When LED projectors came out boasting the ability to last longer than the traditional lamp option, while being just as bright, many manufacturers and customers jumped on board. The traditional technology, which up until then had been used for replacement lamps, are a special type of bulb called the UHP Mercury-Arc Vapor lamp. This lamp was developed by Philips in 1995 for use in commercial projection, home theaters, and video walls. These lamps are highly efficient compared to other projection lamps, and they were well received when they were first developed.
Fast forward to when LED projectors came out, they were supposed to last longer while being just as bright, but that is not exactly what happened. A couple of main problems were that once the LED’s burned out, customers incurred a massive cost to replace them, or they simply threw out the whole projector. This additional waste was both financial and physical, because this meant more material being added to the landfills. Another issue was that they simply were not as bright as the Mercury-Arc Vapor lamps, regardless of the claims being made to the contrary.
The result was that projector manufacturers like OPTOMA and BENQ have switched back, and returned their focus to making projectors that use the traditional technology. Customers have begun returning to the traditional bulbs as well, simply because they are brighter and less costly to replace. Another added benefit of course was that the customer was able to keep their existing projector, which saves time and aggravation, and ultimately means less waste in our landfills.
Although LED technology is game changing in many industries, in the case of projector bulbs, traditional Mercury- Arc Vapor lamps still remain the best option.