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LCD Projector Bulb

LCD Projector Bulb or Projector Lamp

LCD Projector Lamp
While some people call them an LCD projector bulb, the correct term is LCD projector lamp, and they are one of the hidden costs of operating a projector.

The LCD Projector bulb or lamp is one of the few parts of a projector that can be replaced. In some ways, they are like toner cartridges for printers. Over the life of the printer, you'll probably lcd projector bulbpay more for the toner cartridges than you originally paid for the printer. The same could be said of projector lamps depending on how much you use them. The lamp is the most expensive part of the projector.

Lamp type is related to the image brightness. The most common types of projector lamp are listed below:

  • UHP - Ultra High Performance
  • UHE - Ultra High Efficiency (most common)
  • Some projectors also use metal halide lamps.


Lamp life or an LCD projector bulb is rated in hours. The typical lamp life for a projector is between 1,000 and 4,000 hours and depending on how much the projector is used, can add to the total cost of operating a projector over a given period of time. LCD projector bulb replacements run anywhere from $300 to $600 each. A lower watt lamp will stay cooler and last longer than a higher watt bulb. Since it uses less power, it will also cost less to operate.

Projector Lamp Questions

How many hours will my projector lamp work?

An LCD Projector bulb has an estimated lamp life measured in hours. Typical, a projector lamp will last between 1,000 and 2,000 hours, but there are many factors that can influence that figure. You are not guaranteed that your projector bulb will last that long, but on average, the lamp life should fall within that range. Some will last longer and some will fail sooner. Some newer projectors are advertising a lamp life of as much as 4,000 hours.

Projector lamps will last the longest in operating environments that are relatively dust free and used under normal operating conditions of three to five hours per day. Those that are used more often or are in environments that include moisture and dust, or are subject to overheating, will fail sooner.

My projector's image isn't as bright as it was when new - what does this mean?

Projector lamp life is rated in hours. As they near the end of their life, the lamps begin to lose power and with it you'll notice the image getting dimmer. Some projectors include a feature on the projector menu to check the number of hours the lamp has been used. You should check your projector's user guide to see what the estimated life or your projector lamp.

What can I do to extend the life of my projector bulb?

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your projector and lamp. Allow the projector fan to run after shutting down the lamp so that it will have a period of time to cool down. Do not allow your projector to become overheated. Make certain that air is able to freely circulate around the projector. Keep your projector clean and only operate it in a dust free environment. Set up a regular schedule to clean the air filters.

What are the different types of projector bulbs?

Most of today's projectors use metal halide lamps because they last much longer than Halogen bulbs.

Halogen Bulb Metal Halide Lamp
  • Used in most low-end to medium priced projectors.
  • Approximate life of 40 - 70 hours
  • Cost: $75 - $100
  • Have a yellowish color when compared to metal halide lamps.
  • Maintains consistent brightness over time
  • Used in medium to high end projectors
  • Approximate life of 1000 to 2000 hours
  • Cost: $300 - $500
  • Whites are extremely white and may even appear bluish white at times
  • Brightness looses intensity over time. Lamp life is measured in half life. At the 1000 hour half life, the bulb is half as bright as it was when it was new.


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