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Lamp Advice

Everything You Need To Know About Replacement Projector And TV Lamps

If you own a multimedia LCD or DLP projector, you may have to replace the projector's lamp when it has stopped functioning. The average projector lamp's bulb lasts for around 2,000 hours, so most projector users will need to replace their lamp at least twice over the lifetime of the projector. Since projector lamps can be expensive, it is important that you have the most accurate and up to date information about projector and TV lamps before you buy.

USA Lamp Specialists

This section of the PureGlare website has been developed by experienced projector specialists and technicians. PureGlare and its group of companies has sold hundreds of thousands of projector lamps to people all over the United States, so it is not surprising that we have encountered many questions from customers, whether they be people buying a projector lamp for use in their home theatre system, or large companies and institutions replacing hundreds of projector lamps every year.

Useful Lamp Advice Sections

The links below and on the left will take you to areas of the PureGlare site where you can browse through information and articles on a variety of projector lamp-related subjects. For example, you may be wondering about how a projector lamp is constructed, or the things you should watch out for when buying lamps online. Our projector and TV lamp glossary section is filled with helpful information and can be used as a quick reference guide.

Underneath each of the blue links below you can find a brief summary of the subjects covered by our projector lamp technicians. Remember, if you cannot find the lamp and bulb information you are looking for, contact us.

Buying Projector Lamps on the Web – What You Need to Know

PureGlare has been a supplier of replacement projector and TV lamps to the U.S. for over 20 years. Recently, online shopping has allowed people to search for projector lamps and compare lamp prices across a variety of US stores, but it is important to know exactly what you are comparing. We have written this section to help explain the difference between quality replacement bulbs, bare bulbs, original and compatible (copy) lamps and how to identify suspicious projector lamp labeling.

How a Replacement Projector Lamp is Made

Ever wondered about the components that go into making a replacement projector lamp? Confused about the difference between a bulb, a burner and a module? The lamp is manufactured to fit your projector exactly, and this article has labeled diagrams to explain how each part of the lamp fits together.

The History of Projector Bulbs

Have you ever wondered how projector lamps were invented, or about the technology behind how a projector or TV lamp works? This information section has been produced by our lamp technician specialists, who have been working with projector lamps for over two decades.

Who Makes Projector and TV Lamps?

As the above article explains how a replacement lamp is made, it is the bulb inside the projector lamp which produces the light that allows your projector to display an image. There are only a few manufacturers worldwide that produce these bulbs. The two main manufacturers are Philips and Osram. This short article will give you some background on each one.

What Are Compatible Projector Bulbs?

One of the main areas of confusion, when buying a replacement projector lamp, is over the authenticity of the lamp and how to tell whether the lamp is genuine or not. Recent changes in the projector and TV lamp market, in the last few years, allow you to have a number of different options available to you, when it is time to replace your DLP television or multimedia projector lamp. You can now choose between a projector lamp made by the original manufacturer, or a cost effective original bulb lamp. This article will help you to differentiate between the two options, and avoid buying an inferior, copy or incompatible lamp for your projector.

Tips On How To Install Your Projector Lamp

Projector and TV lamps are generally quite easy to install into your equipment, but in case you would like some more information about how to replace your projector's lamp, our lamp technicians have put together this information for your reference. Please use this information as a basic guide for most projectors.

The Dangers of Refurbishing a Projector Lamp Bulb

You may have heard about projector lamp or bulb refurbishment. Although on the surface this can appear a cheap way to replace your projector's lamp, you should be aware of the dangers of doing this. PureGlare USA strongly advises against projector or TV lamp refurbishment due to the risks to hardware and personal safety. This section will tell you more.

How long should my projector lamp last for?

All projector lamps have an expected operating time, called lamp life. This value is expressed in numbers of hours, and is typically around 1,500 to 2,000 hours. Newer models claim 5,000 hours of lamp life and more. An individual lamp's light output duration is based on a bell curve, so that a majority of (but not all) lamps will meet the lamp life hours specified. Most manufacturers provide a warranty covering their lamps for a certain number of hours or period of time.

A Useful Glossary Of Projector Lamp Terms

For a handy reference guide on all things related to projector lamps, check out our projector lamps glossary for key words and phrases.

How can I preserve my projectors performance?

It is very important allow your projector to cool down sufficiently before unplugging it. This will prolong the life of your lamp and prevent the loss of your lamp or projector from overheating. Please allow your projector to cool off properly after use.

It is also of high importance to keep the filter clean and all air vents and openings clear of dust and lint.

Make sure that the projector has enough "breathing room" with adequate ventilation, so that the unit doesn't overheat, putting extra pressure on the motor and the lamp.

How can you prevent over heating of the projector lamp?

Never operate the halogen lamp above the rated operating temperature. The seal temperature should always be maintained below 350°C and the bulb temperature should be kept between 250°C and 550°C. Make sure that the cooling system is functioning properly. Do not allow one lamp to directly expose another. If a reflector is being used make sure that the IR is not reflected back into the filament or into its support. Finally, make sure that particles do not fall on the lamp.

