Black Projector Screen Vs White – Which One Should You Choose? Guide 2024

James K. Brownlee

It is not easy to find out which projector screen is good to go: Black or White? Let me walk you through Black Projector Screen vs White.

black projector screen vs white

Once you buy a new projector screen, you would expect that it displays bright and clear images. With every part of the screen also functioning well.

However, despite buying a good projector and screen, the projector screen must reflect enough light to produce images with clarity. Therefore, it is essential to consider the room size, lighting condition of the room, and the projector screen type. Most especially their screen colors.

The choice of projector screen colors has become more relevant in recent years. With the emergence of black projector screens, the white screens known as the standard screen are no longer the only option to choose.

More people are frequently switching from white to black screens and to even grey screens. However, the questions about picture quality and contrast levels amongst the different screen colors are becoming prevalent. That may make you quiz yourself on whether to choose a black projector screen or a white screen.

While a white projector screen is perfect for different situations, there are cases when the black projector screen is best. So, how can you tell which screen is best for you? Read through this article to find the answers.

Why is the Color of a Projector Screen Critical?

During your search for a projector to buy, the projector screen color may be the least of your priority, especially when most people are already used to a white projector screen. So, it may appear surprising to such people when they see a black projector screen.

Some may mistakenly translate the change of the screen color as a branding effort or simply a marketing trick by the manufacturer. However, it is far from a marketing gimmick. Instead, it is the science of light projection and how projectors work that plays a role in the screen color change.

Here is how the light projection works.

When a projector sends light to the screen through its lens, the projection screen reflects all the light it receives. The reflection thereby causes the still or moving images on the projector screen to display. In this case, white screens are the most reflective of all screens. Black screens are light absorbers. 

Now, let’s discuss the black, white, and even the grey projector screens further.

Why were White Projector Screens the Standards?

Starting with the white screen, we already know they existed before the other screens. Before the existence of white and black projector screens, white screens were the standard color of projector screens for a long time. Imagine you did not know a black or grey projector screen existed. They would appear odd to you the first time you sight any of such screens. 

The white projector screens are currently the most popular, versatile, and can work in different situations. Be it for presentations, home theaters, or home video monitors, white screens are most preferred because they create clear images and a better reflection. 

One important advantage white screens will offer you is that you can view what is projected on the screen from any angle. You would not have to sit in front of the screen. That is all down to the reflection power of white projector screens. Since white color reflects lumens in all directions, that makes for a perfect view.

Despite that the standard white screens have excellent features, they come with a drawback. When they are in use, you have to switch off all the lights to have a better image on the screen. The reflective nature of a white screen leaves you with no option other than to darken your room to enjoy the viewing experience. 

An example of a white projector screen is Deluxe Screen Ambient Light Rejecting 4K/8K Ultra HDR Projector Screen, suitable for home theaters. 

Black projector screens are new in the market but are becoming popular by the day. Regardless of their popularity, they don’t have many options as compared to the white screens. For instance, you can get different sizes of a white projector screen with ease. You cannot say the same for black screens.

Unlike the white screens, black projector screens also do not come with top features. White screens have features that allow sound to pass through them. That makes it possible for you to put speakers behind the projector screen. 

So, if black screens lack special features and come in limited sizes, why are they becoming popular? You may ask this question. Moreover, these black screens are even costly. Yes! They are more expensive than white screens. Therefore, it is certainly rational to puzzle about their rise in popularity. 

Nevertheless, the answers are not far-fetched. 

Even though black screens lack many desirable features white screen users enjoy, there is no way such a trend will remain the same in a few years. Just like other electronic gadgets or devices, projector screen manufacturers will continue to improve their products. Hence, black projector screens will gradually have better specifications and features with time.

Meanwhile, as we wait for black projector screens to have similar features to white screens, their absorbing capability is a factor that contributes to their popularity. Black surfaces are naturally non-reflective and heavy light absorbers. Similarly, a black projector screen will absorb ambient light that results in high contrast images. 

As these black screens are heavy light absorbers, that will mean that you would enjoy a good home theater experience with high contrast images. Moreso, this experience comes without you turning off all the light switches to darken your room. Even when there is a lot of light in the room, the images remain high quality.

Unlike on white screens, bright colors also appear better on a darker screen. So, imagine you were writing on a whiteboard with a stick of pink chalk. Even if you strained your eyes, you probably would not see a letter. However, if you replace the whiteboard with a blackboard, you would see the pink texts clearer. That is a similar situation when bright-colored images display on a black screen. They are crystal clear.

