best ceiling projector

Best ceiling projector for 2021 – Product review and buying guide

Nothing is more satisfying than cuddling with a loved one under a duvet on a cold winter night, watching a movie with a bucket of delicious chicken. Or, it could be a romantic comedy on a calm summer evening.

Whatever the weather condition and time of the year, it’s time to invest in the best ceiling projector for bedroom use.

Think about it! You probably will fall asleep once or twice while enjoying Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, or Netflix on the couch, waking up with a stiff neck. Why go through that discomfort when you can watch your favorite shows from your bed’s comfort and safety?

Forget walls. Point your projector up. If this sounds like excellent advice, read on!

Top Pick

Anker Nebula Wi-Fi

  • 200 Lumen
  • Android 8.1
  • Native 720p HD display

Best Ceiling Projector for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons

If you’ve ever nursed the idea of the best ceiling projector for your bedroom and done some research, you will discover a shortage of quality in this department. The best ceiling mount projector on the market caters to viewing experiences on walls only.  We have done the hard work for you – the table below itemizes the 7 best celling projectors of 2021 and some of the features that set them apart.

IMAGENAME & DetailsDETAILScolspan
Anker Nebula Wi-Fi Mini Projector
  • Display: 1280×720 (16:9, HD)
  • Brightness: 200 ANSI lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Screen Mirroring
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ViewSonic M2 Portable Wi-Fi Projector
  • Display: Full HD (1920x1080p)
  • Brightness: 1200 LED Lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB C, USB A, Micro USB
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ViewSonic M1 Mini LED Projector
  • Display: VGA (640x480p)
  • Brightness: 120 LED Lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Micro USB
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Anker Nebula Mars II Portable Projector
  • Display: 1280×720 (16:9, HD)
  • Brightness: 500 ANSI lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Screen Mirroring
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ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector
  • Display: VGA (640x480p)
  • Brightness: 250 LED Lumens
  • Connectivity: USB
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Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector
  • Display: 800 x 480 pixels, support: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Brightness: 1800 Lumens
  • Connectivity: USB, HDMI
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JMGO Explorer Portable Projector
  • Display: 1280×720 (16:9, HD); Support 1080p & 4K
  • Brightness: 380 ANSI lumens
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Screen Mirroring
Check The Price

1. Anker Nebula Wi-Fi Mini Projector

Highlighted features

  • 200 Lumen
  • Android 8.1
  • Native 720p HD display

At $469.99 and widely regarded as the “First Android Television Pocket Cinema in the world,” Anker Nebula runs an Android Tv 8.1 OS. It is super-easy to operate. We found a native output of 720p HD and up to 120 inches of display on this projector. It is designed with a DLP technology that outputs 200 lumens of light.

When we received our Anker Nebula, a particularly striking feature was the compact design; it is strongly similar to a can. In fact, the whole size is not more than the regular can found on the market. This makes this unit exciting, especially when we quickly pack up and hit the road during camping. It also comes with integrated loudspeakers and a built-in battery.

This projector is powered by a DLP technology project that produces vividly detailed 720p images. Making this device suitable for use in low-light environments. It produces a rectangular, ultra-sharp image from all angles, thanks to an inbuilt keystoning and autofocus technology. Either on the wall, ceiling, or any surface, you will be treated to uniform and crystal-clear images that will keep you entertained at all times.

Pros

  • This projector has multimedia capabilities.
  • It comes with inbuilt keystoning and autofocus technology.
  • It is perfect for use in low light conditions.

Cons

  • This Nebula model is pretty pricey.

2. ViewSonic M2 Portable Wi-Fi Projector

Highlighted features

  • 74 watts
  • Big screen projection
  • 709 color accuracy

A projector is a handy way to enjoy gaming or movies from a different angle. Whether you plan to set up in your bedroom, living room or just need something lightweight and portable to carry around a business location, the ViewSonic M2 is an excellent choice, considering pricing and features.

