What is a lamp’s average lifespan?

Just as with other light bulbs, lamps for projectors and projection TVs have a limited lifespan. Unfortunately, this means that nearly every owner of a projector or projection TV will have to purchase several new lamps, depending on how often and under what conditions the device has been used.

What influences a lamp’s lifespan?

Most projector lamps with a higher luminosity have a life expectancy of 2,000 operating hours under ideal conditions. However, manufacturers do not guarantee this lifespan in any way, and to be honest, it is rare for a lamp to achieve this lifespan during regular use. In practice, this means that if you use your projector for 2-4 hours per day in a clean, dust and smoke-free environment at normal room temperature, your lamp should last for approx.1,500-2,000 operating hours. If the device is used under other conditions, the lamp life expectancy will be shorter. If you use your device for 24 hours a day/7 days a week, the risk of premature lamp burnout  is at its highest. Newer projectors, projectors with lower luminosity and projection televisions usually have a higher lamp life expectancy (which should be stated in the device’s manual). However, the stated average lifespan only relates to original bulbs. If you order either a generic lamp with housing or a generic bare bulb, its life expectancy may be shorter.

Why does a lamp burn out?

Currently, most projectors use mercury bulbs which produce light by using an electrical arc between two electrodes in a sealed glass chamber filled with a gaseous mixture. When in operation, this mixture has a pressure of over 200 atmospheres and its operating temperature exceeds 1,000 degrees Celsius. Operating the projector causes deformation and loss of material on the electrodes, which increases the distance between them; therefore, the greater the distance, the higher the voltage needed to produce and maintain the electrical arc. As soon as this voltage exceeds the capability of the projector’s ballast (the device controlling the power supply to the bulb), the lamp stops emitting light. A lamp may also burn out when it has come to the end of its lifespan. In order to avoid bulb explosions, projectors often will not switch the lamp on if it has exceeded its lifespan. The projector may also prematurely switch the lamp off if it is unable to cool down sufficiently. This could be caused by a manufacturing bulb defect or by insufficient cooling due to clogged filters, a ventilator defect or an air supply blockage in the projector’s ventilation system.

Newer projectors use more modern bulbs and their lamps have a longer lifespan. In combination with the use of a projector’s eco mode, which should increase the lifespan of the bulb at the expense of image brightness, it is possible to achieve up to 5,000 operating hours. You can see the various influences on the life expectancy of a projector lamp and how to prolong its life clearly in this infographic. Fortunately, our lamps come with a warranty, which protects the customer against premature lamp burnout.

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