How To Make Projectors Last Long

I hope you went through our post where we compared a TV and a projector. If you haven’t, check it out. One of the points against projectors was how people always complained that they do not last. In this post, we will discuss how to totally overcome that problem.

Now when it comes to projectors, it is not actually the projector itself that usually spoils. Rather, it is the projector bulb.

Table of Content


What Is A Projector Bulb?

A projector bulb is also called a projector lamp. It is an ultra-high pressure mercury vapor ARC lamp. A projector lamp or bulb is either classed as an ultra-high pressure mercury vapor lamp or as a metal halide lamp. Your projector lamp or bulb is one of the main arts of your projector that contribute to its display. The projector bulb or lamp is usually located near the plastic grate on your projector. Usually, it is at the bottom of the front side of the projector but as there are various makes, the position can differ.  This grate is usually held down by screws. If you undo the screws and remove the grate, you will find the lamp attached. However, unless you have some experience, do not do this. You may also want to look at DLP technology in projectors.

How Does A Projector Bulb Work?

Projector bulbs have a gap in them. Each gap is filled with the ultra-high pressure mercury vapor. Now what happens is that an electrical current is sent across through the gap containing the ultra-high pressure mercury vapor. The result of this is the projector producing light. This light which comes out from the projector is directed at a flat plane and viola, your projector is functioning.

Longevity of Projectors

Projector lamps wear out. Even if you use it in the best possible way, they will wear out. If you get a good projector, it will have a tracker. The tracker has no other duty than to track the lifespan of your projector bulb. As the projector bulb reaches its expiring date, the projector should alert you. This way, you will not just be subjected to a non-working projector. Rather, you can know exactly what is wrong with your projector. However, inasmuch as a projector bulb will wear out from use, it is also possible that the way you make use of it can make it wear out much faster. If your projector bulb is always wearing out, it could be a sign that you need to review how you use it.

 

What Makes Projector Bulb Wear Out And How Can They Be Avoided?

 

DUST

If you often keep your projector in a dusty place, this could be the culprit. Even if your projector is not kept in a dusty place permanently but it is often used in dusty places or passed through dusty environments, that could be the reason. Projectors do not like dust. Every speck of dust you let settle is going to come back to haunt you later. Apart from making your projector look dirty, it damages the lamp and wears it out faster than any other thing.

Luckily, this can easily be solved. Firstly, you should avoid storing your projector in a dusty place. In fact, despite the place you store it, endeavor to cover it completely. That way, dust will not get to it. If you have a say, choose to use your projector in a place that is dust-free. Also, when you set your projector down anywhere, wipe it thoroughly to ensure there is no dust. If you are wiping your house, ensure that your projector is not uncovered to let dust settle on it. When carrying your projector around, keep it in a box if the environment is dusty. Lastly, before and after use, clean your projector with a fresh and dry piece of cloth. Remember that your projector should never stay in a dusty place.


HEAT

Heat destroys normal lamps and your projector’s lamp is no different. For varying reasons, your projector could get hot during use. It is no fault of yours, sometimes and could be caused by a number of things. If the wire is weak, your projector could get hot. If the outlet is weak, it could get hot. The stability of the current also plays a role. If your projector has been in use for a while, it could get hot. When your projector gets hot, it is not hard to notice. Easily, you can feel the heat as you touch it. It will be obvious that something is not right with your projector. When this happens, switch the projector off. Disconnect the wires and unplug it. Then you should let it cool off. The reason for doing this is so that the heat will not affect the bulb.

When your bulb is subjected to high temperatures, it slowly weakens. This is one of the fastest ways to destroy it. Pay close attention to your projector; if it gets hot, turn it off. If your projector gets hot for no reason and after short moments of use, there may be another culprit. You would need to take it to your local tech shop to have it looked at. The experts will definitely be able to tell you what is wrong with it and how to fix it.

TOO FREQUENT SWITCHING ON AND OFF

This is another reason your bulb could be damaged. You may not use it for long but if you switch it on and off too often, your bulb could spoil much faster and here is why. Projector bulbs have a gap in them. As we said before, each gap is filled with the ultra-high pressure mercury vapor. When you switch your projector on, an electrical current is sent across through the gap containing the ultra-high pressure mercury vapor. The result of this is the projector producing light. Can you imagine what happens if a bulb is forced to go through the process multiple times? It gradually starts to weaken. It doesn’t matter how long it stays on. What matters is how frequently you turn it on.

Frequent switching happens more often than you think. Most of the time, while you try to set the projector, you end up switching it on and off more often than you know. There are various ways to combat this issue however, you will need to make mental notes. First of all, you should try your best to ensure that you never have to switch it on frequently in short periods. Try to arrange the way it would be used to minimize switching it on and off. Secondly, learn how to set up your projector so you can be aware of everything you are doing and everything you need to be doing. With this, you are good to go.

OVERUSE

Your projector is not meant to be overused. Like your TV, it should not be left running all day. When it is not in use, turn it off. Each bulb has a lifespan attached to it but when you place it under continuous use, you subtract from it. It is much like the business with frequent switching on and off. It is not good for your lamp. When your lamp is not being used, switch it off. Also, make sure that you use the right outlets. Do not plus a 110 volts projector which doesn’t have dual voltage in an outlet strictly for 230 volts. Like all other machines, it will get spoilt. If you have plans to give out your projector to someone to use for a while, ensure that they understand this.

DIRT

If you have not figured it out by now, your projector is not a fan of dirt. Keep it away from all forms of dirt that can get into it. Keep your projector away from water and any other thing you know should be near it.

BAD LAMPS/ BULBS

Lastly, if your projector bulb is wearing out too easily, perhaps you just need to stop using the brand of bulb you are using. There are a lot of companies that produce projector lamps and it goes without saying that some are less quality than others. If you have been going to a particular place to change your projector bulb and it seems that it is not improving, try following these rules listed above. If they do not help, you will simply need to change the repairer you patronize. It could simply be that the bulb that is being replaced for you is a substandard one. If you do not have the option of switching repairers, check out some of the trusted brands of projector bulbs and specifically request that it is used for you. You can also learn how to change your projector bulb yourself if you are interested in doing so. I would not suggest learning with your projector as you could spoil it. Try practicing with a damaged one.

 

Final Words

It is really easy to have your projector last if you take care of it. These rules are definitely not hard and by the time you use your projector for a while, you will definitely get used to it.

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