This portable, Wi-Fi-enabled projector will allow you to set up a cinematic scene in your bedroom in no time. It is the size of a small cake, an inch taller and wider than a Mac Mini. It is highly functional and steady itself in seconds after boot up.

On the front casing is the projection lens. To our surprise, it is not shielded by a lens cover. As such, even though it is lightweight and compact, you need to carry it around with extra care. Thankfully, the manufacturer included a soft carry bag as part of the package.

We also found some well-hidden sensors on this device that help it focus in seconds. And a smart feature called “Eye Protect.” If for any reason, an intruder comes too close to the device or tries to pry into the projector lens, the machine temporarily shuts off.

Pros

  • This projector is easy to set up.
  • It is compact and lightweight and can be easily moved from one place to the other.
  • It comes with smart sensors that help the device to focus in seconds.

Cons

  • Picture quality can be better.

3. ViewSonic M1 Mini LED Projector

Highlighted features

  • 120 lumens
  • 5 hours of power
  • Vertical keystone correction

The M1 Mini LED projector is the perfect phone or laptop accessory for roadsters who need to give presentations on the go and a perfect companion for users who love to watch movies in the bedroom.

What fascinated us the most is the affordable price of $169.99; If you think this price is low for a top-quality projector, think again. This device is bright enough and projects images bigger than a laptop and phone screen – a plus if you are a one-man audience on your bed watching your favorite show.

The projector is small enough to carry around, especially since it comes with a built-in battery that recharges via a USB cable. As such, there is no need to carry a big power bank. And it does not in any way affect the quality of video graphics, which is super-vibrant and crystal clear.

The M1 Mini LED projector is built around LED lights rated 30,000 hours. It features an 854 FWVGA resolution and a 0.2-inch DLP chip. To make connectivity easy, it can accept signals from low-res such as 640 x 480p. And downconverts when needed to a resolution of 854 x 480p. It is affordable and only weighs 0.66 lbs.

Pros

  • It comes at a pocket-friendly price.
  • It is lightweight and weighs only 0.66 lbs.
  • This projector comes with powerful sound and dual JBL speakers.

Cons

  • The projector does not come with a wireless audio out.

4. Anker Nebula Mars II Portable Projector

Highlighted features

  • 500 Lumen
  • Cinematic Sound
  • 3 hours in battery mode

If you need a top-quality projector for a pleasurable viewing experience, you typically need to decide between image quality and portability. We tested the Anker Nebula Mars II Projector for three months, a portable, battery-powered device that seamlessly integrates these two features way better than we expected.

The concept behind the Anker Nebula Mars II Projector was to craft an extremely portable device. And from our results, the manufacturer succeeded in making something exceptional in terms of sound and image quality.

The Anker Nebula Mars II projector comes with a 10W speaker system, 1280 x 720p display resolution, so it produces crystal clear images all the time. It does not require any audio enhancement to produce crisp sounds.

This projector runs on Android OS preloaded with streaming apps, plus accessibility to an app store that ensures you can download whatever you love to watch or listen to. It comes with an easy-to-use remote control. The device can also be controlled via the Nebula Connectivity app available on Android and iOS.

Pros

  • The projector comes preloaded with streaming apps, including Netflix and YouTube.
  • It comes with dual 10W audio drivers that deliver top-quality sounds.
  • Your phone can be converted to remote control using the Nebula Connect app.

Cons

  • The device needs to strike a better balance between brightness and battery life.

5. ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector

Highlighted features

  • Built-in battery
  • DLP Display Technology
  • Reflective light technology
  • Auto Keystone

ViewSonic designed the M1 series to be portable for mobile use, and this product is no different. The M1s come with a protector that shields the lens from scratches when on the move. It features a stand that has a 360-degree setup, which also confers some level of lens protection.

The ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector comes with two solid speakers drawing 3 watts each, an auto-blank sensor for eye safety that temporarily shuts down the LEDs when it detects a strange object in the luminous flux – all housed in a stylish silver-colored casing. We are in awe of this well-built design.

