There is no way around it – projector lamps are expensive. At $150 to $600 or more per lamp, it is important to get as much use out of them as possible. This is especially true for churches with multiple projectors. Here’s a couple ways to make your lamps last longer:
1. Regular Filter Cleaning. It is essential that the projector be able to cool the lamp by moving air through the projector’s housing. In order for this to happen the filter(s) must be cleaned regularly. Generally, this means at least once per quarter – once per month if you are in an environment that has a higher than average amount of dust particles.
2. Allow for good air flow. The fan exhaust area of the projector should be at least 3-5 feet from any wall or other impediment to free air flow. If air does not flow freely around the projector, it will overheat, which will shorten the life of your lamp.
3. Avoid temperature extremes. If you store your projector in an extremely cold area (below 45 degrees or so), the bulb may burst when you turn it on. If you store your projector in an extremely warm area (read: the back seat of your car in the summer), you can do permanent damage to the projector’s electronics.
4. Avoid turning the projector off and on. When you turn on the projector, a burst of power excites the lamp filament, and over time it burns out. Switch your projector lamp off only when it will be at least 30 minutes before it is used again.
5. Allow lamp to cool before switching off power or unplugging. The projector fan should continue to run for a period of time after your turn the lamp off in order to cool the lamp. If the power is turned off before the end of the process, the life of the lamp will be shortened.
6. Avoid moving the projector while it is on. The projector bulb is very sensitive when it is hot, and any movement can cause damage to it. Make sure the lamp is permitted to fully cool before moving the unit.
7. Consider using the “economy” mode. Most projectors have an economy mode in which the projector operates at less than its brightest level. If the environment in which you are projecting allows for operating the projector in this mode, it will extend the life of your lamp.