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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.