How Long do Bulbs Last

How long do projector bulbs last?-This question is by far the question we get asked the most in regards to projection systems and in all reality difficult to answer appropriately. However, we can provide a few case studies and real world scenarios along with some bulb life lengthening tips and ideas.

Projector Bulbs on average last approximately 2000 to 3000 hours and most often can be replaced on site or in the field if need be.  The reason this question is hard to answer appropriately is simply because the installation and environmental concerns are different for almost every install. It is unfair for anyone to provide a life expectancy for any projector bulb without knowing the application and installation considerations.

We have seen industrial scoreboard cases where projector bulbs have only lasted 2 weeks and cases where bulbs have lasted for 4-5 years. Projector bulbs on the average cost approximately $250-$500 and can for a number of reasons fail prematurely.

As you can imagine replacing your projector bulbs every 2-4 weeks at $500.00 per can get expensive real quick and make it difficult to justify that expense without a very good reason. However what if there was a way to lengthen bulb life and projector life to preserve your technology?

Extending projector bulb life expectancy really comes down to two things –

  1. How clean can you keep the air around your projector
  2. How cool can you keep your projector

We have been asked to consult on projection projects when projectors are being placed in hotter than average temperatures. Where in the summer the temp can reach 100+ degrees in the summer or where the temp can drop in the low teens. The trick to lengthening, extending or at a minimum maintaining projector bulb life expectancy, is keeping the projector at a moderate temperature while in use and preferably the lower the better.

Dust and airborne particulates that are drawn into the projector to cool the bulb if not filtered out will attach themselves to the extremely hot surfaces inside and insulate the heat. When the projector cannot dissipate the heat it will soon overheat and begin to shut down without warning, this is of course not optimum for productivity and maintaining efficiency. In the long run (sometimes as short as a few months) your projector will ultimately die and need to be replaced.

To be sure that you have a steady supply of cool and clean air making its way into your projector it is recommended that you place your projector into a projector enclosure.

Learn more about projector enclosures.