This machine outputs WVGA 854×480 pixels, and delivers unrivaled quality in nearly all room situations. It can comfortably project an image of 100 inches from a distance of 2.5 yards without deformation. All thanks to its unique small wide-angle and short throw lens.

The ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector differs from many regular projectors that we tested. It comes with modern LEDs instead of the traditional gas discharge lamp (UHP). According to the manufacturer, these LEDs will remain functional for 30,000 usage hours.

We also loved the media player that can read media on an SD card. Meaning photos and videos can be stored on SD cards and thrown on the ceiling for your viewing pleasure at any time.

Pros

  • This projector comes with a dual Harman Karson speaker for playing crisp and clear multimedia content.
  • It weighs less than two pounds and can be easily transported from one place to the other.
  • It can be recharged via a USB-C interface with power supplied from a PC.

Cons

  • You can only use a 32gig SD card on this device.

6. Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector

Highlighted features

  • Multi-screen sharing
  • 5200mAh battery
  • Humanized slide cover switch

With the ability to project the screen sizes of an iPad, iPhone, and other smartphone devices up to a maximum of 130 inches large screen, quality image, and speakers, the Vamvo Ultra Mini Projector is perfect for cinematic nighttime with your heartthrob in the bedroom.

This projector comes with a native resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It supports 1920 x 1080 pixels – which is higher than many projectors that we tested that didn’t make this list. Many have a native output of 480p. On the first use, the image quality was surprisingly excellent for such a portable projector. It has a contrast of 1000:1, supported by an 1800 Lumens LED lamp for crystal clear images. This is a superb combo!

These excellent features are packed into a small plastic casing with dimensions of 5.7 x3.2 x 0.9 inches. It feels a little cheap at the edges; our best guess is that cuts were made to keep this device cost low. Regular maintenance of the projector lens, and you will never have any problems. It also comes with a carry bag to make it travel safe.

The Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector playback buttons are situated on the top of the housing, with the focus adjustment placed beside the lamplight. You will also find VGA, HDMI, USB connectivity on this device. We think this is an excellent lower-priced alternative to the Anker Nebula Wi-Fi Mini Projector.

Pros

  • The projector has a relatively higher native resolution than many of its competitors.
  • It comes with quality speakers perfect for cinematic nighttime.
  • It is lightweight at just 0.6 lbs.

Cons

  • It has no auto keystone correction.

7. JMGO Explorer Portable Projector

Highlighted features

  • 15600mAh battery
  • 90° rotating lens
  • Autofocus Feature

Although we are in the era of HD 4K TV screens, there is something magical about watching a movie from a projector. This might be because of the surreal cinematic feel and atmosphere or the pleasure of seeing blank open spaces converted into a full-color entertainment space. We have had the JMGO Explorer Portable Projector for two months doing some performance testing and streaming media on the apps we downloaded from the JMGO Fun store.

Conventional projectors come in a box shape. Sure, some, like the Anker Nebula Wi-Fi Mini Projector, also have a cylindrical shape, but many that made it to our testing stage have one box shape or the other.

Most projectors come with built-in speakers that produce a sound effect not better than those found on mobile devices. The JMGO Explorer packs a punch; as such, there is no need to carry an external speaker along when you need to hit the road with your mobile cinema.

The JMGO Explorer Portable Projector comes with a 380 ANSI Lumen output and a 1280×720 resolution. It supports 1080p & 4K high definition, the only portable ceiling projector on this list with this property. In the afternoon sunlight or a shadowed room, this projector will maintain excellently bright and super-sharp images and has a   90° rotating lens, perfect for ceiling projection.

Pros

  • This projector supports 4K UHD for the ultimate viewing pleasure.
  • It comes with superb speakers that imitate a home theater experience.
  • It comes with an innovative 90° rotating lens and can be projected on nearly all surfaces.

