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Tips for European owners of beamer projectors on how to increase the number of hours their projector lamp lasts for

What is the normal maximum operating time of a beamer lamp or projector lamp?

Every LCD or DLP projector lamp will have an average expected amount of time that it should operate for. This is usually known as the projector lamp's "lamp life", and is normally referred to as a certain number of hours. Between fifteen hundred and two thousand hours is a typical lamp life for many projector lamp modules, although some newer projectors may feature projector lamps and bulbs that have an expected lamp life of up to five thousand hours. These expected lamp life values are actually based on a bell curve of values, meaning that the majority of beamer lamps will last for the expected number of  lamp life hours, but not all of them will.

Factors affecting a projector lamp's life time

It is important to understand that this expected projector lamp operating time is just that - an expected number of hours which will not necessarily be exactly the actual number of hours that the lamp inside your projector lasts for. There are several different factors which can affect whether your projector lamp module operates for the full expected number of hours. Projector lamps that have the highest likelihood of lasting for their whole expected rated lamp life are those lamps inside projectors that are operated in clean environments with a relatively small amount of dust, since dust can clog projector filters and lead to overheating - the number one cause of early projector lamp failure.  The amount of time per day that a projector is operated for can also affect how long the lamp inside projector lasts for. Normal operating times are roughly three to five hours per day. If a projector is left running all the time it would stand the highest chance of its lamp failing before the expected lamp life has passed.

When should the projector lamp in a beamer projector be replaced?

As a projector lamp gets older, its output brightness gradually decreases and the image projected on to the screen will get dimmer over time. This is caused by a build up of pressure inside the projector lamp's bulb. Remember that although the fading of the beamer projector lamp's bulb is gradual, it can have have an increasing effect on the quality of the video or images you are projecting. When the brightness of the projector lamp dims to an extent where you notice it, this is a good time to start thinking about replacing the lamp module. Many models of LCD and DLP projectors have built in counters which record the number of hours that the projector bulb has been used for. These counters usually have an automatic alert which will remind you to replace your lamp once it has reached a certain number of hours of operation. When you do decide to replace your beamer lamp or projector lamp, this lamp hour counter should be restarted to make sure that it starts counting the hours of operation of the new projector lamp that has been installed. You can find more information on resetting lamp hour counters in the Projector Lamp Experts Europe lamp advice section on replacing your beamer projector's lamp.

From time to time projector lamps nearing the end of their operating time may simply fail without warning. This is usually as a result of temperature or pressure stresses. For this reason it is good to keep a spare projector lamp on hand just in case a lamp failure should happen at an inconvenient moment.

How can I make my lamp last longer?

An important concern for every European beamer or projector owner is how to get the most out of their projector lamp and increase the amount of time that it lasts for before it has to be replaced with a new lamp module. Most of the steps you can take to maximize your projector lamp's lamp life are relatively straightforward and easy to follow. The list below outlines the things you can do to stop your beamer or projector's lamp from failing before the end of its estimated rated lamp life.

  • Since the main factor that causes a projector lamp to fail early is exposure to excessive temperature stresses, you should make sure that your projector does not get too hot and overheat.
  • You should try to use your LCD or DLP projector in a room that is clean and dust free, which will stop your projector's air filters and fan from becoming clogged. Unclogged projector filters and fans mean that the projector lamp is kept cooler, and for this reason you should make sure that you properly clean your projector's air filters from time to time.
  • To avoid excess heat build up, try to operate your DLP or LCD projector in an area where there is enough space around the projector's exhaust for heat to be dispersed properly.
  • If your LCD or DLP beamer projector has an economy mode available, you can use this setting to decrease the brightness of the projector and make the beamer lamp last for a greater period of time. Utilize the "economy mode" if it is available with your projector model and is appropriate for your situation. This mode decreases projector brightness but the lamp will last for longer.
  • Remember that you should never expose a DLP or LCD projector to extremely hot or extremely cold environments. If you left your beamer projector in a car on a hot day, for example, the build up of heat inside the car could put undue stress on the projector bulb.
  • You should always make sure that you let the beamer lamp cool down for a sufficient period of time after the beamer projector has been powered down. Ten minutes of lamp cooling time is generally good enough, and you should make sure that you do not move your beamer projector around during this time period since the projector bulb inside is damaged more easily when it is hot. For this reason you should also avoid moving your projector while it is in operation.

If you have any further questions about increasing the number of hours that your projector lamp or beamer lamp lasts for, just give Projector Lamp Experts Europe a call.


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