Happy Holidays From PurelandSupply.com

We want to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous Holiday for 2018.

This is a great time to remind you to give your projector some much deserved attention with a good cleaning.  Get ready for 2019 with a projector that is ready to perform as you need it to:  Quietly, brightly and without issues.

Here are a few tips for some holiday maintenance.

  1. Clean the outside with a damp cloth.  If your projector is ceiling mounted, there will be dust build-up on top.  That dust can get sucked in and build up in the fans/ducts.
  2.  Unplug the power, remove the lamp and put your wand attachment on a vacuum. Give the lamp a gentle pass with the wand to pull off any surface dust. Then put the wand up inside the lamp well and pull out any dust building up on the surfaces or near the vents inside the lamp well area.  The goal here is to draw out any dust build up in the lamp fans.  You will not likely see those since they send to be inside the projector rather than exposed.
  3.  Run that vacuum with a brushed attachment across all of the vents on the outside of the projector.  That will help remove any build up that is going to be pulled inside. Any dust you remove is possibly another hour of lamp life that wasn’t there before. It can add up.
  4. Re-install the lamp but leave the power unplugged for the last part.  Clean the front of the projector lens with a clean dry cloth or microfiber ideally.  Stay away from solvents or soap cleaners. They can and will damage your lens if used incorrectly.  Use the clean dry cloth in a circular motion to wipe the lens from the center out.  picture a spiral pattern moving outward.  That will prevent smudges and give you the very clean lens.

To everyone and your family, please have a safe and happy holiday season and we hope 2019 is even better!

 

Thank you

PurelandSupply.com

3 Examples of When to Replace Your Lamp and Why…

Owning a projector also means you will inevitably have to replace the lamp.  Many times the lamp will fail in spectacular fashion and leave no question that you need to replace it.  There are plenty of other times that you may need to replace the lamp even though it still seems to work.

You have a picture. That means the lamp is fine, right?

The real answer is a loud maybe.  There are plenty of instances where buying a new lamp before the old one explodes is the prudent (and less expensive ) option.

A projector lamp has a finite lifespan.  They are built with components that consume themselves as the lamp runs.  Once those components are fully consumed the lamp will not light and may even burst.  The best time to replace the lamp is before that happens.  Almost every single projector has an expected lamp life that is designed into the unit by the manufacturer.

The skeptic in me immediately figures the manufacturer does that on purpose to “make you buy a lamp”.  They even build in reminder messages on the screen “REPLACE LAMP” or have the Lamp LED on the projector start blinking after a certain amount of hours have passed.   However, the skeptic in me also decided to see what the lamps look like when they reach that point. My findings humbled me to a degree.

When the manufacturer says the lamp life is 2000 hours in standard mode(we’ll discuss eco mode), it means that the lamp will have consumed most of its materials under normal conditions. They actually want you to replace the lamp before it fully fails.  They found (and I confirmed myself) that when their lamp is used to the 2000 hour mark, the arc-point electrodes have degraded to the point to where the arc is no longer uniform or reliable.  That means your image is as dim as it’s going to be and probably has some flicker to it.  It also means that the arc tube may overheat and burst from the projector trying to ignite a lamp that has reached the end of its useful life.  If the lamp is run past the useful life you are putting your projector at risk for some serious damage.

I personally have seen $30,000 Runco projectors damaged incredibly bad because they ran their $330 lamp an extra 200 hours.  The lamp burst, it sent molten quartz glass into the color wheel and mirrors.  This caused an additional $1000 in repair.  But hey it got them another 200 hours… Had they listened to the manual and replaced the lamp at the warnings appearance, they would have only been out $400 instead of $1400(plus shipping a 80 pound projector).

As skeptical as I am, the evidence shows that while it does seem like a printer ink sort of situation it truly is not.  The lamp timers and lamp replacement indicators really do have a valid reason for warning you to replace the lamp.  When you see the message or you see a flashing light that refers to the lamp life expiring, take this advice and buy a new lamp.  If your old lamp is still working, you can put it away as an emergency spare.  Do not run any lamp until it bursts or I may see your projector and use it as an example in another blog post.

