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Projector Lamp Advice.

If you think the cost of a projector lamp is comparable to a standard 60-watt lightbulb, think again. Projector lamps are relatively expensive, ranging from £100 for low lumen projectors, to over £450 for high lumen projectors. The average projector lamp cost is £150.

There are good reasons that the price is what it is. Projector lamps are highly sophisticated instruments that produce amazing brightness. In addition, the assembly process is complicated.

Consider purchasing a spare projector bulb when you buy a projector. That way, you will have a spare in case of emergencies, and you can get a good discount on the lamp by purchasing at the same time as the projector.

How many hours will my projector lamp work?

Just like any light bulb you would use for another purpose, projector bulbs have an expected operating time, called lamp life. This value is expressed in number of hours - typically around 2500 hours. Newer models are achieving 6000+ hours of lamp life if you run the projector in its eco mode setting. With metal halide, total lamp life is not a very useful measurement, they typically do not burn out, but gradually grow dimmer. The lamp will continue to function long after they're so dim you won't want to use them. So manufacturers' offer a peak rating—and peak lamp life is the time the lamp will last at 80 - 90% of total brightness. The lamp's success rate is based on a bell curve, so that a majority of (but not all) lamps will meet the lamp life hours specified. Some lamps will fail sooner and this is part of the acceptable operating range of the rating.

For projectors that are used under normal operating conditions (no more than three to five hours per day in a clean, relatively dust-free environment) the lamp will have the greatest likelihood of lasting through its entire rated lamp life. Projectors that are used more often or are exposed to environmental contaminants are more likely to show a decrease in lamp life. Projectors that are operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week are at the highest likelihood of lamp failure before the end of the rated hours.

The projector image seems dimmer than usual - what does this mean?

It may be time to replace your projector lamp. The brightness of metal halide lamps decreases during lamp life. With metal halide (high pressure mercury) lamps, you'll notice a dimming of the image brightness as the lamp loses power. Most if not all projectors allow you to check the number of hours your lamp has been used through the built-in menu system. Check your user guide for information about this feature. .

What can I do to help my projector lamp last longer?

Do not allow the projector to become overheated. The number one cause of lamp failure is excessive heat. Follow the instructions in the user manual for powering down the projector to ensure that the projector has had an adequate cool-down period.

Operate your projector in a clean, relatively dust-free environment. If fitted, clean projector air filters regularly.

Where possible, utilise the "economy mode" if it is available with your projector model. Your projectors quoted Ansi lumens light output will decrease by approx 20% but lamp life will see a significant increase.

How can I tell how many hours a lamp has been used for?

Almost all projectors have a built-in lamp hour counter that starts at zero when new, and should be reset once you change the projector lamp. You should be able to find the total projector lamp hours used within the menu system of your projector. Consult your user’ manual for instructions on how to check projector lamp hours on your model of projector.

What warranty do lamps have?

Projector lamp warranties can vary between manufacturers so consult your projector manufacturer’s warranty information. The typical lamp warranty is 1 year for the lamp that comes supplied with the projector and 30 to 90 days (manufacturer dependent) from receipt of goods of a replacement lamp.

Projector Lamp Care.

Allow the projector lamp to cool.

What is the most common reason for projector bulbs with shortened lives? Not allowing the projector bulbs to cool. Most projectors have a feature where they power down themselves, just make sure that you don’t move or unplug the projector while it is in this mode.

Clean the projector filter.

A dirty projector filter will cause it to run hotter and might cause the projector bulb to burn out prematurely. Therefore, we recommend cleaning the projector filter once a quarter with a can of compressed air.

If your environment is smoke-filled or dusty, you may need to clean the projector filter monthly.The result of cleaning your projector filter regularly may result in additional months of use from your same projector bulb. A number of projector models do not feature a filter - check the specifications of your projector.

Use the projector in eco-mode.

Many digital projectors offer what is called an Economy Mode or Eco-Mode setting in the menu options for the lamp. This is a setting that uses less brightness from the projector lamp (approx 20% reduction), yet will make the projector lamp last longer.

An example of this projector Eco-Mode is if you have a projector with 2000 lumens of brightness, its lamp hour rating might be 2000 hours. If you put the projector in Economy Mode, the brightness might go down to around 1600 lumens of brightness, but the projector lamp may last 3000 hours. If you go back and forth from the two brightness options, then your lamp hours would be somewhere between 2000 and 3000.

A good rule of thumb to save lamp hours is not to use more brightness than you need in any given situation. By sacrificing a little brightness from the multimedia projector, you can add many hours to the life of your projector lamp.

Don´t move your projector.

While the projector lamp is still on (even while it is powering down), the lamp is very sensitive to movement. Moving the projector while the projector lamp is still on could shorten the lamp life, or worse, it could cause the projector lamp to blow.

Give your projector "breathing room."

Pay attention to where the fan exhaust is on your DLP or LCD projector. All of the heat from the projector lamp must be dispersed away from the projector and exits at the fan exhaust. Make sure that this projector fan exhaust is two to three feet away from a wall or any solid object that could block it. Without “breathing” properly, the projector lamp will be too hot and could burn out much sooner.

Changing the projector lamp.

For most projectors, installing a projector lamp is simple and usually only involves the turning of a few screws. However, keep in mind that the projector lamp housing and glass are very fragile, so you should consult your owners’ manual or the instructions that came with the projector lamp, before you attempt to install the lamp yourself.

The most important precaution to note is when handling the projector lamp, NEVER touch the glass housing on the lamp. Oils from your fingers can cause the projector bulb to burn out or even burst prematurely. Handle the projector bulb carefully using the metal housing, and your lamp should last thousands of hours.

Avoid hazardous climates.

The most hazardous climate to a projector lamp is extreme cold in the wintertime.

If you leave a data/video projector in your car when it’s 40 degrees or below, the data/video projector lamp will have a tendency to explode if you turn the projector on immediately. You must allow the data/video projector to warm to room temperature before turning on the projector to avoid the dangerous scenario of an exploding projector lamp.

Any electronics device can be damaged when left in a car on a hot summer's day. Without air conditioning, a car can reach temperatures hot enough to fry an egg – or a projector. Make sure that your projector is always in a room temperature environment.