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  Lamp Life


When looking for a new projector you will notice that manufacturers quote a lamp life. But what do the numbers mean?

What do they mean by lamp life?

Just like any light bulb you would use for another purpose, projector bulbs have an expected operating time, called lamp life. This value is expressed in number of hours - typically 1000 to 2000 hours. Newer models are claiming 4000 hours of lamp life and more.

Does this mean my lamp will last as long as the manufacturer say?

The lamp's success rate is based on a bell curve, so that a majority of (but not all) lamps will meet the lamp life hours specified. Some lamps will fail sooner and this is part of the acceptable operating range of the rating.

For projectors that are used under normal operating conditions (no more than three to five hours per day in a clean, relatively dust-free environment) the lamp will have the greatest likelihood of lasting through its entire rated lamp life.
Projectors that are used more often or are exposed to environmental contaminants are more likely to show a decrease in lamp life.
Projectors that are operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week are at the highest likelihood of lamp failure before the end of the rated hours.

Why is lamp life important if it's not guaranteed?

Although the lamp life is not a guarantee, it's a good indication of how long you should expect the projector lamp to last before it needs replacing.
You can then factor in the on going cost of using certain projector models before choosing one that is most suited to your requirements.

It may be worth paying a little bit more for a projector with a long lamp life as you could be saving money on lamps in future.