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Projector Lamp Terminology

Genuine Projector Lamps

A Genuine Lamp has both a genuine bulb and genuine housing. This is the manufacturer's lamp unit and so is guaranteed to work for the specified number of hours within the warranty period if your projector is in perfect working order, used correctly and powered down as advised (please see "How can I prolong my projector bulb life?" below for details)

Genuine Option Projector Lamps

A Genuine Option Lamp contains an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) bulb inside 3rd-party housing. This means that the bulb is guaranteed to perform to the same standard as the original manufacturer's version and is approved for use by the manufacturer.

Compatible Projector Lamps

A Compatible Lamp is a 3rd-party bulb within 3rd-party housing. These are not made or approved by the projector manufacturer. While they are often the cheapest option, they have not been tested to a genuine lamp standard and so may not perform as well or as long as a genuine lamp unit.

UHP Projector Lamps

This is a special type of projector lamp - UHP stands for “ultra high performance”, and is used to describe projector lamps within DLP projectors. They are made by Philips, and use only mercury rather than metal halide. These types of projector lamps only require a low wattage to provide the equivalent brightness of a standard projector lamp which means a longer lamp life - Philips claim this can go up to 10,000 hours with some lamps.

UHP lamps are sometimes referred to as P-VIP, UHM, NSH or UHE lamps.

Metal-Halide Projector Lamps

Most LCD projectors use a metal halide lamp - this offers a very white light compared to a halogen lamp. The lamp uses both mercury and metal-halides to produce light by arcing an electric current through the mixture. They may start to lose their brightness after extended use.

Halogen Projector Lamps

Some older projectors may use halogen projector lamps which produce a yellow light. Whilst this type of projector lamp is cheaper to purchase they have a shorter life expectancy compared to a UHP projector lamp.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my projector lamp?

Most projectors are straightforward when it comes to replacing their lamps and often only need you to undo a few screws. Projector lamp glass and housing is very fragile however so before you change your projector lamp, always consult your projector manual and any instructions that may have come with your replacement projector lamp.

Probably one of the most important pieces of advice is that you should never touch the glass housing that surrounds the projector lamp. It has been proven that natural oils from your fingers may cause your projector bulb to burn prematurely when handled. Your projector bulb needs to be handled with care.

Nearly all projectors possess a lamp hour counter which needs resetting when a new projector lamp is replaced. Check your user manual for instructions.

Why are projector lamps more expensive than household bulbs?

Projector lamps are particularly sophisticated items which are made to produce exceptional brightness and the assembly process is complex. Within the lamp is an ARC tube - this contains the ultra-high pressurised mercury vapour that, when ignited by an electricity arc through it, produces an extremely bright light. The machines needed to produce projector lamps can cost millions of dollars. Some projector lamps can be more difficult to get hold of; it is not uncommon for projector lamps to be on backorder.

It is always recommended to have a spare projector bulb for your projector to avoid emergencies during important presentations or events.

How do I know the anticipated lamp life for my projector lamp?

The projector lamp life is expressed in the number of hours it is anticipated to work and the average is around 2000 hours. Some newer projector bulbs last 4000 - 10000 hours. Metal halide projector lamps will not burn out but grow dimmer. These projector lamps continue to function after they begin to dim. Many manufacturers provide a peak rating when the projector lamp runs at 80 - 90% of its total brightness.

Projector lamps used 3-5 hours a day in dust free environments will likely last their entire lamp life as specified by the manufacturer.

Why does a projector image start to dim?

This may mean it is time to renew your projector lamp. Some projectors have a menu system which shows the number of hours the projector lamp has been used for.

What warranties come with genuine projector lamps?

Manufacturer's warranties will vary but typically a projector lamp warranty will be between 60 - 90 days. Check the details of your individual projector lamp before purchasing.

How can I prolong my projector bulb life?

  • » Always allow a cool down period for your projector after use or your projector bulb's life will shorten considerably. Many projectors will now power down themselves and the projector should not be moved whilst it is cooling down.
  • » Always clean your projector filter regularly - your projector bulb may overheat faster if the filter is blocked.
  • » Use eco-mode on your projector as much as possible. For example: a projector with 2000 lumens of light used with a projector lamp that has a 2000 hour rating may reduce to 1600 lumens in eco mode but projector lamp life will be boosted to 3000 hours.
  • » Never move the projector when your projector lamp is cooling down because this will shorten the life of the projector bulb and could even blow the bulb completely.
  • » Never cover the projector fan. The heat from the projector lamp needs to be dispersed out of the projector or the projector and projector bulb will overheat. Ensure your projector fan has a space of 2 or 3 feet from any solid object or walls.
  • » Ensure you always avoid extremes of temperatures. This means extreme cold or hot temperatures. For example, should you decide to leave your projector in a car on a very hot or cold day, the projector lamp inside your projector unit is likely to explode the minute that the projector is turned on again. To avoid this situation always allow the projector to firstly reach room temperature before you turn the projector on. Ideally, your projector should always be kept in an environment that is kept at a normal room temperature.

Please Note: All images & product information, specification, details, and, if applicable, dimensions, are supplied by the manufacturer, and are for illustration / reference purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy of the information portrayed on this page, the package contents will prevail.