Projectors have come a very long way in the mainstream market, where now they can be found in many applications such as in classrooms, businesses, theaters, and many homes. Part of owning a projector is having to maintain them, especially replacing projector lamps once in a long while. For many projector users, it can be quite a chore to find and buy the perfect replacement projector lamp. It takes time to read specifications, know compatibility, and stick within a certain budget to come up with the right lamp replacement. Fret no more, as this guide will take you through the various factors to consider whenever you need to change out those projector lamps.
What you need to know about projector lamps
The lamp in a projector is an essential part that gives off a powerful light that helps project images from an external source. In most cases, the projector lamp goes out before all other components. For most modern projectors, an internal timer built into the projector will let the user know when it is time to replace the lamp. If you notice that the picture coming out from the projector dims slightly more than normal, it may be telling that the lamp needs to be changed.
Lamp module vs. bare projector lamp
Typically, buyers are presented with two ways to replace a burnt-out projector lamp. One is by buying a pre-built lamp module, in which the projector lamp is housed inside a plastic housing. This route is the easiest way to change a projector lamp, and more economical than trying to buy a separate bare lamp and a custom housing.
For experienced projector owners who want to take a do-it-yourself approach, bare lamps can be bought separately and have it installed in the lamp module with the housing kept intact. Replacing only the lamp may pose higher expenses since some bare projector lamp bulbs are more expensive than lamp modules. This is because projector lamp manufacturers are strongly against replacing only the projector lamp bulb since it may damage the projector itself when not done correctly.
How often do you need to replace projector lamps?
In the entire usable lifespan of a projector, it typically requires 1-2 lamp replacements, or every 2,000 to 6,000 hours depending on the rated lifespan of the lamp. It is easy to spot if a projector lamp needs a replacement — lamps usually dim or render a less effective image projection as they approach the end of their usable life.
What matters when picking out a new lamp?
A key factor in considering buying projector lamps is compatibility between the projector itself and the replacement lamp. As all projectors are different, it is quite difficult to gauge whether a certain lamp will work with a projector. The wattage of the projector lamp, measured in lumens, is rated differently for a variety of projector applications. A lamp made for classroom applications may be slightly rated lower in wattage compared to a lamp designed for use in a theater. Other considerations in lamp compatibility include the lamp voltage, reflector size and shape, brightness, and lamp life. It is hard to estimate the capabilities of a projector lamp in plain view, that’s why it’s important to select the right lamp based on its technical specifications and projector compatibility.
How do I know which lamps are compatible?
If you’re in the market for a replacement projector lamp, you should remember to carefully read the projector’s user manual and examine the projector to determine the exact model of projector lamps that are compatible with your projector. If you can’t determine the type of bulb, you can try contacting the manufacturer to ask what bulbs will work with a particular projector and where to find replacement bulbs. You should always consider bulb specifications like brightness, reflector size and shape, lamp voltage, and lamp life before making your purchase.