Think Before Relamping a Projector Lamp

Relamping can help you spend less compared to buying a new lamp assembly. For users with a talent for electronics repair, the benefits may outweigh the risk involved. In other situations, relamping can have negative outcomes and could cause you to spend more money and time compared to purchasing a new lamp assembly.

Bare Bulbs For Relamping

Bare Bulb Photo Courtesy of DIY Audio
Bare Bulb Photo Courtesy of DIY Audio

Definition of Relamping

Relamping is the process of fitting a new bulb into an existing projector lamp housing which can be done by either a 3rd party or the end user.

There are two products available on the market for customers who wish to save money by relamping, relamped lamps and bare bulbs. A relamped lamp is an old lamp housing fitted with a new bulb. The process for installing a relamped lamp is the same as for a new projector lamp assembly, plug and play. Installing a bare bulb (do-it-yourself relamping) involves carefully fitting the new bulb into the housing of the old bulb and then plugging the housing into the projector.

There are cases where relamping is required or encouraged by projector manufacturers. For example, Zenith sells new TV lamps fitted into used Zenith housings for several of its DLP projection TV models. Zenith and several other manufacturers charge a fee for buying certain lamps without returning a dead lamp so they can reuse the housing. That fee is called a "core charge," and it varies from a few dollars to over $75. Christie offers relamping instructions and tools to save money on several of their high priced projector lamps.

Still, the relamping that gets the most attention lately refers to putting an off-brand bulb into a name brand housing without endorsement or supervision from the original equipment manufacturer. This is the type of relamping addressed here.

Relamping sounds like the easy inexpensive way to replace a projector lamp, but it is worthwhile to research certain negative details before considering the relamping process to cut costs.

Compatibility

Photo Courtesy of Projector Lamp Center
Photo Courtesy of Projector Lamp Center

Relamping Caution 1 -

This issue is of concern to people who plan to buy a bare projector bulb to install in an existing lamp housing. The wattage and electrical connections have to be the same between the bare bulb and the finished projector lamp.

Companies that sell bare bulbs often provide cross references to say which bulb fits each projector. After reviewing several vendor cross reference sheets, it is clear that some companies copy from one another verbatim and some use other sources. The projector lamp cross references do not have the look and feel of information that is adapted by many people from one source.

For my part, I am unable to find cross reference information published by the bulb manufacturers (usually Philips or Osram) to link bare bulbs to finished projector lamps. I would love to find a cross reference like that!

The copying between bare bulb vendors and certain inconsistencies between documents make it obvious that Information about which bulb is compatible with each projector is not always accurate nor is it published by reliable industry sources. It is like trying to write a high school research paper by copying paragraphs of text off the internet; you never know if the information is accurate or if some uninformed person decided to blog about it and call it factual.

A good example would be part references between Philips/OSRAM bulbs and name brand projector lamps. These references are known to as being unreliable by many experts in the industry.

User Error

Photo Courtesy of Projector Lamp Center
Photo Courtesy of Projector Lamp Center

Relamping Caution 2 -

When purchasing a new bulb to insert into your existing projector lamp housing you will be required to do this yourself. By relamping yourself, you run the risk of damaging the bulb and the lamp housing as well as voiding your projector warranty. If this does occur, you end up spending hundreds on a new bulb that you just broke as well as having to purchase a full replacement lamp as a result.

It is also good to note re-lamped housings are old and have been used time and time again. This wear and tear can cause the connectors to twist together or overlap and could lead to short circuiting the lamp and projector, an obvious and massive electrical hazard. Connectors also become worn down after use and depreciate in quality over time. This can affect the stability of electrical supply resulting in image flickering or possibly permanent damage to the projector.

Special Tools

Courtesy of Tengah.com
Courtesy of Tengah.com

Relamping Caution 3 -

In order to remove the bare bulb, the lamp module has to be taken apart, something which manufacturers have not planned for and therefore not made an easy task.

Usually, relamping requires special tools that most people do not have at their disposal. These tools are used by professionals in a controlled airtight environment. Most projector lamp housings are not designed to allow easy access to the bare bulb and often have to be broken open during replacement.

If the housing has to be broken, it can be difficult to rebuild the plastic (often impossible to get it back to its original condition). This means the lamp module may not fit correctly into the projector and can cause improper focusing as well as a fire risk. Even if the housing remains in good condition, the bulb has to be jigged or lined up perfectly inside the housing and the projector to display properly.

Mercury

Courtesy of EPA
Courtesy of EPA

Relamping Caution 4 -

Besides the issues involved in purchasing and installing a lamp there are potential health issues involved with relamping. Projector lamps contain mercury which is very poisonous. Here are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for cleaning up a mercury spill.

There is a risk of damaging the old bulb while removing it from the housing. If the bulb cracks or breaks, mercury may leak out. The risk of spilling mercury from the bulb can cause serious health problems to those who come in contact with it. Proper disposal of mercury is also very important for your health and for the safety of anyone who comes in contact with the discharged lamp.

