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How to Prolong the Life of Your Projector Lamp

Written By Correy Pelletier


A projector lamp’s life can vary from user to user. Some users might get 1000 hours of life, while others might get 6000 hours of life. This depends on which projector you’re using, how often you use the projector, and environmental factors.


Aside from defective lamps, which account for 2% of all lamps and have a really short lamp life. The average life expectancy of a projector lamp is 2500 hours.


You can prolong the life of your projector lamp in these ways:


  1. Environment

Run your projector in a cool room, such as a basement or air-conditioned room, it will make for longer life. You are drawing cool air into the projector to cool down the internal temperature. Your lamp gets really hot during use and if you are running it in a warmer environment, you may want to consider not running the projector until the room temperature is cooler. Or you could point an external fan towards the intake on the projector.


2. Run time or usage

It’s better to use your projector in short bursts, rather than for long periods of time. For example, you will get better lamp life if you run your projector for 3 hours at a time, once a day versus running it 12 hours in a row. Some companies and users have no choice but to run their projector for long periods like in sports bars or for weather monitoring systems. These users will have to replace their lamps more frequently due to longer consecutive hours of use.


3. Cleaning

Clean your air filter regularly, so it does not get clogged with dust. The more cool air it can draw in the better. If you live in a dustier environment, you will need to clean your projector filter more frequently. You can clean it by tapping out the dust or using light suction (vacuum). The filter will be different from one projector to the next and located near the exhaust port. Most projectors have filter systems that contain a foam filter attached to a plastic removable grill, from Sony to Panasonic to BenQ.


4. Eco-mode versus Normal Mode

Most projectors allow you to run in ECO MODE, which means it will project a dimmer image to extend the lamp life. Some eco-modes can double the lamp life; however, you will not get as bright of a picture. You can select eco-mode in the onscreen menu.


5. Make sure other components are working (i.e. the fans)

If your fans are not working well, then your projector cannot draw air into the machine and the lamp compartment to cool it off. If you ever hear the fans struggling to turn or hear nothing at all. It may not be functioning properly, and you should take it to a local repairman for a diagnosis. You should get them fixed to extend your lamp’s life.


6. Never unplug your projector during use

Unplugging your projector before it has time to shut down completely will kill your lamp life. (The fans run for about 10 minutes after shut-down to keep cool air flowing to your lamp.) Make sure after you use the projector, you turn off the projector using the power button and wait until the fans have stopped before unplugging the projector. If you experience power loss while your projector is running, try to get a fan to blow air into the intake of the projector, otherwise, your bulb may blow or lose significant life.






When Should You Replace Your Projector Lamp?

By Correy Pelletier


When Should You Replace Your Projector Lamp?


If you’re unsure why your projector isn’t working, it might be the projector bulb. Check these possibilities on or in your projector.


–> The first question you want to ask yourself is, “Is the projector itself turning on?”


If the projector IS NOT turning on, then continue reading below. If the projector IS turning on, then scroll down to the next heading.


Projector IS NOT turning on – NO IMAGE


When you last used your projector did you hear a popping noise and then it went black? This means the bulb has blown and you should replace it. Refer to our article on how to replace a lamp and how to deal with a blown bulb.


If you did not experience a blown bulb, check the filter by removing it, cleaning it, re-inserting it, and then try turning on your projector. If the projector turns on and the menu screen appears, then the lamp is working.


If the projector is still not turning on, have you tried checking all the cables, unplugging them, and then re-inserting them all, and then powering on the projector?


Have you tried checking the indicator lights?


What are the LED indicator lights telling you? Check your manual and compare the combination of lights and colors to determine what the problem is. For example, some Panasonic dual-lamp projectors like the PT-DZ780 series have four main indicator lights on the front of it, LAMP 1, LAMP 2, TEMP, and FILTER. If one of the lamp indicator lights is solid red, it’s reaching the end of its life and must be replaced soon. A flashing red lamp indicator light means the lamp is burnt out and must be replaced immediately. An example of a single lamp projector is the Panasonic PT-VW350 which has a LAMP and a WARNING light indicator. If the LAMP indicator light is a solid red, then it’s time to replace the lamp. If the LAMP indicator light is blinking red, then a problem is detected in the lamp or the lamp’s power supply.


The WARNING indicator light has three options of lighting up:


  • Solid red- The inside temperature of the projector is high.
  • Blinking red- The inside temperature is high and the projector is on standby.
  • Blinking red slowly- There’s an anomaly detected in the projector and cannot be turned on.


These LED Indicator light combinations are common with most projectors.


If you have a single-lamp projector, you only have to replace one lamp. But if you have a dual-lamp projector, then you have to figure out which lamp is dead. Or you can replace both lamps for consistency.


Projector IS turning on – YOU ARE GETTING AN IMAGE


If you’re still getting an image when your projector is on, have you checked to see how many hours the lamp has been used? You can check this on the on-screen menu and if it’s more than 2500 hours, you have already achieved the average number of lamp hours. You can continue to use the lamp, but it might be time to purchase another to avoid downtime and to brighten up the image.


Is the screen too dim? If the projector is used for professional use, you might want to the replace lamp. As you use the lamp over time, the lamp will gradually get dimmer. If you think the picture is dim but you are still happy with the brightness, then you don’t have to replace it. If you choose to replace it, then you can keep your old lamp as a backup. You will want to install your new lamp immediately since it has a fresh warranty that begins the day you receive it.


Other Issues


Are you having color issues? This is not a lamp problem, but a lamp prism problem. For more information, see our article on color issues.


Check out our article on troubleshooting tips as it may help you get up and running if you just replaced the lamp and it won’t work.