With these quality features black projector screens have, they are still far from being perfect. Apart from being expensive screens, using them gives off a shimmer effect from bright images. You can control that effect on the brightness settings of the projector. You can also view black screens only when you are sitting directly in front of the screen. Not at an angle like on white screens.

An example of a black projector screen is Akia Screens Drop Down Projector Screen.

Should You Consider Gray Screen Projectors?

The gray screen projectors have come up in this article more than twice. So, it is more than appropriate to throw more light on them.

Gray, as a neutral color, has white and black elements. That means gray projector screens have combined features of both the black and white projector screens. You can use them when there is ambient light and also view the screen from different angles. That is contrary to both the black and white screens.

Additionally, the gray projector screens are more reflective than black screens. At the same time, they are better light absorbers than white screens. That makes them flexible and ideal for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

As fantastic as the features of the gray screen is, they still have a few drawbacks. For instance, you could see a tint on the images projected. 

It is interesting to know that gray screens have gradually gained massive popularity since introduced two decades ago. However, the black screens are more recent markets than the standard white or the gray-colored screen.

Which Color Screen is Ideal for Indoors?

When you are indoors, you could use either of the white or black screen colors. A white projector screen can suit several situations. 

During office presentations, it is standard to use a white screen to project. You can also use them to have a movie theatre experience, but as usual, you will darken your room to achieve that since they bounce light off the screen to nearby walls and ceilings. Otherwise, you can use a powerful lamp to produce clear images.

For black and even gray projector screens, they can offer a fantastic indoor viewing experience. However, you will rarely see them in offices for presentations as they are not suitable for such. Meanwhile, it is easy to get high-contrast images with black screens because they are perfect for viewing movies in your room.

Consequently, you can use any of these three screens at home or in your office, depending on the intended use.

Which Color Screen is Perfect for Outdoor?

When it comes to outdoor settings, projector screens have a massive advantage over TVs because you can take them anywhere. Their large screens make it ideal for movie nights, camping, beach hangouts, and other outdoor activities. 

However, the white and black projector screens do not have equal capabilities when mounted outside a room setting.

Outdoor spaces need screen projectors that are effective absorbers of light and poor reflectors because of their high exposure to light. As you are outside your room, there are no lightning points you can switch off to darken the space. You will have to deal with the sunlight.

Therefore, an outdoor setting features automatically select black screen projectors as most suitable for your next outdoor event. 

Just as mentioned earlier, black screens will produce high-quality images even in the presence of ambient light. And they have a high contrast that is perfect for your outdoor movie viewing. 

While most white projector screens are generally terrible outdoor choices, only a few white outdoor screens offer a black backside for clear image quality. An example is the Elite Screens Yard Master Plus Series.

If you decide not to consider black or white outdoor screens, then a gray screen is an option. Gray projector screens have better contrast than a white screen but are efficient light absorbers.

Is a Blank Wall Surface an Alternative?

Eventually, if your budget is lower than what any of the available screens can accommodate, you can consider using a smooth wall surface as an alternative. That is a reasonable option if you can source the correct paint and a suitable wall surface. There are many high-quality projector screen paints like the Paint on Screen S1 Ultimate Contrast screen paint. This paint breathes life into walls with quality HD images.

Undoubtedly, the images will have more clarity and appear brighter if you used an actual projector screen. Either black or white. But for a cheaper option, the blank wall or even a hanging sheet is adequate. However, the wall surface should have no paint drips or holes to prevent any disruption in the projection.

Conclusion: Black Projector Screen vs White: What’s Better?

This article is to help you decide which is a preferred screen between black and white screens. The truth is that neither of the two is better than the other. The black and white projector screens both have their pros and cons, as highlighted earlier. Hence, you have to weigh the pros and cons to determine the best one for your use.  

Selecting the most preferred projector screen color depends on several factors, such as the purpose for use. 

From what we have highlighted in this article, you will see that black screens are best for movies and when you intend to mount them outdoors. The drawbacks these screens come with are their high cost, limited viewing angles, and their few top features from design. On the other hand, a white screen is a standard for projector screens today. Despite their top features and more viewing angles, they lack high contrast and appear washed off in ambient light. 

Therefore, it is critical to select specific colors of projector screens based on your requirements and budget. It is also advisable to consider painting a wall as a projector screen if you have a tiny budget as a last resort.

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