We all know the “regular” uses for projectors. We’ve used them in classrooms and conference rooms. We’ve sat in dark theaters while our favorite movies were projected onto huge screens. Now, even using them in our homes for entertainment is getting commonplace. We can play multiplayer video games on big screens. We can watch our favorite movies and TV shows in high definition and 3D. We can take it outside for a neighborhood movie night. There are projectors that we can put in our pockets to travel with. The technology has evolved to the point where it’s not unusual to own your own projector. What might be surprising are the many ways you can use a projector for fun in your home.

Laser Show: A fun way to liven up a party for kids or adults is by making your own laser show right in your living room! Download a laser show app, such as MusicBeam, and connect your computer to the projector. The app will let you change the laser show by adapting to the music playing.

Stencil/Wall Mural: Looking for a fun project to do on a rainy day? Project the desired image on your wall. You can trace the image in its larger size to create some great wall murals. You can also do the same thing on a piece of furniture, such a dresser, to give it a unique look and feel .

Continuous Theme Looping: Using one of the many video apps available, create a looping video related to a theme for a party. For an “Under the Sea” party, have life-sized fish and plant life swaying and swimming away on your wall. The possibilities for themes are endless, and it’s a great way to add to the feel of a child’s party.

Halloween: Projectors aren't just for watching the best family friendly Halloween movies. If you want to have the coolest house on the block this Halloween? Using a projector will certainly give you an edge. There’s an online store that sells “Hallowindows.” They are animations that you can project on your window. All you have to do is connect the DVD to your projector. Put a white sheet or a scrim in the window facing the street, and project the scary images to the trick-or-treaters coming up to your door. Your house will become a neighborhood favorite, with oohs and aahhs to go along with those treats.

Planetarium: Create your own planetarium in your house by downloading some free software or apps. Celestia is a program that will simulate flying through the galaxy. You can explore the stars and planets in three dimensions. Projected on your screen, you could have the feel of traveling to space. Stellarium is an app that’s used in planetariums around the world. It’s like viewing a telescope right from the comfort of your couch. Zoom in on stars and planets, and map out the constellations on your screen.

Ghost Hunting: Projectors can also help you spot ghosts in your house. Projecting a grid of green dots gives ghost hunters a field to see if any breaks the pattern suggesting the presence of something spooky in the room with you. Maybe a ghost?

Cooking Device: One of the strangest uses we've come across is using your projector to cook food. Believe it or not, you can use the heat emanating from your projector to cook simple meals like grilled cheese. While it is possible, it’s not recommended. Cooking a gourmet dinner on your projector for a first date may not make the greatest impression. It’s more of a “do it once” party trick to impress your friends.

We all know that projectors are fantastic for providing great entertainment on a big screen. What makes them even greater, though, are the other uses they have, from the weird to the practical. We guarantee that your TV will never be able to match the endless entertainment possibilities of a simple projector. Being creative can help you get even more out of your projector than you ever thought possible. There are tons of forums talking about projection and cinema to give you even more ideas.

As you can probably tell, we get excited about all things projectors. So, if you’ve tried or heard of any other uses, we’d love to hear about them.