Everything you need to know about projector hotspotting (and the best solution)

In the world of projectors, if there’s a common evil, it is hotspotting. Imagine bringing your dream movie projector home and spending all that money on a new screen only to end up with a bright spot at the center of the screen.

That’s frustrating, to say the least. Good thing, there’s a simple solution.

Projector hotspotting on traditional Screen

Projector hotspotting can happen due to more than one reason. The problem can be with your projector, the placement of the projector, or with the projection screen.

If you’re using a new projector, following all setup instructions to the tee, and yet continue to notice hotspots, the problem is probably with your screen.

Join us as we explore why you might be facing projection screen hotspotting and what is the best solution.

What is projector hotspotting?

A hot spot is a bright spot that appears on your projector screen which can make it difficult for everyone in the room to get a clear view of your projection.

This can often impact the viewing experience when watching a movie, explaining something visual, or trying to get a large room of people to see some examples on the projector screen.

The most common causes of projector hotspotting

  1. Wrong projection screen
  2. A wrong projection screen is the most common reason for projector hotspotting.
    When light hits a surface it is either reflected back at the same angle (this happens with smooth surfaces like the mirror) which is called reflection, or the light is scattered in various directions (this happens with rough and textured surfaces like a wall, piece of paper, etc), which is called diffusion.

    Now the design of a projection screen determines how light will behave after striking it. Traditional high-gain projector screens typically have a special coating for reflecting more light toward the audience because it creates a brighter viewing experience.

    These screens predominantly suffer from projection hotspotting because they reflect a majority of the light beams back at the projector. And, if the projector is centrally placed to the screen, the reflected light creates a bright hotspot right at the center of the screen.

    As the viewer moves away from the center, the angle of light incidence changes, making the outer side of the screen appear dimmer.

    Typical low-gain screens aren’t that prone to hotspotting though. They diffuse light more evenly and have a wider viewing angle. But, they are not as bright as the high-gain variants.

    Half gain viewing angle is another vital point to take into account when it comes to projection screen hotspotting. The angle at which the brightness or gain of a projection screen drops to 50% of its maximum value is called the half gain viewing angle.

    Regular high gain screens have a narrower half gain viewing angle compared to the low gain ones. The narrower the viewing cone, the more prone the screen will be to hotspotting.

    So, how can you fix this? We’ll delve into that right after we have covered the other two reasons for projector hotspotting.

  3. Projector malfunctioning
  4. A dirty or malfunctioning projector lens can trigger hotspots on the screen. Dirt and dust accumulate on the lens over time. If you haven’t been cleaning your projector regularly, the accumulated dust can be the culprit.

    Dust and debris can mess up the projector’s focus, creating hotspots. Technical problems with the optical elements of the projector may lead to the issue. Setting the projector focus right is also crucial. If the focus is off it may trigger the convergence of more light rays at one point which will result in projector hotspotting.

    Keep your projector lens clean and adjust the projector focus precisely for crisp images without hotspotting.

  5. Wrong projector placement
  6. Wrong projector placement is another common reason that can trigger hotspotting. The projector should be installed at the right distance from the screen. The angle at which the projector throws the light should also be according to the recommendations.

    Placing a projector too close or too far to the screen that’s not designed for short-throw or at an angle that’s not suitable for the setup can cause projection screen hotspotting. You can eliminate this risk by choosing the right projector-screen pair and installing it exactly as instructed by the manufacturer.

How to fix a projector hotspot?

Sadly, even some of the best projector screens in the market suffer from hotspotting. Selecting the right screen type to match your projector, the right projector placement, and adjusting the projector focus precisely — can help only so much.

If projector hotspotting is ruining your viewing experience even after trying all the tips and tricks, opt for a better alternative.

Swap your bulky projection screen for Projection Paints and you never need to worry about hotspotting again. Our Projection Paints are low-cost, high-performance alternatives to traditional projection screens. Best of all, they don’t hotspot.

Forget projector hotspotting, embrace projection paints

You’ll find more than 10 different types of projector screen wall paints for general and specialized applications in our collection.

Short throw projection paint for compact meeting rooms to Ultra High Contrast Projector Screen Paint for an excellent home theater experience — our range has all you may need.

See how our projector paints offer a 360-degree immersive experience with no projection hotspotting.

These projector paints are water-based and have high opacity to facilitate the projection of bright, sharp images in high definition. They are designed and tested to provide maximum contrast.

You apply the paint directly onto the wall and use it in just 24 hours.

You’ll be free of projector screen hotspotting, and no longer need to waste time setting up your screen. You can simply turn on the projector and be ready to go. It will save space and won’t even need any upkeep.

That’s not all. Smarter Surfaces projection paints come with a 5-year product guarantee. And unlike traditional screens, they don’t lose the finish or performance over time.

Wrapping it up
Hot spots can appear on any traditional projector screen. Projector focus or placement is often not the main culprit. Most of the time,the screen’s at fault.

So why not switch out your projector screen for a high-quality alternative like projector screen paint and say goodbye to projector hotspotting? Need help to decide the right product for your setup? Call, chat, or mail our experts for no-obligation assistance.