Normal Wear and Tear

Dust Courtesy of ComputerHope.com
Dust Courtesy of ComputerHope.com

Relamping Caution 5 -

Dust particles can build up around the bulb and module over a long period of time when reusing the same lamp housing over and over again. These dust particles are difficult to remove completely, even if you are an experienced engineer.

The dust particles retain extra heat within the housing as well as disrupting airflow that cools the lamp. Both of these elements shorten lamp life and can cause the projector to overheat or malfunction. A fire hazard can result.

Projector Lamp Center recommends cleaning out the projector and housing with canned air from time to time limit dust build up.

Relamping Caution 6 - No Tech Support

Also, what if you have the lamp connected incorrectly once relamped and you just can't figure out why it isn't working? You can't call a lamp repairman to come by and check it out; there is no such thing.

You cannot ask your father because he most likely doesn't know anything about a projector lamp. Doing things such as relamping can be quite a gamble that you have to decide if it's worth it to try. We would recommend sparing yourself the trouble and chance of failure with relamping by purchasing a brand new lamp, trouble free, and guaranteed to be satisfactory.

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Comments 16 comments

lakhmi chand 7 years ago

i want to learn how to fix a bare lamps in housing (please let me know there is any machine )and what type of gloe it requirs


Adolfo H 7 years ago

quiero aprender a colocar los bulbos. podrian explicar en detalle y que herramienta necesito? gracias desde Mexico


Bulbers Unite 7 years ago

"it is clear that some companies copy from one another verbatim and some use other sources."

You can say THAT again. I saw this article text VERBATIM on a Bulb Selling Site.

I'm not sold on the "It's dangerous" bit. Companies are trying to sell you something. In my case a complete assembly at a "discount" is $500, full price $1,000, and the bulb INCLUDING THE REFLECTOR is a measly $200! .There are MANY consumer products with Mercury, Lead, High Voltage, etc. in them. A great example we would think of as ridiculous is NOT BEING ALLOWED TO OPEN A COMPUTER...AT ALL!

Steve Jobs designed the first Macintoshes PURPOSELY so people COULDN'T get inside of them . They didn't sell compared to PC's which were more flexible, so Apple changed their ways with Mac IIs and so on.

If we can buy Mercury containing Flourescent light bulbs, and High Pressure, High Heat, and Very Fragile BARE Quartz Halogen bulbs to change in our light fixtures, then consumers should be able to be more frugal and more GREEN and change a stupid Light Assembly in a projector. It's not even a bare "bulb" like the Quartz Halogens, these bulbs are already assembled and afixed inside the reflector.


Bruce 7 years ago

We have been maintaining a database of projectors and their respective projector lamps, both OEM and compatible lamps. Try it for free at www.answerco.com, this cross reference tool and database of projector lamps is for resellers of supplies and accessories.


Homy-chen  6 years ago

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Nice to meet you!I hope you be fine and your company go well.

This is Homy from Guangzhou Grand Technology Co., Ltd, Nice talking with you!

We are a leading agency of projector lamps in China and Specialized in wholesale all kinds of projector lamps, including the brand for 3M, BENQ, CANON, DELL, EPSON, HITACHI, INFOCUS, LG, MITSUBISHI, NEC, PANASONIC, PLUS, PROXIMA, SANYO, SHARP, SONY, TOSHIBA ect. Our company have about 500 square meters areas of the warehouse in Guangzhou city, We are enthusiastically expecting to cooperate with you and develop both businesses together!

*We can offer competitive price for all of our products. Wellcome place inquiry to us!

1) Lamp Types: Lamp Modules/ Original Bare Lamp/ Original Lamp with Housing/ Replacement Lamp

2) Packaging: Standard Export Packing for Express Courier

3) Country of Origin: China/Japan/Belgium

4) Minimum Order: 1 Piece/ Pieces

5) Delivery Lead Time: Free Stock to 15days

6) Sample Availability / Cost: Negotiable

*Service Items:

1) Payment Terms: T/T. Price List on Specific Brands will be Provided upon Request. Photoes and Diagrams can also be provided, if available.

2) Warranty: 3 Months Warranty from Date of Invoice, except for transportation charges. Excluding the human damgages and damages casued by the failure or malfunctioning of the Projector, and also not responsible for damage during transportation.

*Attention:

If you send the lamp specifications or projector models, we will be offering more details for you!

If you are interested, please give us a reply and we will send you detailed information for your reference!

Awaiting for your kindly reply soon!

