Easy Projector Maintenance

To make the most of your projector’s life, it is important to take care of it and to ensure it is maintained and used in the correct environment. To answer some common questions we’ve made this quick and easy guide!

My projector’s image appears dimmer than it used to


Unfortunately, as with any type of bulb, projector bulbs (aka projector lamps) have a finite life (typically around 1800 – 2500 hours). After the projector has operated beyond the lamp life of the projector the image quality will start to degrade along with its brightness. In short, this means it may be time to invest in a new projector lamp.

How many hours will my projector lamp work?

Like other lamps, projector lamps have an expected operating life measured in hours called lamp life. This is the measure of operation (in hours) until the brightness is expected to be half of what it originally was. The typical life of a projector bulb is around 1800 – 2500 hours, however this will differ based on the model and brand of projector you have.

A projector’s lamp life is based on a bell curve so the majority of lamps will reach half-brightness at the advertised lamp life hours. Some lamps will fail sooner than others and this is part of the acceptable operating range of the lamp rating.

Projectors that are used under normal operation conditions (three – five hours per day in a dust-free relatively clean environment) have a greater chance of their lamps lasting their advertised lamp life hours.

How can I make my projector lamp last longer

There are many different things you can do to increase the life of your projector lamps (and projectors). Always ensure your projector has sufficient ventilation to avoid any possibility of overheating. If your projector is mounted this is usually more than sufficient giving enough clearance for air circulation around the projector’s vents.

Your projector should be operated in a relatively clean and dust-free environment. If your room is relatively dusty and this is inevitable, you may need to clean or change the projector’s filters every 3 months or so.

Reduce the on/off cycles. Every time you turn on your projector the lamp has to heat up, this ever so slightly changes the shape of the internal electrodes that light the lamp, which in turn contributes towards aging. The more frequently you turn your projector on and off the faster the bulb will age.

Some modern projectors have a ‘Lamp Economy Mode’. We recommend using this feature, especially in corporate environments, as you use can double the length of the projector lamp with only a 20% reduction in brightness. This 20% reduction is hardly noticeable especially when you consider the near-doubled life of the lamp.

Last but not least, always ensure the projector can cool down. The fans may run for some time to cool the lamp safely, if you unplug the projector whilst it is cooling this can cause sudden damage to either the projector and/or the lamp.

Final advice

If you decide it’s time to purchase a new projector lamp we recommend sticking to genuine lamps from your projector’s manufacturer. When installing it pay very close attention to the instructions of your projector and that are included with the new lamp. It is easy to cause damage to either the lamp and/or projector from improper installation. Furthermore, most retailers (including us) will not accept liability for damage caused to the projector due to improper installation. If ever in doubt we advise you to get an expert to change the lamp for you.

If you’re interested in purchasing a replacement projector lamp from Universal AV click here to see our collection. We stock a variety of different genuine projector lamps for many mainstream brands. Most of our lamps are ready to dispatch on the same day of order.