Another lamp replacement indicator is erratic flickering.  Flickering bright to dark(not to be confused with flickering colors).  Let us say you are watching your favorite show and the image seems to act like someone is turning your brightness up and down quickly. This indicates that the bulb is probably close to failing.  The arc inside is changing its shape and brightness because the electrodes have eroded to the point to where they are unable to keep the arc uniform. I mention this aside from the timer because this can happen well before the lamp timer runs out.  If the projector is older, or maybe hasn’t been cleaned internally, the lamp will run hotter and with more wear and tear.   Lamps fail or wear out early from excessive heat.  The fans do their best but if the lamp is running hot or is not being cooled as well as it should, the consumable parts will wear out faster.  Try not to wait for the lamp to burst as I said above.  Once you do go to replace the lamp, give the projector a good cleaning of dust in the vents with a vacuum and maybe some gentle use of canned air.  ExcessiveHeat+Use=Early Failure

 

The third instance where your lamp needs replacement is if you have a built in lamp hour counter module.  Many higher end projectors use a small circuit board on the lamp housing that controls the lamp hours being recorded.  Once that circuit is run to the top hour limit, it may shut the projector down.  They will almost always(I want to say always but I can’t be 100% on that) give you a few hundred hours warning before putting the projector into ‘safety mode’ and not allowing the lamp to run until replaced.   The lamps we sell that use those modules are all tested and verified so that when you install the lamp, your projector will resume proper function for another 1000-3000 hours depending on the model.  Some versions have an Eco mode. This eco mode will allow you to run past the standard hour count as the lamp is run in a lower power mode.  It will not be as bright but it will run longer.  At that point it is a trade off in brightness for lamp life, but depending on your needs, this may be perfectly fine.

You may even want to replace it now if you have a big event coming up and the existing lamp is getting long in the tooth(or short in the arc electrodes). As I mentioned above, you can put that existing lamp in the closet as a spare and you will be amazed at how much brighter a new lamp is.

 

The moral of all of this is do not wait to replace your lamp until it fails if you can help it.  A good replacement lamp from PurelandSupply is now the best value in many years. You can buy a lamp with the same parts as the OEM so that you can expect the same amount of performance.

 

 

Congratulations to Shane Sanders!

Everyone at PurelandSupply.com wants to congratulate Shane Sanders as the recipient of our 2018 Scholarship. Shane graduated from Splendora High School of Montgomery County Texas.

Shane begins Tulsa Welding School in August of this year. Shane has been interested in welding since he was very young. He said,”Welding is the most economical and efficient way to join metals permanently. Nearly everything we use in our daily life is welded or made by equipment that is welded”.

The goal for Shane is to continue to be a productive citizen and help our countrymen understand the importance of supporting US-Made products.  He advocates for the “blue-collar worker”, and says (agreeably so) ,”we are smart, we are driven, and the world needs us”. We congratulate Shane and wish him the best in his future career!

Scholarship Winner

Shane Sanders 2018 Welding is one of the many trades Pureland Supply offers a $1000 scholarship to help fund the education. Please see our 2019 Scholarship application if you are interested HERE.

Lumens or Lux? Watts or Whats? How Bright Can My Lamp Shine?

A few months ago, I was watching a program on my Optoma HD800 and I noticed that the usually darkly lit show was more darkly lit than normal.  After the show I decided my lamp was too dim.  Being that I have connections in the ‘biz’, I was able to get a new lamp pretty easily a few days later. When I went to put it in, my wife casually asked,” Could you get a brighter lamp instead of that one?”.  I told her the short answer which is ,”No, the brightness is set by the factory” and went on my way.  Her question was reasonable and it stuck with me.

I happened to mention it to one of our Customer Service reps who told me, “I hear that a lot.” – “Customers ask if they can get a brighter lamp with higher watts or more lumens”.  I can’t say I was surprised to hear it.  We learned back when Incandescent bulbs were the norm , that we could buy a 100Watt bulb instead of a 60Watt bulb if we wanted our kitchen brighter. As long as the socket didnt melt, you could really cram anything that would light into the lamp and get a lot of light.

Then with projectors you hear that the lamp needs to be changed and the same logic makes sense.  If the bulb for my HD800 says its a 300Watt, then why can’t I buy another that is 400W and get a brighter picture?

Simple answer is that you can’t.

Those who have read this blog in the past knows that I don’t stop here with a simple answer.

Anyone who says you can use a higher wattage bulb for a brighter image isn’t giving you the proper information and could lead to a damaged TV or Projector.

Lets dive into how brightness is rated in lamps, ALL lamps.

Old bulbs used to list their wattage.  At the time, it was our only reference.

Wattage is not a rating of brightness, it is a rating of power required to run the bulb.  To get extra technical, wattage is a result of Current multiplied by Voltage or P=IV.  The average US house has a voltage of 110 volts(anywhere from 105-125v).  That means the old 100Watt incandescent bulb used 110volts to heat up its filament and create light.

