Is it time to replace your data projector’s lamp?

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 9.06.48 AM

Just over 3 years ago we upgraded the data projector in our main auditorium and wow, we couldn’t believe the difference in clarity and brightness! Look, we didn’t upgrade to anything #hillsong would be proud of, but for us it was certainly a big improvement.

We went from a Dell 2300MP to a Dell 4320. A 2300 lumens to a 4300 lumens machine.

We were blown away.
All of a sudden our videos looked brighter and clearer, song lyrics seemed to ‘pop’ out and sermon illustrations made sense even on the brightest of days. The hours our design team put into making promo and announcement videos was worth it.

Then something changed.

Well, gradually.
After about 2.5 years, we started noticing that our videos weren’t as crisp and song lyrics were looking more grey than white.

So, we replaced our 30m VGA cable with a VGA/Cat5e extender & receiver (Kramer though) and ran our signal over Cat5e, thinking that would fix it.
Nope.
It was better, but not like it used to be.

We thought of decreasing the cable run.
We considered darkening our hall. (which does help).
We thought of replacing the Cat5e with HDMI. Expensive!

One thing we never really considered was replacing the lamp.
And so we tried that option first.

KABOOM!

Images and videos back to how they used to be — crisp and clear.
We couldn’t believe it!

So here’s the deal:

1. Projector bulbs have  an expected operating time which they call “lamp life” and this is measured in hours. You can find out the lamp life of yours by checking manual or googling the info. Some projectors also save this info on the projector itself. Fiddle around with the MENU button and see if you can find something.

The expected life of our lamp is 2000 hours, but that’s in a relatively clean, dust free environment.
I calculated our lamp to be around 1400 hours old.
And our hall is pretty dusty.

2. Most manufacturers rate their lamp life, not to failure, but to the point where the lamp is half as bright as it was when new. That is 50% loss in brightness! That’s plenty.

3. Replace current projector: R11,000.00. New lamp: R3,000.00. So we went for it.

4. Some tips to make your lamp last longer:

– Don’t allow your projector to overheat.
– Shut your projector down properly. We can get lazy with this and just switch the machine off while the fan is running. You can blow the lamp if this isn’t doesn’t properly. Your manual or Google will tell you how.
– Try and keep your hall or where you use the projector as clean as possible.
– Clean the filters on your projector at least every 3 months.

Hey, hope this helps you out somehow.

Jakes

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