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01/11/17 How to Project Large Images on Buildings

Article - January 11, 2016 By LarsonElectronics.com

500 Watt High Intensity LED Strobe Light

How to Project Large Images on Buildings

With the rise of advanced imaging machines, businesses are treated to new outdoor advertising methods that were previously unfathomable. One of these techniques involves the use of commercial projectors to display large images on buildings. Image projections are typically deployed when promoting upbeat product launches, savvy promotions and the release of movies.

Today we will cover how the technology works, as well as easy-to-follow tips for projecting images in various high-traffic locations around the city.


Mechanisms and Projectors

The process of projecting an image on a large, visible surface is surprisingly straightforward and simple. After surveying the target area (more on this later) and finalizing the design of the image using a computer, one would need to load the image into the projector and point the unit at the building. A portable generator is recommended for backup or in locations where access to the grid is limited. With all the components ready, it would be possible to deploy an image in less than an hour upon arrival.

Commercial projectors are needed to produce a quality image on the surface. Such machines are capable of pushing out between 5,000 to 50,000 lumens, depending on the type of projector. Today’s commercial projectors are not bulky. Therefore, you could deploy the entire system behind trucks, on a table or on any flat surface (for extra stability and positioning, it is recommended to use a rigging frame). Most commercial projectors on the market today provide digital connectivity options, allowing operators to connect a laptop for the loading of images and controlling of multiple units via projector control software.

During operation, commercial projectors may use different types of bulbs, including mercury vapor lamps (Ultra-High Pressure [UHP]) and LEDs (Digital Light Processing [DLP]). Some high quality models rely on xenon lamps for light, which is more expensive than UHP variants. One should carefully note that xenon projectors have a shorter lifespan of roughly 500 to 1,500 hours, compared to UHP projectors at 1,500 to 5,000 hours of operation.


Image Projection Trends

Image projection advertising has recently taken off, due to advancements in projection technology and lower costs associated with the practice. Maximizing views and exposure is one of the top priorities of the advertising method. To achieve this, businesses typically project images over iconic buildings and landmarks, instead of buildings in low-traffic areas. Examples of memorable image displays on popular buildings include the following: Sydney Opera House in Australia, Shell Building in London and Mount Rushmore in the United States.

Today’s commercial projectors are capable of handling more than one image (some can even handle videos and short-clip animations). Some businesses capitalize on this feature by deploying a slideshow of interactive ads that is played in a constant loop. For groups with large advertising budgets, it is possible to scale one’s efforts by using multiple projectors in the same or other locations. Adding a QR code kiosk nearby could also help pedestrians interact with the image, possibly directing individuals to a landing page on their smartphones.


Things to Consider

All types of outdoor advertising methods, including billboards and image projecting, come with several unpredictable variables that must be taken into consideration. First, it is important to view the building and the surrounding area both during the day and at night. During the day, there could be temporary obstructions near the building, such as large vehicles and dumpsters. At night, nearby street fixtures, outdoor luminaries from connected establishments and other sources of light pollution could reduce overall image clarity, especially for detailed pictures.

From another perspective, scouting the target area at night can ensure that the projected image will not cause accidents (since one is dealing with thousands of lumens of light) to pedestrians or drivers. Also, don’t forget to check the weather for the days and/or nights the image is live on the building.

In high-traffic areas, which are usually the preferred locations for large image projections, some projectors must be mounted above general eye level to prevent pedestrians from walking into the beam of light. This is highly applicable when projecting from a parking lot or near a sidewalk. Alternatively, some groups mount projectors on trucks to avoid such issues. To prevent theft, one should secure the projector firmly on the mount or surface.

Businesses should have a few backup designs ready, in case the original image suddenly becomes unsuitable for the target area due to unforeseen obstructions. For example, on the second night of image projection, you might’ve noticed that a faulty street lamp that wasn’t working previously was fixed earlier in the afternoon and is now working. At night, the lamp’s light beams overlap into the bottom right corner of the image. With a smaller or slimmer design ready, you can fix the issue in real-time without needing to go back to the shop by loading the new image into the projector.


Benefits of Large Image Projection

Image projection advertising can be very advantageous for businesses. When it comes to cost, it would be cheaper from a long-term perspective to invest in image-projecting devices, compared to traditional billboards. Next, companies can mobilize their advertising efforts by projecting ads in places where their prospective customers are located. For instance, one could display images at concerts, outdoor events and conventions without erecting an intrusive billboard. Setting up and taking down an image projection does not require a large team of workers, though at least two or three individuals are needed to navigate the truck, install or mount the projector and periodically check on the live image.

Moreover, image projection is favored by eco-friendly individuals because it does not waste space, paper and materials. With a solar generator supplying power to your image projection system, it is possible to decrease reliance on the grid during operation.





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