It is usually recommended that manufacturer’s originals, rather than
unbranded copies, are used when replacing Hitachi projector lamps. Poorly
produced alternatives are often short-lived, thus negating any savings
you’ve made. Worse still, they can be dangerous.
Hitachi projector lamps are subject to very high levels of quality control.
This is essential when you consider how projector lamps are made. The bulb
contains mercury vapour, which is contained under pressure. Imagine the
prospects if this glass suddenly exploded, releasing its contents into the
air (or worse still, into the face of the person using it); Hitachi
projector lamps have a lifetime guarantee against such things happening.
Projectors can be expensive to repair when they go wrong; luckily,
replacing the lamp is one of the few maintenance projects users can
You should remember that a projector lamp is far more than just a bulb.
Hitachi projector bulbs are sold as a unit which comprises several
elements. These include an ARC tube containing highly pressurised mercury
vapour; a quartz reflector, fittings and wiring and the external housing.
This is only a very simple outline; the current that activates the mercury
vapour, for example, is regulated by electrical ballasts, which supply
exactly the right voltage to ignite and sustain the bulb’s output while in
Original components are made of top quality materials and manufactured to
exacting standards. The reflector, for example, is a hard quartz globe
lined with highly reflective material. To hold the ARC tube in place, the
base is filled with extra-strength caulking material. The mercury vapour in
the arc tube is compressed at ultra-high pressure to exactly the right
level. All this means expensive technology and a team of expert engineers
and scientists, whose role is to ensure the mercury vapour will ignite
correctly, and that the tubes, reflectors and wiring assembly are
Hitachi projector lamps vary in their output of lumens. This means
machinery must be recalibrated for each specific model – precise
calibration is essential. The highly specialised nature of manufacturing
and the cost of the production machinery and materials, means there are
very few manufacturers of high-quality Hitachi projector lamps in the world.
However, this does not mean you are stuck with buying a “manufacturer’s
own” labelled product. There are online companies selling both
manufacturers’ originals and alternative lamps for the same projector
models. The bulbs and other working parts can be manufactured to the same
quality standards as the originals. In fact, in many cases the bulb is the
same – it’s simply the housing, packaging and non-working hardware that are
different. “Unbranded” bulbs are often made by known professional lighting
manufacturers such as Phillips or Osram.
Provided you go to a trusted and reputable retailer, it is possible to buy
copycat Hitachi projector lamps which are every bit as good as the
manufacturer’s original. Those worried about invalidating their projector’s
warranty can rest assured that neither copyright nor warranty is affected
in any way.
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, follow the link for projector lamps and find out more.
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