There are a few things that you should know to ensure that you not only
change your bulb properly, but that it is done at the right time to avoid
injury or damage to your projector.
When to change the projector lamp
Sometimes, you will know when to change the bulb because one day you will
switch on the projector and it will not work. There are a number of
environmental factors that can shorten the life of a projector lamp because
the bulbs are delicate objects. Factors such as letting the bulb cool
before moving the projector, not cleaning the filter or even storing the
projector lamp in a cold or warm place can all shorten its expected lamp
However, assuming this is not the case, you should see a message appear on
the projector stating something along the lines of ‘Lamp Life Exceeded’.
When this message appears, you should replace the bulb. It is an important
point that you should not exceed the lamp life by more than 20 percent.
Older bulbs become very fragile and this is usually the case when you hear
of them exploding. This is not only dangerous but can damage your equipment.
It is always useful to have one or two replacement projector lamps on hand
to ensure you can replace the bulb at the right time and use the projector
when you need to.
To tell how old your bulb is, there is usually an option in the menu of the
projector showing how many hours have passed. There should also be a reset
option for when you install a new lamp.
How long should a lamp last?
A typical lamp will last for around 2000 projection hours. Genuine lamps
may seem expensive with prices typically between £150 and £500 but when you
work this out, that is only 8p to 25p per projection hour.
As with all models, no matter how old the lamp is it can take just one
sharp knock, or being left in an extreme temperature for a short while, to
adversely affect the life of the bulb so it is worth keeping a replacement
bulb on hand.
How to change a projector bulb
Possibly the most important point is to ensure that you only purchase
genuine replacement projector lamps and you must get the right one for your
model. Never use a bulb intended for another brand or model, such as using
Epson projector lamps in a Sony projector.
Make sure the old bulb has sufficiently cooled; otherwise it may explode
with handling. As a general rule, ensure that your projector has had around
30 minutes to cool.
Unplug the projector and remove the lamp cover, which is normally on the
bottom of the projector and is held in place with screws or a clip. Remove
the lamp module and the old lamp. Reverse the process to install your
replacement bulb, switch the power back on and check the new lamp works.
Remember to reset the projector hours in the lamp life menu option.
Disposing of the old bulb
Be sure to dispose of your old lamp carefully. Projector lamps should be
recycled to ensure environmental safety.
The author James Kean represents JP-UK, a specialist UK supplier of
projector lamps and bulbs as well as ink toners and cartridges. For further
information, visit http://www.jp-uk.co.uk for projector lamps.
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