How can I Extend My Projector Lamp Life?

Projector lamp lives are influenced by several factors.

The most damaging factor affecting lamp life is the overheating during their regular performing.

Here are some practical advices that will help to extend your projector lamp life and avoid overheating.


The most important in extending your projector lamp normal operation is to mount your projector in a space with ample ventilation. It is well known that projectors that are mounted in corners, or extremely close vicinity to the ceiling or in rooms with little air flow, are doomed to expire earlier.

Vacuum and Blow Compressed Air:

Gathering of dust inside your projector can cause the projector lamp to burn at a over nominal temperature, which will cut its life short. Please take care to vacuum your projector and blow the dust out with compressed air on a regular basis depending also on the projector usage.

Change or Clean Your Filter Regularly:

Almost every projector is equipped with a filter that prevents dust from getting inside the sensitive circuitry. During time, the filter gets clogged with dust and it can cause the projector lamp to burn at a hotter temperature than required and diminish its lamp life.

The filter on your projector is usually found behind a small rectangular panel that measures 0.5" by 6" long. Please clean the filter or if necessarily replace it with a new one.

Do Not Turn Your Projector On and Off Quickly:

Turning your projector on and off quickly can have devastating effects on your projector lamp. Projector lamps typically take about a minute before they are running at a stable current. Projectors have special ballasts inside them that ignite projector lamps at a high voltage and then run them at a low voltage. If you turn your projector on and off quickly it can cause the ultra-high pressurized mercury vapor to become destabilized, which will in turn cause your projector lamp to fail permanently.

Run Your Projector in Economy Mode:

The modern projectors have two modes of operation: normal mode and economy mode. Economy mode usually makes the projector lamp emit a slightly lower brightness level and therefore can extend the projector lamp's life. If you are not sure if your projector has economy mode, please reference to your projector's manual or contact the manufacturer.

Where is My Projector Lamp Located?

The lamp is the heart of any projector; it shines light through a DLP or LCD system so that the projector lamp can display its beautiful images.

The projector lamp can be found by locating a square or rectangle plastic plate on the outer shell of the projector, the plate is usually on the bottom of the projector but can sometimes be found on the top or sides.

The covering is often secured in place by two screws. Undoing the two screws and lifting the plate off, will reveal the bottom of the plastic housing that holds the projector lamp in place in your projector.

The plastic housing usually has a handle attached to it. Pulling the handle gently will remove the projector lamp and housing from the projector.

What is a bare projector lamp?

We sell projector lamps in two formats. The standard format is with the projector lamp encased in a high-temperature resistant black plastic cage or housing. But, we also sell just the bare projector lamp alone.

Purchasing the bare projector lamps will save you hundreds of dollars on your lamp purchase and installation is simple.

Projector Lamp Anatomy

A projector lamp contains several components: the ARC tube, ultra-high pressurized mercury vapor, electrical wiring, a quartz globe or reflector, a fastener, a spoke, a bolt, a screw and finally the black plastic housing itself.

ARC Tube - The ARC tube is a component made of blown quartz measuring about 2 inches in length that located at the base of the quartz globe. The ARC tube is positioned by highly-accurate machines and set with extra strength plaster.

Mercury Vapor - The mercury vapor inside most projector lamp ARC tubes is ultra-high pressurized. The mercury vapor is sensitive to the amount of current running through therefore it is needed for projectors to have electrical ballasts inside them to regulate electricity flow. The ballasts ignite the mercury vapor at a high voltage and then bring the voltage level down to the appropriate running voltage required to operate the projector lamp.

Electrical Wiring - The electrical wiring on a projector lamp is fused inside the quartz ARC tube and runs out the top of the tube through the side of the reflector. Electricity, regulated by the ballast, runs in a circuit from the back of the projector lamp through the side and back into the projector.

Quartz Globe reflector - The quartz globe or reflector is the hard exterior skeleton of a projector lamp. The quartz globe is usually lined with a highly reflective metal material on the inside in order to reflect the light generated by the ignition of the mercury vapor inside the ARC tube. The quartz globe also holds the ARC tube in place and is usually filled with extra strength caulking to seal it in its base.

Plastic Housing - The plastic housing is the piece of molded plastic that holds the projector lamp in place when it is sitting inside the projector. Projector lamps are usually locked into the plastic housing using a retaining clip. The attached wiring easily screws into a slot at the back of the plastic housing.

For more information about projector lamps, please do not hesitate to call or email us.

How Does a Projector Lamp Work?

A projector lamp operates by sending an electrical current across an ARC gap that is full of ultra-high pressurized mercury vapor. The electricity lights the mercury vapor which then causes the lamp to emit a light with an extreme intensity or brightness. The bright light created by this process shines onto an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or DLP panel which then in turn produces the fantastic images projectors are known for.

Projector lamps are produced by a extremely complex technology that is very costly to manufacturer, therefore the price of projector lamps tends to be pretty high.

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