It is the most obvious question as every projector bulb comes with limited life.
Most projector under $250 arrive with a bulb life of 2000-3000 hours, while some high-end projectors may have as long as 5000 hours. But, you have to replace it sooner or later depending on your projector usage. If you are in the middle of a movie or presentation, you don’t want the bulb to be down and spoil your flow.
So, look out for the five signs that indicate your projector needs bulb replacement:
After few projector reviews, we found that although there could be many reasons for image flickering such as loose cables problem with projector settings, the dying bulb is another possible reason. If all other issues are fixed, and the image is still flickering, possible you need a bulb replacement.
Popping Sound Coming From Projector
The lamp is responsible for high-pressure discharge technology. Once you turn on the projector and hear the popping sound coming out of it, it indicates that the projector bulb has burnt out. A bulb has several components; failing any of them can burn out the bulb. As the lamp ages, the internal components wear off gradually.
Dimming of Projector Light
Before the projector bulb becomes completely redundant, you may notice that the light has diminished gradually. The projected image could be dim and dull, rejecting the ambient light. It is a clear indicator that the projector bulb is dying.
As you can see, the projected image is still dim. The bulb is dying. The best way to check if the projector light is diminishing is to set it in the darkest possible room with the highest brightness settings. To extend the bulb life, you can choose the low brightness settings. But it will ruin your experience as the bulb is already working partially.
The best projectors under $1000 come with an indication or message technology that warns you about the reducing age of the projector bulb. When such a message pops up, although you don’t need the replacement bulb on an immediate basis, you may prepare yourself in advance with a replacement bulb so that you can change the build frequently when it stops working.
Once you replace the bulb, also reset the lamp timer to take into account the diminishing hours of the new bulb. If you fail to do so, the message might continue to pop up even after the bulb replacement, indicating that your bulb is reaching the end of its life.
You can consult the owner manual to reset the hour counter.
New lamps project a bright and crisp color image. But once the bulb starts fading away, it becomes unable to display the accurate colors through the projector’s liquid crystal panel or color wheel. The muddy colors projection is one of the indicators that the projector bulb is failing.
How do I know my bulb is dying? What should I look for?
The first thing to note is that most projectors have a warning indicator that appears at the time of power-up. It is usually an orange / red flashing light under the lens casing. It goes from slow flashes (indicating regular operation) to fast flashing (indicating a problem). If this does not appear, you may have no idea what the problem is.
If the light fails to flash, try switching on without the screen connected. If the light comes on, but only slowly, it is probably just the backlighting circuit. If the light flashes quickly, this indicates a fault within the lamp itself. Either the filament has failed, or the cathode ray tube (CRT) glass has cracked. In either case, replacing the bulb should fix this problem.
What causes the bulb to go wrong?
There are various reasons why a bulb can start to smoke, fade or flicker:
– Poor quality bulbs tend to heat rapidly when they switch on, which can cause overheating problems.
Overloading the lamp leads to excessive heating, damaging the bulb and leading to poor performance.
– Cracked bulbs can generate excessive heat, making them prone to burning out prematurely.
– Some bulbs emit an unusual amount of light, causing them to glow brightly and burn out sooner than others.
– Low voltage caused by a weak battery.
How much longer before I notice the difference?
Using a calculator, you can work out how long your current bulb is expected to last. A good rule of thumb is 10% per year. So if the existing bulb is rated at 2000 hours, a reasonable estimate would be 2200 hours. However, many other factors are involved, including ambient temperature and use.