That gives us two of the numbers.  100(watts)=I(amps) x 110(volts).

100/110=I , I=0.91 amps(0.909090909090909)

With that simple math we now know the power needed but none of that gives us a quantifiable brightness amount.  We essentially ‘knew’ that a 100W bulb was brighter than a 60W.

This is where Lux and Lumens come into play.  Lux is a true measure of light.  One lux is the equivalent of 1 lit candle or 1 candle power. I prefer Lux myself as its an actual unit of light.  Lumens is an average of Lux.  Lumen is also known as luminous flux.  I know that makes very little sense.

If you want to read up on the specifics of Lumens such as how they are calculated via Steradians, there is a nice article in Wikipedia.

For our explanation I am going to simplify it by saying Lumens are essentially a measurement of perceived brightness at your eyes.  Where as Lux is a measurement of the light as it is emitted directly from the bulb, Lumens ignore the light components that are not seen, such as Infrared and Ultraviolet light.  The light emitted from the bulb has many more optical components than the light that is reflected off the screen, but when you are watching a movie, that is all that matters.

One lumen would be the average measurement of 1 lux over a one square meter white surface that is projected from one meter away.  The actual lux over that square meter will vary from less than one Lux to over one Lux. Once its averaged, the final number can be interpreted as One Lumen. That is the light output that your eyes see. In my opinion that is the most important part. If the specs say the projector is 10,000 Lumen and it looks dim in comparison to a 5,000 lumen, the the specs mean nothing.

Lumens are partially dictated by the optics inside the projector.  The more color filtering and lenses you have inside, the more the amount of Lumens are affected.

This is why many projectors who use the same bulb have varying Lumen ratings.  It also starts to explain why there isn’t a brighter lamp you can purchase to make your Projector or Rear Projection TV brighter.

Your TV or Projector lamp is not an incandescent bulb. It is an Arc-Lamp. That means there is no ‘filament’ in the classic sense. There are 2 electrical contacts inside the glass globe that sustain a spark, or ‘Arc’ that excite the gas mix inside to emit the photons that make the light.   To make and sustain that arc properly, the device uses a separate power supply called a ballast to drive that lamp. The ballast has a set power output that is only going to run at the designed level. Putting a larger wattage arc lamp in, will only run at the ballasts output and no higher.

Some models use the same lamp but have a different ballast rating that will only drive the lamp so much.

For instance, if I installed a 350W bulb in place of my 300W bulb my picture would only be as bright as the 300W bulb.  That is because the ballast inside that runs the lamp, is designed for that particular projector. When the manufacturer designs the projector, they have to decide on the balance between Lumens and Picture quality.  The brighter the image, the lower the possible contrast ratio.  They tend to find a very reasonable balance between the two.

When the lamp is shining its light in your TV or Projector, the light is passing through numerous light filters, lenses and mirrors. These also affect the Lumen output.

Lumens are a convenient way to compare how well a projector will work in your viewing area or against other projectors. If you are using a basement as a home theater, the Lumen output is not as important as it would be in a family room with windows.

Projecting an image long distances(an auditorium) requires high Lumens.  The moisture and suspended dust particles in the air can block a significant amount of light. Next time you are in the movie theater, look at the dust floating in the light beam outside the projection booth. Every fleck of dust is preventing a tiny bit of light from reaching the screen to reflect into your eyes.

All projectors and rear projection TV’s(regardless of the display technology) are designed with a particular type of bulb and housing in mind.  The manufacturers determine the best balance between image quality and brightness for the price point.

When purchasing a new lamp for your existing Projector or TV, know that Pureland Supply uses Original Brand Bulbs in our housings to give you the same brightness and image quality that the manufacturer intended.

 

 

 

 

5 Tips on How to Maintain your Video Projector

 

    Projectors are fragile, expensive pieces of equipment that can perform for years if treated properly. Performing routine maintenance to the various parts of your projector (i.e. the filters, lamp, etc) will help to ensure that you are creating the best environment for your projector to operate. There are certain precautions you can take when using your projector on a regular basis that will improve your the lifespan and protect your investment.

 
1. ARM (Always Read the Manual)
 
   Yes, the manual.  That plastic bag with the paper booklet that you toss in the drawer after pulling the remote batteries out of the bag. That manual is the best resource you have at your fingertips.  Every projector being sold today will have an operating manual in either hard copy or electronic format. Taking the time to read through the operating manual in detail before using the projector is the best way to begin. It will instruct you on the correct way to operate your projector. Your operating manual can also provide helpful maintenance tips that are just for your projector model, i.e. how to remove your projector’s filter cover. Even if you have experience running projectors, each model has their own unique settings and features that might be different than what you are used to. Familiarizing yourself with how that particular piece of equipment works will allow you to tell when something is wrong, and maybe advise on how to take preventative measures to stop things from going wrong in the first place.  
 
