/>
X
Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Want to scare the block this fall? We found the best Halloween projectors

Beware of our picks for the best Halloween projector. They'll make your home the one to beat in the neighborhood this fall.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer on

Going all out this Halloween is a must. 

For many children in different neighborhoods, this will be the first Halloween that will feel normal in over two years. And nothing brings Halloween decorations several notches above the rest like projectors to bring spooky animations to life.

ZDNET did the research and compared the top Halloween projectors available right now. We break down what makes them different, and help you decide which one is right for you. Plus, we tell you what makes them techy or innovative. 

Also: The best Halloween animatronics

Halloween is absolutely my second favorite holiday, only second to Christmas. And I say this as a person that was born on Thanksgiving day over three decades ago and as a mom that also had a child on Thanksgiving day in more recent years. Sure, Thanksgiving and all the other holidays are fun and all, but nothing tops the limitless creativity on decorations and free candy from Halloween.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Halloween and other holiday decorations
  • Plug and play solution
cons
  • Kit is only for one window (or set of 2 windows)
  • Not full 1080HD
More Details

Specs:

  • Resolution: HD 720 Projector
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Control capability: Remote included
  • Projection screen: 48"x72"

This kit has it all to get any holiday decoration enthusiast started. This kit includes the HD projector, 16 video effects from AtmosFX in an included USB drive, as well as a 48X72 projection screen.

If you've ever met me, you know my holiday decorations start with Halloween in early September and are promptly replaced on November 1st by Christmas decorations. So having a versatile projector with both themes built-in makes for less work, since there's no need to swap out the projector or plug in a different one.

The included video effects on this kit also feature Christmas options, so you don't have to worry about taking it down after Halloween. And with many other animations to purchase separately from AtmosFX, you're not limited to just one set of visual effects.

If you already have a projector, there are AtmosFX kits available that include two more projection screens and another DVD of video effects.

Minetom Christmas Projector
Image: Amazon & Anna Blazhuk via Getty Images
Pros & Cons
pros
  • Waterproof IP65 build
  • More holidays included
  • Remote control plus timer
cons
  • Not as bright as other alternatives
  • No video effects
More Details

Specs:

  • Effects: Halloween, Christmas, Party
  • Projection distance: 6.6-20 ft
  • Coverage area: 231-2137 ft
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor, IP65 waterproof
  • Control capabilities: Included RF remote control
  • Extra features: Double head build, timer

If you love the light show of a projector but want to build your dream halloween decorations for less work, a combination of both is a great option. 

Combining Christmas, Halloween, and even Thanksgiving, Valentines, and general party themes, this features a double-head design and 16 slides. The double head lets you set patterned lights in the background, to accompany the holiday design. 

The timer feature lets you select auto-shutoff at two, four, or six hours so you can set it and forget it. This projector is controlled with the included RF remote control, with all the options in one place. 

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Waterproof projector
  • Minimalist effect
  • Indoor or outdoor use
cons
  • Only covers up to 500 square feet
More Details

Specs:

  • Effects: 15 colors with wave patterns
  • Projection distance: 22 ft
  • Coverage area: 500 ft
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor, IP65 waterproof
  • Control capabilities: Included RF remote control

The HeKation outdoor lights projector is a perfect addition to any minimalist's Halloween repertoire. With three speeds and 15 different color wave patterns, this will fill the outside of your home in eye-catching color.

If you're not a fan of the ghoulish look or cartoonish figures, this projector will meet your needs. But don't mistake it for a simpleton: the ripple displays can be done in a single color or combinations. 

The timer included in this projector can be set for two, four, six, or eight hours. And when the holiday season is behind you, you can simply set this light projector up inside your home to set the scene or for a kid's bedroom.

Another simple but more festive option to add to your Halloween decorations is this Pumpkin projector

Outdoor Waterproof Water Wave Effect Night Lights Projector

A more minimalist look is always in season.

