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Projector Ceiling Mount Ideas

Updated on April 17, 2008

Projectors Should Be Seen and Not Heard

The easiest way to install a new projector is to place it on a table or shelf. Select the distance away from the screen that will give your projector the proper throw distance for your target image size. However, using a projector mount to install the projector to the ceiling is our recommended method.

Here is why a projector mount is better than placing your projector on a table out of the way. The goal is to set the projector in an ideal spot to light up your projection screen without obstructing the view of the watching audience. The projector likely fit on the coffee table in front of the couch or on the edge of a conference room table. Still there are traffic and cable management concerns with putting a projector within reach of too many people and let's not forget - pets.

Keeping the projector out of harm's way is not only good for your projector, but also good for your family and friends. The ideal way of doing this is by mounting your projector to the ceiling.

Projector Points to Ponder

Using a mount to install a projector on the ceiling is quick and easy. Here are some tips to consider when selecting a projector ceiling mount.

  • Select a projector mount with sufficient weight capacity.
  • Mount your projector mount to a stud, or between two studs according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Choose the right installation hardware (drywall screws, extension columns, drop ceiling kit, etc).
  • Test your projector in the orientation (inverted vs. right side up) that you plan to use to mount it. Make sure you can reach all the buttons in case the remote gets lost.
  • Decide between a Universal and a Dedicated mount. In general, professional installers prefer dedicated mounts because they are faster to install and fit one projector exactly. Individuals, small businesses, and churches tend to prefer universal mounts because they can put different projectors on the same mount over the years.
  • Double check your measurements before drilling or cutting into the ceiling.

Projector On The Move In Search Of The Right Spot

Finding the Perfect Location to Install A Projector

You will need to determine the location on your ceiling to mount the projector. Here is one easy way to do this.

  • Pick up your projector.
  • Turn on your projector.
  • Adjust the zoom to the middle position.

  • Point the projector at your screen.
  • Walk until the projected image is the right size and centered on your projector screen.

Now you have a starting location for mounting your projector. You will want to position the location even with the center of your projector screen. Based on this location, you will want to find your nearest stud in the ceiling. Once you have established a stud to mount onto, grab your projector once again and double check your positioning.

Installation Finishing Touches

Photo Courtesy of Mount Center
Photo Courtesy of Mount Center

Better Projector Mount

Ideally you will want to keep your projector even with the top of the screen. This can be manipulated +/- 20 degrees depending on the mount you purchase. If your ceiling is much higher than the top of your screen there are many lengths of extension pipes and ceiling adapters to overcome that issue. If your ceiling is slanted you would need to buy a cathedral ceiling adapter and the appropriate extension pipe.

Most ceiling mount kits include the necessary hardware to mount to drywall and related ceiling materials. For special installations, screws and anchors for mounting to other materials such as brick and metal are available. In offices and classrooms with drop ceilings, a combination of metal fasteners, extension column and a panel to mask where the projector comes through the drop ceiling contribute toward a professionally finished look. Drop ceiling kits are completely optional. It is easy to mask a hole in the ceiling with an escutcheon ring for about $15 to $20 to go around your extension pipe.

Thankfully, most ceilings are made to be strong enough to hold heavy objects hanging from them such as fans and light fixtures. Therefore a projector and mount should not pose a problem.

Inverted Projector Orientation - Buttons and Image Face Down Toward the User

Inverted or Upright Projector Orientation

One thing you will notice about mounting a projector is that the projector has to be inverted (upside down). Why inverted you're wondering? Projectors when sitting upright project upward at a 45 degree angle, so in order to ceiling mount the projector you have to invert it. Plus, if the projector was right side up in the ceiling, and you lose the remote for your projector or the remote breaks, you would not be able to access the controls on the projector.

By inverting the projector and mounting it by its underside, you're still able to easily access the power button and other key function buttons of the projector. If an inverted orientation is not going to work for your projector, wall bracket mounts are available. . . or perhaps there is space on the coffee table.



Photo Courtesy of Mount Center
Photo Courtesy of Mount Center

Choosing a Projector Mount

When purchasing a mount you'll come across universal and dedicated mounts. Both Dedicated and Universal mounts safely hold a projector to the ceiling. Dedicated mounts are made with a pattern of screw holes drilled into the mount or a dedicated adapter plate that line up directly with the pattern of screw holes on a specific projector model.

Universal mounts are designed so that users can move the screw holes to match the unique mounting pattern on each projector. With the universal mounts you have to line up the arm extensions to the screw hole. The arm extensions make the universal projector mount look like a spider.

The benefit of the universal projector mount is that if you ever purchase another projector down the road you will not have to replace the mount. When purchasing a ceiling mount for your projector, be sure that you research the way each particular mount attaches to the ceiling, and the projector itself, to be sure you have the right one to fit your application.

Now that you've reviewed the basics for mounting your projector to the ceiling follow your projector mount instructions and always double check your measurements before drilling into your ceiling.


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