Sooner or later, you will face the task of replacing the projector lamp, whether you want it or not. Projector bulbs have a particular life span specified by the manufacturer. Usually, the duration of the bulb operation depends on its type, the environment it is utilized in, and the frequency of the projector use. So, today you will get a better idea about how long does projector bulb last and how you know that it’s time to replace it.
Types of projector lamps and their lifespan
A lamp is an essential element of every projector as it transmits an image from the projector into the screen. However, it is a sort of projector element that requires replacement from time to time, just like an ordinary bulb. The bulb type is one of the most critical aspects affecting its longevity. So, here are the most popular bulbs you will find in projectors these days.
Metal halide bulbs
Metal halide lamps are the most frequent choice for projectors. They are highly efficient as they produce high-intensity light that reaches up to 100 Lumens per watt. In addition, these bulbs have a low replacement cost, making them attractive to many manufacturers. The lifespan of metal halide lamps is around 2,000 hours, but their brightness will dim after 1000 hours of service.
When you look for a more long-lasting lamp option, you should consider a projector with a LED (light-emitting diode) bulb. They work significantly longer than their metal halide counterparts. Typically, you can expect a 60,000-hour projector lamp lifespan from these bulbs, which is equal to 30 years of moderate use.
Ultra-high performance (UHP) bulbs use mercury to create an internal pressure that reaches 200 atmospheres once the lamp reaches its operating temperature peak. Different manufacturers claim various lifespan ranges of these bulbs, from 6,000 to 12,000 hours and longer. It may start losing its power at 2,000 hours of use, so you will notice the reduced image brightness.
How do you know that it’s time to change the projector bulb?
Knowing an average bulb life of a projector is a sure way to trace the time to replace the lamp for a new one. However, this method may involve calculating how many hours you spend using the projector, which is inconvenient. So, you may take notice of other factors that define how long you can use the bulb and when you should consider buying a new one.
If you have a metal halide or UHP lamp, it will gradually dim and reduce the image brightness once it starts losing its power. So when you notice a subtle change in the capabilities of the screen to broadcast the image from your projector, it will mean that you will need to have a replacement bulb at hand. Likewise, when the dimming becomes more vivid and gets to the point when you can’t ignore it, it is a sign to change the old bulb with a new one.
Some projectors have a special built-in lamp counter that lets you track your bulb’s life. It lets you know when it’s time to replace one so you do not miss this moment. As you change the bulb, the counter will be reset. Also, do not forget that cleaning the projector screen and lens is crucial for good image quality.
If the counter is absent, go to the system settings or the projector menu to see how long you’ve been using the lamp. If, let’s say, you’ve used the 1,500-hour lamp for 600 hours, it means that 900 more hours are left. Every model has a unique manner of presenting information and granting access to it. Perhaps, you will need to hit the button on the projector or use a mobile application.
You can also physically inspect the bulb for burnout. This is a more complicated method as it will involve taking the projector apart. Mind that you may violate the warranty if you disassemble the device.