Amazon - Hekation Lights Projector
Loftek Galaxy Projector
Image: Amazon & Anna Blazhuk via Getty Images
Pros & Cons
pros
  • Base rotates 360 degrees and head has 180-degree capability
  • Versatile for different holidays
  • Dimmable to be used in bedrooms
cons
  • Timer only goes up to two hours
More Details

Specs:

  • Effects: Galaxy-like display in 
  • Projection distance: 6.6-20 ft
  • Coverage area: 161-538 ft
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor, IP65 waterproof
  • Control capabilities: Included RF remote control
  • Extra features: 360-degree angle adjustment, timer

Parties are a big part of Halloween celebrations. Where else are you going to see a pirate on a corner eating chips and cracking jokes with a zombie? If you're hosting a Halloween party this year, decorating the inside is just as, if not more, important as decorating the outside of your home.

This Loftek projector can be tucked away on a table near a wall, to take full advantage of their light show displayed against the wall and up to the ceiling. You can set up several ones in different colors to truly set the party mood.

Every night will be a starry night, especially with adjustable brightness, and a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts 8-10 hours. The timer on this device only goes up to two hours, with an option for 30 minutes or an hour.

DBPOWER Native 1080P WiFi Projector
Image: Amazon & Anna Blazhuk via Getty Images
Pros & Cons
pros
  • Supports 4D Keystone correction
  • Features 50% zoom
  • Wifi enabled
  • Good sound quality in built-in speaker
cons
  • No streaming services through wifi
  • Not waterproof for outdoors
More Details

Specs:

  • Lumens: 9500
  • Lamp: LED
  • Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor
  • Connectivity: Wifi, USB 
  • Lamp life: 100,000 hours

Though popular mapping projects like the ones projected on the Sydney Opera House can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is possible to make small-scale projects for less, though still considerably more expensive than standard projection decorations. 

Many of the best options for projection mapping are lamp projectors, though more expensive, these are the brightest for large-scale projects. However, this DBPOWER RD828 is a Full HD option that reaches an impressive 9500 lumen brightness, even making it versatile for outdoor movie nights.

This DBPOWER projector supports 4D Keystone correction, so you can adjust all four points of the projected area easily, to fit your home or the walls where you want to display media. 

Projection mapping is a creative technique that combines several layers of objects to build immersive displays through planning and software processes. When you're planning on mapping, consider where you'll be placing the projectors, what kind of animations you'll display, and the surface where they'll be projected; this will all factor into the final cost. 

AtmosFX Phantasms Digital Decoration

A projector can be used in combination with video effects to display animations.

Amazon - AtmosFX Phantasms Digital Decoration
HP1 Halloween Projector
Image: Amazon & Anna Blazhuk via Getty Images
Pros & Cons
pros
  • 5 video effects included
  • Ability to add more effects
  • Built-in speaker
cons
  • Not very bright for other than a window
More Details

Specs:

  • Effects: 5 built-in Halloween effects
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor
  • Connectivity: HDMI, Bluetooth, MicroSD card, USB
  • Control capabilities: Included RF remote control
  • Extra features: Built-in speaker, 4-hour battery

This HP1 is a great and small projector to add to any window in your home. it comes with five movies already built-in, but it has HDMI connectivity, plus you can add more video effects via a MicroSD card or a USB flash drive. 

And if there is no available outlet nearby to plug this in, you can take advantage of the 4-hour battery already in the HP1 projector. All the capabilities and connectivity options makes this projector a compact option that you can use year-round to watch movies with. 

Though the screen doesn't come included with the projector, you can find semi-transparent projector mesh screens on Amazon

HP1 Halloween Projector
Amazon - HP1 Halloween Projector
Pros & Cons
pros
  • Security lock included
  • Weatherproof
cons
  • Remote control isn't most reliable
More Details

Specs:

  • Effects: Red, green, blue laser lights
  • Coverage area: Up to 50ft by 50ft
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor, weatherproof
  • Control capabilities: Included remote control
  • Extra features: Security kit, timer

If simplicity is your thing, then you can't go wrong with a Poeland outdoor laser projector to add highlight from the ground up on trees or landscaping in red, green, blue or combinations of two or three of these colors at once. 

This laser lights projector has an automatic timer with the ability to set it at two, four, six, or eight hours with an included remote control. A classic look with red, blue, or green combination makes for a versatile option for different holidays and themes.

As a weatherproof, outdoor projector, it comes complete with a security kit and lock, similar to a slim bike lock. 

What is the best Halloween projector?

The best Halloween projector is the kit that includes both the video projector, a window screen, and a USB flash drive with AtmosFX video animations. 