Hope we can establish nice cooperation relations! Have a nice day!

best regards

Mr Homy

Guangzhou Grand Technology Co.Ltd

Ad: 1703 Room, No.150, Longkouzhonglu,Tianhe(D), Guangzhou City, China

Tel:+86 13760661689

Fax:+86 020 38254963

Website: www.grandlamps.com

Email: homy@grand-lamps.com

Msn: Homy-grandlamps@hotmail.com

Skype:Homy-grandlamp

ICQ: 1035367933


DrBob737 6 years ago

The one problem is these lamps are fired up by a ballast of some kind and not easy to test if you find you have purchased a brand new lamp and it still does not work in your projector


Greig Mitchell 6 years ago

Check these guys out!! Perhaps it makes things a little easier to understand!!


kim1mark 5 years ago

do not buy a lamp from advance lamp have got 2 and neither work .what a joke


Russ 5 years ago

I've had to re-lamping experiences with the same features. Both machines Epsons, an early model EMP 5350 and a later 732. Both would startup normally and show Epson logo then blue screen before going to black, fan speeds up and power and lamp light go red, lamp one flashes. What I don't understand is if lamp is blown surely there wouldn't be any image at all. Scoured the net for info with out luck.. any info anyone?


fiona 5 years ago

if any projector lamp requirement, just feel free to contact me. we provide good quality products and nice afer-sales service.

fiona

MSN:glamps2@hotmail.com

skype:glamps2

yahoo:glamps2@yahoo.com.cn


Greig Mitchell 5 years ago

Looks like my link was wiped but not sure why as its a little more informative than the article. I would recommend searching google under bare bulbs uk to find reference sites that cover off all aspects of using bare bulbs. Its commonplace in the US to use bare bulbs for RPTV etc so not sure why we in the UK are so slow to change over.


Greig Mitchell 5 years ago

Or look on YouTube and search under barebulbsuk. It has a list of some of the lamps they have changed so you know exactly what is required. Its not difficult but can save loads! ££££££££££££$$$$$$$$$$$$$


DSM 4 years ago

Well on the dangerous thing you can't convince me that most Chinese companies care too much about your health, especially after the sale. Volume is their element and they are virtually immune to legal recourse.


DSM 4 years ago

Homy-chen 21 months ago

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Nice to meet you!I hope you be fine and your company go well.

This is Homy from Guangzhou Grand Technology Co., Ltd, Nice talking with you!

We are a leading agency of projector lamps in China and Specialized in wholesale all kinds of projector lamps, including the brand for 3M, BENQ, CANON, DELL, EPSON, HITACHI, INFOCUS, LG, MITSUBISHI, NEC, PANASONIC, PLUS, PROXIMA, SANYO, SHARP, SONY, TOSHIBA ect. Our company have about 500 square meters areas of the warehouse in Guangzhou city, We are enthusiastically expecting to cooperate with you and develop both businesses together!

*We can offer competitive price for all of our products. Wellcome place inquiry to us!

1) Lamp Types: Lamp Modules/ Original Bare Lamp/ Original Lamp with Housing/ Replacement Lamp

2) Packaging: Standard Export Packing for Express Courier

3) Country of Origin: China/Japan/Belgium

4) Minimum Order: 1 Piece/ Pieces

5) Delivery Lead Time: Free Stock to 15days

6) Sample Availability / Cost: Negotiable

*Service Items:

1) Payment Terms: T/T. Price List on Specific Brands will be Provided upon Request. Photoes and Diagrams can also be provided, if available.

2) Warranty: 3 Months Warranty from Date of Invoice, except for transportation charges. Excluding the human damgages and damages casued by the failure or malfunctioning of the Projector, and also not responsible for damage during transportation.

*Attention:

If you send the lamp specifications or projector models, we will be offering more details for you!

If you are interested, please give us a reply and we will send you detailed information for your reference!

Awaiting for your kindly reply soon!

Hope we can establish nice cooperation relations! Have a nice day!

best regards

Mr Homy

Guangzhou Grand Technology Co.Ltd

Ad: 1703 Room, No.150, Longkouzhonglu,Tianhe(D), Guangzhou City, China

Man, these Chinese spammers must work 24/7 to peddle their bullshit. Cheap garbage destined to damage your multi-thousand dollar investment.


Elena Wang 3 years ago

This is Elena Wang from Beijing Haiyuetianfei Co.,ltd. a professional projector lamps supplier.

We are a global leader in EPSON.SANYO.SONY.3M.HITACHI.VIEW SONIC.PANASONIC.BENQ original & compatible lamps.

Belowing are quotations for lamps at the cheapest price for reference, pls check it.

Sanyo POA-LMP79: $48/pcs

Sanyo POA-LMP93: $48/pcs

Sanyo POA-LMP114: $49/pcs

Any lamp model you have interested in, contact me freely for mutual business relationship. :)

Sincerely & Best regards

Elena Wang

Skype:lampprojector

MSN: lampprojector@hotmail.com

Beijing Haiyuetianfei Int. Group Co.,ltd

http://www.touying365.en.alibaba.com/

http://www.chinaprojectorlamp.cn/En/


Emmanuel 9 months ago

I was relamping and I probably cracked a lamp in the corner when putting it into their housing since I heard a crack sound when screwing it. Anyway, the lamp worked welol once but only. Second time I wanted to turn on the projector it was as before as I changed the bulb. Do you think the crack could be the cause of the malfunctioning or my projector is blowing bulbs? Thank you for your comments.

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