How to extend lamp life
General working of the projector lamps are such that they undergo a cycle. When they are brand new, they take some time to set into equilibrium and when this is set, the lamps operate at an apex with the maximum efficiency. However due to continuous operations and harsh operating conditions the lamp efficiency begins to deteriorate and ultimately it fails to deliver after some point of a time. This time period for which the lamp has operated to its full is called as its life. The lamp life varies according to various factors like the technology, the input power, luminescence etc. Average lamp life is estimated at 1500-200 working hours.
Almost all projectors have the lamp counter that keeps a count of the working hours the lamp has experienced giving an indication as to when a replacement is required. In most cases, it is shown by some symptoms which indicate its deterioration. The first sign would be image dimming due to the decrease in the gas pressure. Another symptom is that of frequent flickering or decreased luminescence. If not replaced immediately, the lamp might fail altogether due to high operating stress experienced by the same.
Tips to make the lamp last longer:
- If the brightness can be adjusted, use the optimum brightness level.
- Overheating is the major cause that leads to lamp failures. So switch off the lamps and let it cool when not in use, this will increase the lamp life.
- Fans are vital parts that aid cooling, so they need to be cleaned and the dust should be removed from the filters that clog the same.
- Use the projector in an area where there is sufficient space available for the heat rejection and venting of heat from the projector.
- Do not expose the lamp or the projector to direct sunlight which will cause potential damage to the same beyond repair.
- The best way to enhance the life of these lamps is to operate them in a suitable climate which is neither too hot nor cold.
Lamp life is a serious factor to be considered when buying a projector. Modern projectors come with warranties that guarantee up to 5000 lamp hours.