Home projector mounts: A complete guide

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Home projector mounts: an introduction

Home projector mounts: an integral part of the installation process. There are several ways in which one can mount a projector: either from the wall or ceiling. 

Projectors are big purchases – we all know this. That’s why it doesn’t make sense that more often than not, people skrimp on their projector mount. That’s like saying, I have a baby, so I don’t need an expensive car seat. However, the car seat is essential to keeping your baby safe. 

My point is: why would you put an expensive piece of kit in an inexpensive holder?

Regardless, mounts hold your projector in position, align it correctly to your screen and keep it safe. As a result, it’s important to understand the kind of mount your projector needs and what type of mount is going to work with your room setup. 

Home projector mounts: ceiling
Source: Flickr, Elvis Ripley

Finding the right place to mount 

Finding the right place to mount your projector in a room can be a little tricky. In order to assess where would be appropriate, you must first decide the wall in which the image will project on to. 

Although the screen size of a projected image is entirely your choice, it’s important to understand your ideal throw ratio. There are several handy online calculators that can help you out.

If you plan on housing your projector in a smaller room, a shelf would better suit your needs. This is because mounting to the ceiling would create a smaller image than perhaps desired. A shelf would keep the image a good size and not compromise on brightness. 

In a large room the opposite could be said. By having a shelf on your back wall, the light from the projector could disperse too much and start to impact the quality of the image. This is why it’s also important to check your projectors maximum recommended screen size. When you start to go over this, quality is compromised.

Types of home projector mounts

Dedicated home projector mount 

A dedicated mount is specifically built for a projector. This means that when you mount your projector all the screws are going to align perfectly and you needn’t worry about the weight of the projector or support system of the mount. 

This seems like the perfect solution, but there are some factors to consider:

  • Your plans for upgrading
  • Your Budget
  • The price of your projector

Of course, if you plan on upgrading your system on a semi-regular basis, there’s no point in buying a dedicated mount. When you upgrade your new system won’t fit to the dedicated mount and you’ll have to go out and purchase another. 

Dedicated mounts also veer on the more expensive side of things. They are completely worth the cost if you plan on keeping your projector long-term. However, you have to bare in mind they do come in at a higher price as they’re bespoke. 

It’s important to mention that if you have a low priced projector (<$200) there’s not much point in buying a dedicated mount. This is mainly because some dedicated mounts come to $100 and it just doesn’t make sense to splurge out half the price of your projector on a mount. I mean, you could, but the likelihood of cheaper projectors having dedicated mounts is slim.

Of course, more expensive projectors are likely to weigh more too, so they need a dedicated mount in order to be properly supported. 

Summary

ProsCons
Tailored to projectorExpensive 
Arguably more secure Can only be used for one projector 
Support heavy projectors

Universal home projector mount

Universal mounts, as the name suggests, fit to most projector models. It’s important to understand that universal mounts generally only support light projectors.

When looking into buying a universal mount you have to consider:

  • Your plans for upgrading
  • Your Budget
  • The weight of your projector 

Of course, if you plan on upgrading your projector often, it would be wiser to purchase a universal mount. Bare in mind though, when you reach a certain level of upgrade your projector will start weighing more and you might have to look into a dedicated mount. 

If you have a lower budget, it’s cheaper to invest in a universal mount. This is due to their being an oversupply of universal mounts, thus driving the price down. 

Further to this, the weight of your projector is going to dictate whether a universal mount is right for you. Most universal mounts will only support a weight of up to 12kg, meaning they won’t be suitable for more expensive projectors. This isn’t set in stone, of course there are universal mounts that support bigger weights. 

ProsCons
Support almost all projectorsWeight restriction
Cheap 
Bring down the cost of upgrading 

Where to mount 

Ceiling home projector mounts

Ceiling mounts are the creme de la creme of projector holders. In an ideal world we would all be watching good content on 4k laser projectors hooked up with ceiling mounts. 

However, landlords, lighting fixtures and low ceilings impair our vision of a perfectly projected world. That’s not to say that shelf mounts are sub-par, ceiling mounts are just easier to install and easier to centre.

Home projector mounts: ceiling
Source: Flickr, Anne Petersen

Ceiling mounts are great for:

  • Bright projections 
  • Rooms with little space for projectors 
  • Projectors with zoom capabilities

Ceiling mounts allow the projector to be closer to the screen, meaning brightness levels are better. This is particularly important if you plan on watching content in all lighting conditions. The more projected light is dispersed, the harder the image is to see alongside ambient lighting. 

When you have a room with art on the walls, it can become invasive having a shelf mount. The solution: a ceiling mount. This will allow you to keep your wall space and place the projector discreetly within a room. Ceiling mounts are also great in keeping your projector safe as people are less likely to bump into them. 

A projector with zoom lens capabilities and lens shift is perfect for ceiling mounting. These features will allow you to place the projector on the ceiling without it being perfectly centred or to an exact throw. By having these features, you can adjust the screen size and placement without moving the projector mount. 

Installing a ceiling projector is undoubtedly harder. This is mainly because a wire will need to run along your ceiling and covering this in an aesthetically pleasing way can become difficult. Further to this, it’s pretty difficult to muster up the confidence to drill holes into your ceiling, especially if renting. 

Ceiling mount summary

ProsCons
BrightnessDifficult to install
Space saving 
Safer

Projector shelf 

The beautiful part of using a shelf for a projector is the versatility that comes with it. Sure, you could invest in a projector specific shelf, but there’s no point when a regular shelf will do. 

Of course, this makes the pricing of a shelf mount extremely low (especially if you already have a shelf installed on the intended wall). This is great because the initial cost of investing a projector can be pretty high.

Home projector mounts: shelf
Source: Flickr, Aaron Yoo

The factors you should consider for shelf implementation:

  • Wall space and placement 
  • Lens shift 
  • Brightness

Shelves have to be placed opposite the wall which you plan to project on. Being centred to the wall is an ideal situation, however a lot of shelf mounts end up in corners of rooms. Why? Because having a shelf sit above your sofa or sitting area is a recipe for disaster. 

I can completely resonate with this as someone with low ceilings. I housed my projector shelf on the wall behind my couch and it led to many a sore head. You have been warned. 

It’s really important when using a shelf that your projector has lens shift capabilities. This means that the projector can shift its image to the left, right, up or down. For the reasons above, shelves are much less likely to be centred than ceiling mounts. As a result, lens shift will allow your image to be aligned properly to the screen. 

The final thing to consider is how your brightness will be impacted by having a shelf mount. It does mean your projector will be situated at the back of the room and a byproduct of that is less intense projection brightness. This won’t be an issue if the room is not too large, but always check your projector max screen size and ideal throw ratio. 

Shelf summary

ProsCons
PriceBrightness
Versatility Not as secure 
Easy installation

Home projector mounts: A summary

Before selecting a projector mount, it’s important for you to understand how often you plan to upgrade, the weight of your projector and the size of the room you plan to house it. Only then can you start to look into a projector mount suited to your needs.

To recap, it’s really important to understand if you want a universal or dedicated mount, as well as if you want to mount your projector to the ceiling or wall.

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