2. Choose your Projector Location Wisely.
 
   There is more to positioning your projector than just finding out where the image will look the best. Its imperative to leave at least 6-12 inches of space around the unit to allow for proper heat ventilation. Without proper ventilation the heat that builds up in your projector cannot escape, which can cause damage to the projector’s internal parts and drastically shorten your lamp life.
projector placement
 
Know the temperature your projector operates at. If you think the unit produces a lot of heat, it would be best to avoid placing the projector directly in the path of sunlight or directly next to a heat source(heating vent, wood stove etc). If you have the projector mounted on the ceiling check to make sure that the projector is not directly next to an outgoing vent. The last thing you want is more heat around the projector than it is already producing itself.
It’s also a good idea to not use the projector in smoke filled rooms. This can increase the chance of damaging the projector optics. Smoke will build up on the internal lenses.  That causes the image to dim and in some cases it can cause the lenses inside to fail.
 
Keeping your projector’s environment as dust and dirt free as possible will help as well. Electronics attract more dust than other objects due to the static electricity they create while in use. Dust causes problems for the projector’s filters, and other components if the dust particles get further into the projector.  Routinely clean the air vents if you can. Clean projectors are cool and happy projectors.
 
 
3. Storing your Projector  
projector storage

 

 
   Hopefully you use it regularly but for people who use them for presentations primary, this tip is for you.  
Projectors have many parts that need precise alignment to function correctly. Improper transportation or storage of the projector may cause adverse affects for the performance of the projector. The following are a few guidelines for storing your projector:
  • Allow the projector to completely cool down before moving it.
  • Use the original box and packing materials to store the projector if possible. If the original packaging materials are not an option, use a strong box to hold the projector securely and at least 2 inches of a soft material (i.e. cloth, foam, etc) all the way around the projector.
  • Remove the batteries from the remote control.
  • When storing the projector make sure that the storage area will not be subjected to extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that could affect the projector.
  • If you move a projector from one temperature extreme to the other, let it sit for 30 minutes or so until it rises or lowers to room temperature. This prevents moisture problems.
4. Clean your Projector Filters
 
Projectors produce large amounts of heat during use, and this heat needs to be vented to keep the projector from overheating. Projectors have fans that push air around the projector’s operating parts to cool them down, but the air contains dust and other particles that need to be filtered before it cools these components. The filters prevent the buildup of dust that, if left unchecked, would actually insulate the projector. This would keep the heat inside the projector unit which could be very damaging to many of the projector’s components like the lamp, LCD panels, or other internal optics.
 
To ensure that these filters keep performing well, they must be maintained regularly. This is very important since damage to the projector caused by dirty filters may not be covered by the projector warranty.
 
Generally, it is suggested to clean the filters once every 3-4 months(Now is always a good time),.  Always check the projector’s manual first to see if there is a recommended maintenance cycle for your projector. You should clean or replace your filters whenever you notice an excessive build up of dust on the projector’s fan exhaust vent, or if you have been using the projector on a frequent basis. Most projectors will also have a temperature warning LED. If you notice this warning LED occurring, it may be time to clean your filter.
 
The two preferred ways to clean the filter are either to use a small vacuum cleaner attachment to pull the dust out from the filter, or to use a can of compressed air to blow the dust away. Washing the filter with a cleaning solution, or soap and water is generally not recommended as the chemicals in them could harm the filter membranes. 
 
 
5. Cleaning the Projector’s Compartments
 
dirty projector
  Before you re-install the clean filters or new replacement lamp, make sure to remove all the dust and dirt from the compartments they are housed in. Using the same vacuum cleaner attachment or can of compressed air you used to clean the filters you can remove the excess dust from the compartments as well. It is also time to check the vent fan area for debris buildup. If the fans compartment contains dust and debris it could prevent the fan from operating at the correct speed needed to ventilate the heat that is being produced. 
 
Occasionally the old lamp will burst leaving bits of quartz glass scattered throughout the projector.  That debris can clog fans, preventing cooling.  I have seen that more often than I expected.
Keeping the fans clear of dust and debris is the best first live of defense against early lamp failure.
 
These 5 tips will keep your projector working between lamp changes.  When its time for a lamp, give us a call at 1-800-664-6671 or visit out website www.PurelandSupply.com