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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.