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From LEDs to Lasers, all projector bulbs have an expected lifespan. This operating time can be measured in hours; a figure that’s usually in the thousands depending on what type of lamps for projector you’re working with, as well as how well you take care of it. In today’s segment, we’ll be looking at all the different types of projector bulbs and their expected lifespans.
We’ll also be talking about how to extend this life expectancy and get the most out of your projector bulb. And if your lamp is acting up, no worries; we’ve also included the telltale signs of a dying projector bulb as well as a guide on how to change your own projector lens. Welcome to the ultimate guide to understanding and improving the operating time of your projector bulb.
LED bulbs make use of Red, Blue, and Green colors saving a lot of space in the projector body. This translates to smaller and lighter projectors. LEDs typically have a lumen of between 500 to 3000. They’re also much sturdier have an expected lifespan of between 20,000 to 50,000 hours.
Using LED lamps, adapting DLP technology, maximize lamp utilization while reducing losses, Elephas RD606 1080p projector offers up to 30,000 hours lamp life. Elephas projector has captured the hearts of consumers, which features a 3600 LED light source at full projector brightness and project screen sizes between 20 and 100 inches. The native resolution can support videos and images up to 1080p. This contrast makes it the best outdoor movie projector.
Also known as High-Intensity Discharge Lamps (HIDs), Metal Halide bulbs are the most common type of projector light, which is why the can be found in even some of the best cheap projectors. They work with electric arcs in high-pressure bulbs to create an efficient means of projecting. Here you can see how Metal Halide Lamps works detailedly. Typically, HIDs produce an intense white light of between 75 to 100 projector lumens per watt. Metal Halides are rated with an expected lifespan of 3000 hours.
These types of bulbs make use of light amplification and focus into narrow beams of parallel projector light rays. These beams can actually travel far without losing strength. This allows Laser lamps to have a high contrast ratio with great pictures. Generally, Lasers have a lifespan of 30,000 hours.
Below are tips to help increase the operating lifetime of your projector bulb when both in use and when off.
This is by far the single most important tip everyone needs to know. Never pick up, move or shake your projector while it’s operating. Projector bulbs are delicate enough as it is; add some heat and they become even more fragile. Any shock or impact could cause cracks that shorten the lifespan drastically. Wait until the lamp has cooled before moving your projector.
This especially goes to those who put their projectors in compartments. Make sure the projector has adequate space all round so as not to interfere with the cooling process. Likewise, placing anything on top, behind, or beside could obstruct the exhaust vents and prevent proper cooling. This could cause the projector bulb to overheat and drastically cut down the lifespan. While each unit has specifications, manufacturers advice leaving at least two feet of space all around the projector.
This is a rule that applies to a lot of electronic devices. From gaming consoles to projectors, operating certain devices for more than 4 hours could be detrimental to some sensitive components. In projectors, the lamps begin to get hotter the more you use them. After several hours, the heat buildup can be faster than the cooling systems. Using your projector under four hours could help increase the lifespan.
This basically means reducing the amount of projector light or brightness coming from the bulb. Even if you don’t always use it, it helps to engage economy mode whenever possible; especially if you intend to run the projector for hours nonstop. This helps lengthen the half-life enormously.
Got you there, didn’t I. But seriously, do not unplug your projector immediately after watching your movie. See, even after shutting off, the fans remain active for a while to help with proper lamp cooling. If not properly cooled, the lamp’s lifespan is shortened. As a rule of thumb, just let all electronic devices shut themselves off.
Dust is one of the most widespread enemies of virtually all electronic devices. It always seems to find a way to sneak in and cover every single component. In projectors, the dust clogs all the vents and filters rendering the cooling systems ineffective. You’re advised to clean your LCD projector regularly.
When cleaning or changing out the projector bulbs, you should always wear gloves or use a cloth. The oils and dirt from our hands can cause hot spots on the lamps which could result in premature lamp failure.
Don’t turn your projector on and off multiple times no matter the problem. Every time your machine is switched on, the sudden rush of power causes stress to the lamp. If you continue to turn the projector on and off, the heating and cooling will cause excessive stress that could even burn out the bulb.
As long as you are buying well-known brands, you can always be sure that you have authentic projector lights and bulbs in there. Even the best cheap projector will have an original projector lamp which guarantees a very long lifespan. It’s the replacements or spares that you have to watch out for. Similarly, make sure you are buying original, authentic projector lens which lasts longer than cheap ones.
This goes without saying, but it’s important to avoid exposing your projector to extreme temperatures. For instance, leaving your projector outside in the summer sun or exposed to the winter frost will cause a lot of damage and significantly shorten the bulb’s lifespan.
While different types of projector lamps have individual telltale signs, there’s one universal symptom that shows you it’s time to get a new bulb. Almost all bulbs near the end of their life span will have substantially reduced projector brightness.
Metal Halides tend to dim gradually and lose brightness as the bulb loses pressure over time. The dimming of the projector light starts out subtly, but it gradually increases impact on the display. LEDs and Lasers hang in there for much longer, but you’ll also notice some difference in display quality once they hit their expected half-life.
The good news is that today’s range of modern projectors have an indicator that shows you how much life the lamp has left. These indicators get even more impressive as the quality of projectors improves. However, most current projectors have a section in the start menu called information which shows details such as how many lamp hours are remaining.
For people with older models which didn’t include these features yet, there’s a simple trick you can use to check your remaining lamp life. Just press and hold the off button for a few seconds and the projector will display remaining bulb hours for a brief period before shutting off.
If you see that your lamp hours are almost up or spot some of the above tell tale signs we talked about, here’s how to change out your projector lamp.
Step 1 – You’ll need to gather your tools and turn off the projector. In most cases, all you need is a screwdriver and gloves or a soft cloth for when it’s time to handle the lamp.
Step 2 – Use the screwdriver to remove the lamp compartment panel door which is usually towards the rear or side.
Step 3 – Very carefully, remove the lamp assembly by disconnecting any cords and pulling it out. Clean out the compartment with a cloth since you already have it open to remove any dust.
Step 4 – Just as carefully, reconnect any power cables as well as the new lamp in the same orientation as the original. Remember to use gloves or a cloth to avoid leaving smudges or oil prints.
Step 5 – Replace the compartment panel and screw it back in place. Reset the timer if there’s one and you should be all set to project.
Here we share a video of how to change a projector lamp from projectorpeople.com.
What you need to do first is to confirm your projector bulb model. You can always find the best bulbs for projector at large retail centers or general hobby stores near you. Or you could check out our site where we have the best projector bulbs from sites like Amazon, eBay and many more.
And don’t worry; projector bulbs are actually quite affordable seeing as how the prices have dropped like a rock over the years. Most of the basic, entry-level models cost well below $400 to replace. However, higher-end models can have a price range of around $1000. Overall, the main cost of replacing your projector bulbs should go down if you take care of your lamps.
That wraps up another interesting segment on everything you need to know about your projector bulbs. Hopefully, you now have all the skills and know how required to prolong the lifespan of your projector lamp. We’ve learned that while each lamp has its own expected operating time, they all respond the same way to abuse and neglect – negatively.
And if the bulb starts showing telltale signs of needing a replacement such as reduced projector brightness, don’t fret too much about it. Just get a replacement and follow the above steps to changing projector bulbs on your own. Replacements for all projectors are available at the places we indicated above. But most importantly, you have to remember that maintenance is key, just handle your projector with care and it will give you years of consistent service.
Please feel free to share this blog with your friends who have a projector that needs maintainance.