Cons

  • It is expensive.

Best ceiling projector:  Buying Guide

Contrast ratio, ANSI lumen WUXGA or Full HD, DLP, or LCD – When selecting the best ceiling projector, you need a basic understanding of some of these terms to make an excellent choice. The following are some of the most important considerations to note before making a purchasing decision.

Resolution

This varies from one projector to the other. If you are shopping at the budget end of the market, you will find projectors that support 1080P video modes but convert the media to 480P on your screen. A 480P display is not a poor image projection, especially in a dark room and on a screen not bigger than 100 inches.

On the middle spectrum of the market and upward, you will find projectors with higher screen resolution.

For a superb cinematic experience that displays a movie like you are in the scenes yourself, go for projectors with at least 1080P Video modes like the JMGO Explorer Portable Projector. This will project the finer details of movies on 120 inches plus screen seamlessly.

Brightness

We are assuming that your curtains will be closed while you project your favorite movie on your ceiling. As such, the display won’t be impeded by bright sunshine.

If you are shopping on the budget end of the market ($100 or less), do not expect to find a device that projects quality images in any condition other than darkness.

Expensive variants with 1000 lumens and more like the ViewSonic M2 Portable Wi-Fi Projector will display quality images during the day and when you have your bedside lamp on. This will allow you to see your coke and bowl of chicken wings as you enjoy your favorite show at night.

Contrast ratio

This is the maximum difference between white and black. As such, at a contrast value of 2,000:1, the brightest point will be exactly 2,000 times brighter than the darkest point. For projectors, the higher the contrast ratio, the more natural and sharper the projected image.

How high should the contrast ratio of a ceiling projector be? This will depend on the location of use and the level of brightness. For home cinema projectors, a high contrast ratio is the key to creating a deep black hue. Even in dark rooms, a high contrast projector will reproduce crisp, true-to-life colors.

A projector meant for use in daylight or under artificial lighting should have a very high contrast ratio. For this purpose, go for a projector having at least a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. Vamvo Ultra Mini Portable Projector has a contrast rating of 1,000:1.

Remote control

While you watch your favorite movie in your room, you do not want to stand up all the time to adjust the buttons on the projector. Go for a product having a remote control.

Volume

Depending on your bedroom style, the volume level of a ceiling projector might play an important or not too important role. To enjoy your movie on winter nights or to avoid distraction during a presentation, the maximum noise projection from your projector should not be more than 30 dB.

In general, the larger a projector, the quieter it will be. Therefore, most home cinema projectors having a large chassis will reach noise levels below 30 dB faster.  On the other hand, a small projector is somehow louder. Also, the light intensity of a projector plays a crucial role. The brighter the projector, the louder it tends to be. This is because projectors with stronger display lamps require more cooling. In all, go for a projector having a volume level of not more than 30 dB.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I mount a projector vertically?

Newer projector models can be mounted vertically, but this is not recommended as the device could overheat during use. Vertical mounting of projectors can impair the manufacturer’s heat conduction design and lead to electronic burnout. For vertical viewing or projecting to a ceiling, go for projectors specifically designed for this purpose.

 Q: Is it wrong to tilt my projector?

Tilting a projector will not adversely affect the quality of performance beyond producing a “keystone” effect on images. A situation where the bottom or top is wider. Newer models have keystone correction.

Q: Does a ceiling projector consume more electricity than a Television?

In general, a projector consumes more power than a Tv set to efficiently power the display lamps. However, some projectors consume less power or the same amount of power as the regular 250-watt HDTV.

Conclusion

Although the bedroom is generally considered a space for restful night’s sleep, installing the best ceiling projector for bedroom use will add another layer to enjoyable activities you can execute in your sleeping space.

All the products reviewed above will convert your room into a cinema in an instant, giving you the best viewing spot in the house.

These ceiling projectors have wonderful specs. They will make you wonder why you do not already have one installed in your bedroom.

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