If you cannot solve it yourself, call MyProjectorLamps, our friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives can help diagnose the issue and go through the manual with you to determine the problem. We can also help you find the correct replacement lamp if the lamp needs replacing.

What Happens When You Don’t Replace Your Projector Lamp Bulb?

Written by Correy Pelletier


When you put in your new projector lamp, it’s very bright, but with every use, it gets dimmer in small increments. You won’t notice in the beginning since the increments are small. Over time and as you use the projector and lamp for many hours, it will start to fade. You might not notice it’s fading and the only way to know the difference is a side-by-side comparison with another projector that has a new lamp.


If you choose to not replace your lamp, over time it will become dimmer. And you may be okay with watching on a dim projector until the end of its life, while others prefer to watch on a new bright screen once it gets below a certain brightness level.


If you don’t replace your lamp and you are reaching the end of its life, warnings may appear on your projector screen stating, “replace your lamp”. The lamp will still continue to work in most cases. In some projector models, however, there is a hard stop that is coded on the lamp or once it hits a certain number of hours, the projector will not turn on anymore.


If that happens, you will be forced to purchase a new lamp and install it. When you install the new lamp, you will need to reset your lamp hour counter, since most machines will not know that you are putting in a new lamp. The projector lamps that have microchips will tell the projector that a new lamp is being installed and it will reset the lamp hours counter automatically.


If your projector model is a standard model or it doesn’t have a microchip or have an auto-shutdown when it hits a certain number of hours, then two things can happen at the end of your projector lamp’s life:


1.) The lamp fails to ignite and the projector will no longer turn on. This is the best-case scenario as you simply need to take out the lamp and replace it with a new one.


2.) The lamp explodes during use and glass fragments are scattered inside your projector. You must now clean the projector of all glass fragments before installing your new lamp.


What we at MyProjectorLamps recommend is to know approximately what your average hours of use will be for a projector and lamp. Take note:


1.) Check your lamp hours often enough to know when it’s getting close to the end of its life.


2.) When you are within a few hundred hours, buy a new replacement lamp.


3.) Write down the current hours of your existing lamp before immediately replacing your old lamp. If the old lamp is still working, keep it as a backup.


4.) Your new lamp from has a 180-day warranty, so it’s best to start using it immediately and test it to make sure it’s the correct lamp.

The Color Issues With Your Projector Lamp and How to Solve Them

Written by Correy Pelletier


Projector lamps primarily affect brightness. They are made of white light, which has a rainbow of colors. If you are experiencing color issues, it’s most likely the bulb is not the cause of these color problems.

The most common color problem is a complete washing of one color, such as pink, blue, or red. This problem is typically caused by a faulty prism in the projector or in the lamp housing. The lamp inside the projector projects the bright white light, which projects through a series of prisms or pieces of glass designed to allow certain types of light or colors to come through.

There can be many prisms in your projector. In some projectors, there is also a prism attached to the front of the lamp module.

These prisms will heat up over time and change properties, they will also get burned or discolored, which causes the washing over effect of one color.

A solution to this is you can go to a repair shop to diagnose the problem and replace the prisms in your projector.

Another solution is to replace the front glass prism at the front of the lamp module. If you were not experiencing this problem with your old lamp, try reusing your old prism and swap out the prism with the new lamp.

There can be other reasons your projector is experiencing color problems, there may be liquid-crystal display (LCD) issues or it’s a color wheel problem. And to fix the LCD or color wheel issues can be costly. Your best bet is to see if it’s the prism first, since it’s the cheaper and quicker fix.

Expert tip: BenQ and Optoma projectors are known to use a prism at the front of most of their lamps. If you are experiencing color issues, call MyProjectorLamps support. We can guide you through the process, so you don’t have to spend money on a repair that doesn’t necessarily need to happen.

Troubleshooting Tips When Replacing You’re Lamp

Written by Correy Pelletier


Your bulb has blown or is dead, time to replace it, but how?


Remove the old bulb and dispose of it properly.


Make sure when putting in a new bulb, you insert it firmly, but gently. Put it in as deep as possible. Once it’s in, press gently on the side where the connector is located to ensure the connection is solid. If the lamp is not fully inserted, it will not turn on.


Inside the module slot, you must tighten every screw that holds the lamp in place.


Close the lamp access panel door and if there’s a screw to keep it closed, make sure it’s tightened slowly. The projector will not turn on if the lamp access panel door is open or broken. There is a little button to press when the door is shut, the button must be working properly for the projector to turn on.


If your projector has a removable filter, remove it, and tap out the dust or use light suction. Similar to a furnace heater, if it is clogged or filled with dust the projector will not turn on to prevent overheating. Once you are done cleaning the filter, place it back, and tighten the screw if there is one.


Reset the lamp timer, some projectors have a lamp timer on the menu screen, while other projectors have a button configuration that must be completed before you can power it on. You can go to our installation page here to see the most common brands’ reset instructions.


Some projectors have an eco-mode and a normal mode. Sometimes, depending on the condition of your projector, it might perform better in normal mode rather than in eco mode.


Some projectors have a high-altitude function, which must stay on in order for the projector to stay on.


Lastly, always replace your old lamp when you receive a new lamp. This is because your new lamp’s warranty starts right away, so use the warranty period effectively and test if the lamp is functioning well. Put it into your projector as soon as you receive it. Secondly, if the lamp was damaged upon transport or you received the wrong lamp or you ordered the wrong lamp to begin with, then it might not work when you open the box and try to install it, and testing it immediately is the best way to find out. You can also keep your old lamp even if it’s dim, it will make a good backup if the new lamp fails.