5 ways to Avoid Buying Counterfeit Projector Lamps Online

Counterfeit lamps are a problem for everyone. From the companies who sell them (either willingly or through ignorance) to the end users who end up with damaged or non-functional equipment because of it.

How can you protect your wallet and your projector from counterfeit lamps?

  1. This applies to most things in life. “IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS” I cannot re-iterate this enough. If you read an advert for a lamp that uses an “OEM Philips UHP Bulb” and the price is significantly less than a comparable listing, then you are probably buying a counterfeit bulb.
  2. Look at the companies reviews with a grain of salt. I notice that some of the more ‘questionable companies’ tend to have five-star glowing reviews all in groups and they all tend to be within a day or 2 of each other. That is followed by no reviews for a week or so and then usually a reasonable amount of negative reviews. Those tend to be people who were duped by the ‘stuffed reviews’ that convinced them to buy the lamp they thought was a good deal. Many of those less than honest companies do this every few months. Sometimes they even change their name and start the dance all over again.
  3. Check the online forums. ProjectorCentral.com has one of the best review listings. They require a confirmed order and personally check the reviews to make sure they legitimate end users. There are other sites like r/hometheater and AVSforum but they should be taken with a grain or five of salt. It’s possible for fake or erroneous reviews to be posted there. Always trust your gut.
  4. Look at the warranty. The longer the warranty, the better most of the time. That said, the long warranty can be a gamble by the company to make it look like they stand behind a great product when in reality they are banking on the chance that if the lamp fails you will forget its under warranty and not exercise your rights. I am slightly biased as our warranty is 6 months but I think that is a reasonable length. If you lamp lasts at least 6 months, the chances of it lasting the rest of it’s rated life-span are very reasonable. It is the “One year” warranties that concern me. If you need to cover your lamp that long, then why? Is it that unstable of a manufacturer that it might fail from a build error in 9 months? These are questions to ask yourself.
  5. How are the listings worded? Do you see “OEM Equivalent” or “Made from OEM parts”? OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM Equivalent means its not an Original, but equal to it. That is a curious way to say “compatible”… Listen to that little voice that tells you it doesn’t sound right. Add up the red flags. Way too low of a cost, Way too long of a warranty and tricky wording on their listing. All of this means you would be better off looking elsewhere.

Look no further than our main page. We list over 12,000 items with inventory and each lamps specs clearly listed for your own knowledge.

Check us out here. Purelandsupply.com or call us directly at 1-800-664-6671 where you can speak to a representative who can help you get a real lamp, real fast.

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Is Your Projector Ready for Super Bowl?

I’m sure you can picture this situation. It’s SuperBowl Sunday and that one team you hate and the other team you love are slugging it out. Mostly killing time until the you get to watch the Halftime commercials. Then as the commercial break begins you hear a loud pop and the lamp LED starts flashing as the fan in your projector kicks into over-drive. Your projector briefly sounds like a 747 getting ready to take off.

Your heart sinks as your friends look around confused. You know your lamp has failed and let you and your guests down.

But why?

You just put the projector in 4 years ago.

You barely watch it.
Well maybe you watch it more than barely but you already reset that nag screen telling you to replace the lamp.

Why replace the lamp? Its still working, just reset the nag screen.

These thoughts all run through your head for what seems like an hour when in reality its been less than a minute as the jet engine projector is still whirring its fan to cool down the now failed lamp.

Your projector was designed by some pretty smart folks. The team involved was a group of engineers from multiple disciplines. Software, Mechanical, Electrical, Optical, even Ergonomic engineers all pooled their talents to create a device that was cost effective, feature rich and fulfilling for you, the end user to enjoy for many years.

One of the design aspects is the lamp and lamp control. That lamp is running very hot. It contains what is essentially a constant bolt of lightening inside its quartz envelope. It uses that lightening bolt to excite some gas that creates the light that gives you your images.

Those projector engineers know that the lamp will inevitably wear itself out. The temperature at the center can be over 500 degrees. Your projector works hard and well at keeping that heat manageable, ensuring you get your rated lifespan. The projector even warns you that your lamp is probably been beaten to the point that it needs replacement.

