I am trying to decide if a projector would make sense for me. My main TV room is an upstairs loft that has some ambient light. If I want to darken the room I would say I can get it down to about a 8.5/10 with 10/10 being pitch black, personally I don't like always sitting in a dark room so I am curious if a projector will look terrible if say I had a lamp on and the room was then like a 5/10 in darkness. I realize this may be vague but it is the best way I know how to demonstrate what I mean.
For reference I am looking to spend under $1000 on the projector.
Do most people use their projector for 100% of their TV watching? I just feel like sitting in a dark room all the time even on nice sunny days may get tiresome.
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Light control comes in many forms. The first thing people think of is closing the shades. This makes sense, but it really isn't the first thing.
The first thing should be darkening the room with a coat of paint which is dark. The darker the better. Dark paint sucks up light from a room and will darken the area near the screen. If you have the area nearest the screen painted darkest, then ambient light won't impact the image as much and it will increase the overall quality of your projection experience.
Next comes shades. You can add any number of shades as you find best for the space. I recommend blackout shades with curtains. You can draw them as necessary, or just use one or the other for the results you desire.
Finally, don't ever use an open lamp!
Use directional lighting at all times. Ceiling can lights, wire lights with reflectors, floor lamps with reflectors that all point the light where you need it, not ones which direct light in every direction at once. You can add a lot of light to any theater space as long as you keep that light from shining directly on the screen and do a good job of controlling the reflections that fall onto the screen.
I put an example up here: http://www.avintegrated.com/lighting.html
All that said, you may still find you want a flat panel display for day-to-day viewing, and a projector for those moments when you really want the cinematic experience.