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  Increasing Lamp Life


As explained in the Lamp Life article, manufacturers quote a lamp life on their projectors. It is expressed in number of hours that the lamp inside the projector is expected to last, on average.

However there are factors that can affect the lamp life and cause it to fail early.

How do I maximise the lamp life?

As always you should follow the manufacturers' guidelines on how to use their product to ensure it lasts as long as expected.
But here are a few things you need to avoid or you need to do to maximise your lamp's life.

  • Overheating

The number one cause of early lamp failure is that it has overheated.

Overheating can be caused by the projector vents being obstructed or by a lack of airflow around the projector.
When running a projector, ensure there is enough space around it for air to circulate so the hot air inside can escape and cool air from the room can be used to cool the projector and its lamp down.

Another way a lamp can overheat is if you don't follow the powering down proceedure.
When you press the standby button you will notice that many projectors continue to run the fans for a few minutes before turning off completely. This is so the lamp can be cooled down in a controlled manner without overheating.
Don't be tempted to unplug the power before the fans have stopped as that will affect the lamp life.

Power cuts will cause the projector to turn off completely without running the fans to cool the lamp down. Unless you use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), it will affect the lamp life.
If it's a one-off however, it is not something to lose sleep over.

  • Dust and smoke

The projector uses air from the room to cool itself down. The projector filters will filter out dust and smoke to stop it entering the projector.
If the filters aren't cleaned or replaced regularly, the dust and smoke will saturate the filter causing a drop in airflow which in turn will cause the projector to overheat and the lamp life to decrease.

Ideally you should try to run the projector in a relatively dust free environment and keep the filters clean. How often you clean the filters will depend on how dusty the room is.

  • Knocks

Projector lamps are fragile so you should avoid knocks and bumps on the projector, in particular when the lamp is still warm as they can cause micro cracks.
Wait for 5 minutes after a projector has turned off to move it.

  • Eco mode

Many projectors feature an economy mode: this mode reduces the brightness of the projector by around 20% but it also extends the lamp life.
If the projector is used in a room where the full brightness is not required, use the eco mode to lengthen the lamp life.

  • Handling

When you replace a lamp you need to be careful not to touch the bulb with bare fingers: natural oil on your fingers will remain on the lamp and cause hot spots, overheating when the lamp is on and causing damage or shattering.

Always hold the lamp on the module or use protective gloves when replacing it.