color reproduction. This particular Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) projection screen model measures 120-inch diagonally, although it is also available in other sizes ranging from 85 inches to 200 inches. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio and will be suitable for watching most home theater content. Elite Screens Sable Frame CineGrey 3D has a lightweight aluminum frame and a black velvet border for improving contrast and black levels while absorbing overshoot. A full installation kit is included in the package. The only downside of this ALR projection screen is that it is not compatible with short and ultra-short throw projectors.
2. Akia Screens CLR & ALR Projector Screen for Ultra Short Throw Projection, Edge Free & Fixed Frame Screen AK-NB103H-CLR3
Akia Screens’ CLR & ALR Projector Screen AK-NB103H-CLR3 is a fixed-frame alternative for buyers who need an Ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screen for an ultra-short throw projector. It measures 103-inch diagonally and will be suitable for most usage scenarios. Its large size and 16:9 aspect ratio make it ideal for HD and 4K/8K projection. The CLR3 material of this Ambient Light Rejecting projection screen rejects 90% of overhead light and prevents imagery washout due to ambient light. It offers a 170° viewing angle but has a gain rating of 0.8. The edges have a sleek design and improve the perceived contrast of the imagery. Users of ultra-short throw projectors will find it excellent. A larger 123-inch variant of the screen is also available.
3. Elite Screens WhiteBoardScreen Series, 4:3, Ambient Light Rejecting Dry Erase Projection Screen
The WhiteBoardScreen Series from Elite Screens is a perfect fit for a professional or work setting requiring affordable ambient light rejecting projection screens. It is a projector screen that also functions as a whiteboard, making it great for presentations. The screen material is Star Bright 4 with a gain rating of 4.0, making it one of the best ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens for offices. Its projection surface has high reflectivity for tackling washout caused by increased levels of ambient light while enhancing brightness and contrast. It facilitates a 120° viewing angle and has an aspect ratio of 4:3, which is popularly used for presentations. The surface of the Elite Screens WhiteBoardScreen is coated with a layer of scratch-resistant nanotech resin and transparent dry erase layers. A black masking border improves the perceived contrast for better image quality. Elite Screens WhiteBoardScreen Series is designed to be used with standard throw projectors. Dry erase markers and erasers are included in the package, along with sliding wall mount brackets.
4. Seymour AV EH090MB 16:9 103.3”d Matinee Black Ambient Precision Fixed Frame Projection Screen
Seymour AV EH090MB is a well-recommended product among ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens. It has been designed for owners who want to create a mini-theater in their homes. The material used rejects up to 80% of ambient light and has a 1.4 gain rating, boosting 40% of white light. What makes Seymour AV Matinee Black one of the best ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens is that its material has ultra-fine particles to prevent sparkling and facilitating non-directional light filtration. The 36° viewing angle is a limiting factor, and it is primarily suitable for rooms where viewers are sitting directly in front of the screen. Its fixed frame comes with Baritone velvet that absorbs 99.5% of light. Seymour AV EH090MB measures 103.3” diagonally with a 16:9 aspect ratio, although it is available in other sizes and aspect ratios.
5. Elite Screens Aeon CineGrey 3D Series Ambient Light Rejecting Fixed Frame Projection Projector Screen
Elite Screens Aeon CineGrey 3D Series is a popular choice of buyers when it comes to ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens. It provides decent light rejection while being affordable. Its CineGrey 3D material is capable of rejecting up to 65% of ambient light and has a 90° viewing angle with a 1.2 gain rating. The projection screen comes with ISF certification for accurate color reproduction, facilitating an immersive viewing experience. Elite Screens Aeon CineGrey 3D Series ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens are suitable for environments with medium ambient light. They are Active 3D Ready and Polarized for Passive 3D and will fit users who like to watch 3D movies through either technology on a large screen. These ambient light rejecting (ALR) projection screens come in sizes ranging from 92 to 150 inches. Users can opt for an edge-free installation or a narrow thin black trim.