It's the best starter kit for most users, but it maintains versatility of being able to add more AtmosFX or other animations with a USB drive. It's also a great way to step up Halloween decorations to video, beyond a simple light projector.

Halloween ProjectorsZDNet's takeEasy SetupOutdoor useVideo effectsMultiple holidays
Reaper Brothers Digital Decoration KitBest overall-
Minetom Projector LightsBest for a budget-
HeKation Outdoor LightsBest for minimalists-
Loftek Galaxy ProjectorBest for indoor use--
DBPower Wifi ProjectorBest for mapping---
HP1 Halloween ProjectorBest for windows--
Poeland Outdoor Laser LightsBest laser lights option-

Which is the right Halloween projector for you?

The spooky holiday brings my favorite things to life: creativity, design, planning, and candy. Planning is vital when considering adding projectors to a Halloween display. Before going out to buy projectors, go out to look at your home from the outside. Take the time to decide where you want to display what and even consider looking at possible places to put projectors.

Windows, doorways, garage doors, blank walls, and entryways are pretty popular surfaces for projection. But also consider projecting onto objects like decorations and pumpkins, for example. 

Choose this Halloween projector...If you...
Reaper Brothers Digital Decoration KitWant a solid place to start to upgrade your decorations with video effects
Minetom Projector LightsWant to stick to a budget without sacrificing the captivating feel of light effects
HeKation Outdoor LightsPrefer more minimal decorations without cartoonish or scary illustrations
Loftek Galaxy ProjectorNeed an indoor light projector for a party or event
DBPower Wifi ProjectorWant to make a stunning, bright display with video animations
HP1 Halloween ProjectorNeed a window projector for life-like video effects
Poeland Outdoor Laser LightsWant classic laser lights that also go with other holidays

How did we choose these Halloween projectors?

The best way to choose projectors like these is by testing, researching, and making comparisons with others on the market. We combined all of this with our own experiences to determine which of the Halloween projectors on the market are best-suited for our readers. 

Can I use my projector for Halloween effects?

If you have a projector at home, you can definitely use it for Halloween effects. One of the reasons I love the holiday so much is that it fosters creativity, so you can use a lot of things around your home to turn them into Halloween decorations, and your old projectors are no exception. 

A projector typically has a female receptacle at the bottom of it to mount it to a tripod or camera wall mount, giving it greater versatility for placement. You can also add sheer projector screens; they need to be sheer so the video effect is visible from the outside of the window. Once you have your projector and the display surface, you can find video effects made to be projected by companies like AtmosFX.

What can I use for Halloween projector screen?

As mentioned above, any screens for window or doorway projections should be translucent, or sheer. This is important because if you want an image projected on a window, you need your projector inside your home pointed at a fabric on the window that is sheer enough to let the light pass, so the image is visible from outside.

Some people have had luck buying sheer white fabric and placing it so that it's taut on the window, creating a canvas for the visual effects. But you can also buy transluscent material for rear projection, like this "="" option"=""> or a larger 5.5ft x 9ft one.

How do you make a Halloween projector?

The absolute coolest way to embark on upgrading your Halloween decorations is to add inexpensive projectors in the areas you want to highlight, corresponding projection material, and then set it all up with video effects. 

Though it takes time to get them just right, it can be well worth it to let your creativity flow. Besides, the Reaper Brothers Holiday Digital Decoration Kit, our top option for Halloween projectors, already has most of the work done for you.

Are there alternative Halloween projectors worth considering?

There are many alternatives to both light projectors as well as media projectors that you can use to display video effects. These are some good alternatives to both options:

If you're willing to put in some time and creativity into your Halloween decorations, this projector is a good alternative for both the HP1 window option as well as the DBPower projector:

This is a popular, albeit different, combination of a projector with a Halloween decoration. It's a plug-and-play Jack-O-Lantern with a projector inside that comes with three characters to choose from: spooky, traditional, or goofy:

Editorial standards

Related

The best laptops from Apple, Dell, HP, and more
dell-xps-13-late-2020.jpg

The best laptops from Apple, Dell, HP, and more

Upgrade or future-proof your home theater with these awesome TVs
A TCL, LG, and Amazon Fire Omni TV on a green and yellow background

Upgrade or future-proof your home theater with these awesome TVs

What is a smart TV, and which are the best?
Placeholder product image alt text

What is a smart TV, and which are the best?