New projectors are supplied with a new lamp fitted, which for the average projector lasts around 2,000 hours. For business use, using a projector 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, the lamp should last over a year. Some models have 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 lamp life. Projectors that use LED/laser light source do not require replacement lamps, lasting up to 20,000 hours life. Casio use this light source in their projectors.
Replacement lamps or lamp modules
Majority of projector lamp manufacturers give a 3 months RTB warranty on new lamps. This warranty commences from date of purchase/invoice.
Lamps or lamp modules
Manufacturers lamps vary, but can be sold as “lamp only” or as a lamp module, as shown above.
When replacing a new lamp into the existing lamp module housing, it should only be undertaken by a suitably qualified electrician or on-site professional. It is important to ensure the terminals are not over tightened as the ceramic can be cracked and reduce the electronic insulation of the bulb. Similarly, if the bulb is under tightened, it can cause arcing on the terminal which puts undue load on the ballast that can lead to failure.
Lamp modules are more common place and can be likened to car headlights, where you buy the “unit” which just slots in. To replace a lamp module, you simply undue the necessary screws on your projector, lift out the old lamp module, insert the new lamp module and tighten the screws. Obviously, specific instructions on how to replace bulb modules will vary slightly from projector to projector, so the instruction manual should be consulted and the replacement undertaken by a suitably qualified person.
Useful tips on prolonging lamp life
Never touch the lamp with your fingers, always use a cloth for handling. Deposits from fingerprints cause temperature “hot spots” and temperature gradient stresses the glass often resulting in earlier lamp failure. Keep the air filters of your projector clean as block filters make the lamp overheat, possibly causing earlier lamp failure. There should always be good airflow around the projector.
Always switch off the projector using the remote control and not by disconnecting the power. The projector will invariably go into a cool down mode where the image is turned off and the fan accelerates to cool the lamp in a controlled manner. The temperature of an operating lamp is many 1,000’s of degrees, so if you disconnect the power to the projector, prior to the above process, the glass in the lamp will cool unevenly and will result in stress fracture, causing early lamp failure. We are led to believe that you can shorten your lamp life by up to 50% simply by disconnecting the power instead of switching off the projector by remote control and allowing the natural cooling process to take place.
Lamp failure can also be due to mechanical shock and vibration. A hot lamp filament is fragile and you should always ensure the unit is turned off and the lamp is cool before moving the projector.
If your projector has a high/low lamp/lamp switch, you can extend your average lamp life by using the “low lamp/lamp” position whenever possible.
Popular makes and models of are obtainable fairly quickly, sometimes next day delivery, but for older projectors stock may have to be obtained direct from the manufacturer, therefore it is advisable to allow 10 to 14 days delivery, just to be on the safe side.
Lamp comparison chart
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