People looking to buy replacement Hitachi projector lamps are being warned to be aware of fake and illegal lamps that are being sold on the European market.

Projector lamp specialist, Just Lamps, have said that the crop of fake lamps are almost visually identical to genuine ones – but the quality is significantly inferior.

Just Lamps chief executive, Dave Bethell, said that any offers that people find at the moment that seem too good to be true are likely to be just that.

“A number of distributors and agents have approached us claiming to have lamps in stock,” he said. “We were suspicious as the shortages are global and the prices we were being offered seemed too cheap. We asked for samples and as suspected, these turned out to be fakes in Hitachi-branded boxes.”

He explained that they have been aware the lamps circulating in Asia since last year and figured – quite rightly – that it would only be a matter of time before they started appearing on the European and US markets.

He said that one of the few tell-tale clues that the products are fake is in the cage and, as long as users know what to look for and have genuine product to compare it with, it will give away the product if it is a fake.