Projector lamps are fundamentally different from conventional lighting lamps so that it differs on how long do projector bulbs last. An ordinary light bulb works without losing brightness and then instantly burns out. The projector lamp does not burn out instantly, but from the very beginning, it gradually loses its brightness.
At the dawn of projector construction, it was customary to specify a period of up to 50% loss of brightness. Of course, many have forgotten about this, but the main thing is that it has not been written down anywhere as a mandatory standard.
How long does projector bulb life last?
Projector lamp life is virtually independent of lamp design and depends on how the projector operates the lamp. The shutdown mode is extremely important. If, when the lamp is turned off, the cathode is heated so that it cools more slowly than the rest of the lamp, then it does not become dirty and its resistance does not increase. Dirty, high resistance cathodes require more voltage at start-up, dramatically accelerating projector bulb life. The use of the heating cathode mode when the lamps are turned off is described only for Sharp projectors. Perhaps one of the manufacturers also uses a similar technique, but no one has officially announced it. According to accepted standards, the lamp life for an in-2102 projector is measured in thousands of hours. This rule applies to all lamps. Thus, depending on the characteristics of the lamps, the answer to the question of how long do projector bulbs last varies between 1000-3000 hours. But resources can decrease when mistakes are made during the operation.
Simple ways to determine how many hours does a projector bulb last when selecting a projector
It is very easy to tell if the projector is using the cathode heating method when the lamp is turned off. Any projector, upon a shutdown command, will prompt the screen to confirm or cancel the command. After receiving confirmation, the projector will immediately extinguish the lamp or smoothly extinguish the lamp. When the lamp is suddenly turned off, the screen immediately goes black. When the lamp is smoothly turned off, the phrase “shutdown in progress” is on for 20-30 seconds on a dark screen (different variants of the phrase are possible, but the meaning is the same). In both cases, projector bulb life continues to run.
What are the specifications of how long does a projector bulb last
Most projectors have two modes:
- Optimal mode, with maximum lamp life, and Forced, with a 20% brightness increase, which halves the projector lamp life.
- The forced mode is called standard, because it is easier to sell a projector of higher brightness, and the optimal one is called an economical mode of operation.
In advertising, forced brightness is usually given, and the lamp life is indicated for the optimal mode because it’s even easier to sell. The user, of course, does not care how to name each model, but, for sure, it is far from indifferent how long the lamp will really work if it accounts for up to half of the cost of the projector.
So how long will a projector lamp actually last?
In projectors with a conventional abrupt lamp shutdown, the visual need to change the lamp (this is about 50% loss in brightness) appears after 1000 hours of operation in standard mode and after 2000 hours in economy mode. In projectors with a smooth lamp shutdown, these periods are approximately twice as long – 2000 and 4000 hours, respectively.
LED bulbs are more expensive than other types of bulbs, but they last longer and consume less energy. However, you should not rely on the words of manufacturers about their durability. The service life of 10 years is a very rough figure. Often, even for the most inexpensive LED lamps, manufacturers indicate a duration of up to 10 years, but it is worth noting that this period is based on very modest electricity consumption. An LED lamp can last 10 years if it is used for a maximum of three hours every day. Such a modest amount of consumption for a living space is rare today.
Thus, the life of the LED lamp should be approximately 11,000 hours. If every day we turn on the lamp for eight hours (an hour in the morning and seven in the evening), then this lamp will last a little more than three and a half years.
Compared to incandescent bulbs, which average 1,000 hours of life, the performance of LED bulbs is still impressive. But there are many factors that influence how long does a projector bulb last that should be taken into account.
The main problem with LED lamps is the circuit and its components
If you look at the insides of an incandescent lamp, it becomes clear how simple its scheme of operation is: two electrodes are connected by an incandescent filament, which heats up when an electric current flows through it. This technology has been proven for more than a hundred years. The LED lamp is much more complicated. It contains resistors, inductors, capacitors, and LEDs. Light-emitting diodes can indeed last for a very long time, but the rest of the circuitry can fail much faster, especially in dimmable lamps. If your lamp burns out much earlier than 10,000 hours, most likely the LEDs themselves are not the cause. Unlike incandescent lamps, LEDs do not just burn out and stop working, but their glow intensity decreases gradually. The brightness of such lamps changes markedly towards the end of their service life. Manufacturers of LED lamps include how long does a projector bulb last the time during which the brightness decreases to 70% of the maximum possible.
For example, if a lamp emits 800 lumens of light, then degradation to 570 lumens would be considered normal within 10,000 hours of service. Brightness below 70% of the maximum lamp rating is considered unacceptable for proper operation.
High temperatures shorten how many hours does a projector bulb last
Electronic devices generate heat, so fans, radiators, or water-based cooling systems have to be used. Electronics need to be protected from overheating, and LED bulbs are no exception. LEDs can overheat, but more often it happens to the rest of the circuitry being squeezed into a very tight space. In the design of the lamp, heat generation is taken into account, but if you insert it into a closed lamp, then the lamp will most likely overheat and fail projector lamp hours much earlier than the stated period.
Pieces of advice to prolong the average projector lamp life
These are what you need to highen the period of time for how long do projector bulb lasts. Lamps will last longer if you use them correctly:
- Do not overheat the lamps. Do not cover them completely, leave openings for ventilation.
- Remember that in very low cost LED bulbs, circuit components will be adequate.
- Do not mix different types of bulbs in the same lamp or chandelier, such as LED bulbs and incandescent bulbs. This can lead to overheating.
- Turn off lights when you don’t need them. LED bulbs consume little electricity, but it makes no sense to create additional costs for yourself.
Projector LED lamps have not been on the market long enough to have time to test all existing scenarios of their operation and how many hours does a projector bulb lasts. But you can create favorable conditions for their functioning and avoid unpleasant surprises and prolong the durance of how long do projector bulbs last.