What is the usual lamp lifespan?

Just as with all other light bulbs, lamps for projectors and projection TVs have a limited lifespan. Unfortunately, this means that nearly every owner of a projector or projection TV will have to purchase several new lamps, depending on how often and in what conditions the device is used.

What influences the lifespan of the lamp?

The majority of projector lamps with a higher luminosity have a life expectancy of 2,000 operating hours in ideal conditions. However, the producers do not guarantee this lifespan in any way and to be honest, it is rare to achieve this lifespan in regular usage. In practice, this means that if you use your projector for 2–4 hours per day in a clean, dust free and smoke free environment at normal room temperature, your lamp should last for around 1,500–2,000 hours of operation. If the device is used in other conditions, the lamp life expectancy is shortened. If you use your device for 24 hours a day and 7 days per week, the risk of premature burnout of the lamp is the highest. Newer projectors, projectors with lower luminosity, and projection televisions usually have a higher lamp life expectancy (which should be stated in the manual for the device). However, the declared values only relate to the original bulbs. If you order either a compatible lamp module or bare bulb, its life expectancy may be shorter.

Why does the lamp stop shining?

Currently, the majority of projectors use mercury bulbs, which create light by using an electrical arc between two electrodes in a sealed glass chamber filled with a gaseous mixture. When in operation, this mixture has the pressure of over 200 atmospheres and its operating temperature exceeds 1,000 degrees Celsius. Operation of the projector causes deformation and loss of material on the electrodes which increases the distance between them. Greater the distance, higher the voltage necessary to create and maintain the electrical arc. As soon as this voltage exceeds the capability of the ballast in the projector (the device controlling the power supply to the bulb), the lamp stops shining. A lamp may also stop shining by reaching its life expectancy. In order to protect themselves from bulb explosions, projectors often refuse to light the lamp if it has exceeded its lifespan. The projector may also prematurely switch the lamp off if it is not able to cool it down sufficiently. This could be caused by a manufacturing defect in the bulb or by insufficient cooling due to clogged filters, a fault in the ventilator, or an air supply blockage to the projector ventilation canals.


Newer projectors use more modern bulbs and their lamps have longer life expectancy. In combination with the use of eco-mode, which should increase the life of the bulb at the expense of reducing the brightness of the image, it is possible to achieve up to 5,000 operating hours. What influences the life expectancy of the lamp in a projector and how to prolong its life is shown clearly in our infographics. Luckily, our lamps are offered with the guarantee, which should protect the customer against premature lamp burnout.

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