Projector Lamp information

It's easy to assume many things about lamp-based projectors if you've never had to deal with them. Just like a new car, they require some basic maintenance and the proper replacement parts. Here is what I have learned the past few years working with many different types of projectors. Hopefully this information will help you get the most out of your current projectors, give you the information you need when purchasing a new projector, and potentially save you from damaging your projector when the time comes to replace the lamp(s).

  • A typical factory lamp will last around 2000 service hours. That rating is the running time it takes until the lamp reaches 50% of its original brightness. This is only an estimate, though. Some lamps will burn down quicker, very few will burn slower. If you run a projector for 10 hours per week, which is usually a minimum for most churches, you should replace lamps at least every 3 years, probably more often.
  • Lamps usually begin to flicker towards their end of life. If your projector is flickering, it's probably time to change the lamp.
  • Some projectors will automatically shut off when the lamp life counter reaches 2000 hours. You might be able to reset the counter to gt the projector to come back on but it may shut off again fairly quickly. If it shuts off at 2000 hours, get a new lamp and replace it as soon as possible. Running a projector lamp longer than the specified hours is never a good idea and could potentially damage your projector.
  • When you buy a new projector, ask the company or person that you bought it from how much the manufacturer's replacement lamp costs. That will give you an idea of what you're going to have to spend in 18-24 months. Or, even better, go ahead and purchase an extra lamp so you're ready for the first replacement.
  • It is normal for replacement lamps to cost 15-20% of the list price of the projector. For example, our projectors listed for $5,500 new. Replacement lamp pairs (because it's a dual lamp model) cost $950. That's 17% of the original list price.
  • Replace or clean your projector's filter(s) every 3 months and each time you change lamps. Lamps get HOT and this ensures the projector vents properly. To clean your filter, simply take it out of the projector (usually accessible through a tray or door on the outside of the projector) and use a can of compressed air or compressor to blow out the dust and debris from the filter.
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