Projections danger for eyes?

Hello vvvvers,

I need some advice concerning frontal projections. Did any of you ever experience hazadrous blinding of the performers? I never had issues with that before, but now I have actors, that have light eye damages because of the projectors light. I’m using a 6200 lumen projector approximatly 8 meters away. Now I hear from panasonic, that nobody never ever should be inside a projectors lighting. Do you have experiences of that kind?

Greetings, Alex

well 8 meeters for 6k is quite a light source ;] have u ever read a manual for the beamer, it always says be careful with the eyes lol

yeah… actually the manufacturers say, not to put anybody in the light source at all, which is not a satisfying solution… I guess, they just want to be as safe as possible… but honestly in 6 years of throwing projections onto people that never was a problem. Anybody knows how to find out, how much light dangerours for the eyes? So, that I can darken the source up to the satisfaction of the performers?

if possible, try to change position of projector (higher?) to get another angle. so that the actors can look front to the audience, but not direct into projector’s beam. with setup, like that I’ve used up to 25K ansi. without any problems. but it also depends on the people(mood) you work with.

DiMiX… yeah… that’s exactly the thing… the mood. sigh I can’t get up high, so I need to project from the side. A pity.

“from the side” should not be a problem at all.
in stage lighting a standard s4 profile spot used in side boom is mostly 750watt = 11.-12.000 ANSI lumen
moving lights are 50.000-100.000 ansi

since beamer has it optics direct light when u look inside of the lens might be quite higher then spot. however i’ve would try to move beamer further away

for that to find out, you can calculate the lux (lumen divided by the m² total area you cover with the projector). If the pixels are very visible, you might need to multiply this value by the ratio totalarea/pixelarea.

direct sunlite has 100.000 lux, so I doubt there is any harm to the eyes you can do with projector intensity only. the eyes will adapt to any intensity quickly, if it is higher than before even quicker.
that said, the interwebs has some rather esoteric rumors about health issues with the blue part of the leds, but I cannot find any scientific proof for that.

of course the way you modulate the light (i.e. if your graphics strobe or jitter) can create even epileptic fits, so there might be a source for headaches, that you can certainly influence.

i think noone gets hurt from beeing “in” the light. But everyone gets hurt from looking into the source.
You should know this, if you name your company “intolight” (just kidding homie:)

So nope - the sun is not dangerous - but if you look into the sun for to long - you are just blind! Same with a projector!

anyway - from my experience this problem appears if the director and the projector are on similar height, working in a classical “theatre black box” (this is very different to normal light conditions and sunny environments)

If the director communicates with the actor facing him (and the projector) while his pupils are wide open because of his dark environment - and you do this for two month…then your actor WILL be hurt - mentally and physically.
For rehearsal : Projector up - Director down…turn on lights whenever possible.
For performance: you can put the projector wherever you think is best)

I dont want to sound mean: but i recommend trying for yourself. If you look into a 6k projector from 8m distance - in a dark room - then you will not feel comfortable - because your body wants to tell you something. Sorry brother ; Hope your performer gets better and you guys succeed with your show.


drehwurm didn’t mention anything about looking at the source, but you are right, it’s pretty likely that this was the actual reason for the performer’s complaint, not just being “in the light”.


Nope this is not about looking into the source. You can’t look into that thing anyway. You’ll reflectorily turn away your head. It’s a combination of uncomfortable light conditions (which an actor should be able to live with) and neurosis, I guess. But nevertheless he ended up with mailing Panasonic, and their answer is: nobody should ever be inside the projectors light, which I understand of them wanting to be safe from having thousands of insurance complaints, and puts me in the position of - well - looking not good.

I think if you reflectorily turn away - it is because you are already affected | hurt. But im not a doctor. And i think you are right : because of insurance - they argue you should never be inside the fov…but not because it hurts your eye, if you have light on your back…but because you will accidently look into the lense every now and then for a short amount of time.
I perform infront of projectors all the time - and sometimes i even use sunglasses for rehearsal - i get headache and pain in the eyes - just from looking accidantely into the lense.

Anyway i press thumbs for your production!