To make this a little more clear, let’s pick a great home theater projector.

The Epson Power lite Home Cinema 3010 is a great home theater projector. While a little more than 6 years old, this unit possesses the specs that make for a good video. 2,200 lumens with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio give you a clear and vibrant image in most if not all home theater rooms. This projector is one that has a rated lamp life of 4,000 hours in standard power mode. That give you the 2,200 lumens. You can save some lamp life if you have an extra dark room by using ECO mode and running the lamp at a lesser power. This will give you around 5,000 hours of use before you need to be concerned about lamp failure, but at a lesser vibrant image. Depending on the install, this may not be a concern.

When the Powerlite 3010 reaches the end of its rated lamp life, it will give you a subtle hint by flashing “Replace the lamp” on the screen. This is not really a suggestion. It is not Epson trying to trick you into buying a new lamp with your first born. It’s really a feature that the team of engineers built in to make sure your projector keeps running properly.

Fortunately for you and them, you can purchase a replacement lamp from Pureland Supply and save a few bucks in the process. Our lamps are designed to replace your original without sacrificing the quality designed into the projector. Our lamps use the same cooling features and bulb specifications as the engineers called for when the projector was made. You can see the ELP-LP68 lamp for sale here.

With the SuperBowl airing next weekend, it is a great time to give your projector a once over and even order a new lamp to make sure you do not end up watching it on your smart phone because the projector is doing its 747 impression for you and your friends.

Order a replacement lamp from PurelandSupply today and use coupon code BF4031 for 5% off your order! Ground shipping is always free and we will ship your order same day if we receive it before 5pm Est.

Call us at 1-800-664-6671 or visit the website at Purelandsupply.com

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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

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Can I Buy a Brighter Lamp for My TV or Projector?

One question we get fairly often is,  “Can I buy a brighter lamp for my projector?”  or, “My TV says it’s a 150 watt bulb. Can I buy a 200 watt bulb?”.

The answer is No.  Thanks for reading!

 

Just kidding…

I take that back.  Technically yes, you can buy a 200 watt bulb for your TV but it will definitely not be brighter.  Front Projector and Rear Projection TV lamps are not the same kind of technology as an Incandescent lamp.  When you put a new bulb in your desk lamp and want it brighter you would look for something with higher wattage and you would get brighter light.  If the old bulb was a 75 watt and you screw in a 100 watt you definitely had more light so why not the same thing on a projector lamp?

Projector lamps rely on a dedicated power supply whose only job is to make sure the lamp installed runs at the proper power rating it is designed for.  The projector lamp ‘takes’ power from the power supply. Where as an incandescent lamp ‘takes’ power from the wall socket.  The projector lamps power supply is designed to run and supply the wattage the lamp is designed for.

For example. Your 200 watt Epson Brightlink 435Wi lamp has a power supply that pushes 200 watts of power to the bulb.  If you put in a 300 watt bulb, the power supply is only going to feed 200 watts of power. That bulb will only put out 200 watts worth of light even though the rating is 300 watts. In some cases it may even put out less than 200 watts worth of light…

It is similar to stereo speakers.  If your stereo has 100 watts per channel and you hook up 200 watt speakers, your stereo is not going to be any louder.  You would need a stereo that put out 200 watt per channel to get more volume(not really that much more but this is about projector lamps so I won’t get into logarithmic increases).

This is why you cannot merely purchase a brighter lamp.  Projectors are designed to run with the wattage lamp for all sorts of reasons.  Mostly cost related but also image quality related.  I have seen people who have installed higher output power supplies into projectors to get more brightness and the image looked washed out.  The contrast suffered because the projector was designed for a certain amount of light to be pushed through and exceeding that caused the image to look poor.

Your best bet for having the brightest picture possible is to minimize light pollution in your “theater” room. Blackout curtains, putting black tape over the myriad of things with indicator LEDs.

The most important things are to make sure your projector is clean and your lamp is new.  That will get you the brightest image every time.

Check out Pureland Supply’s whole series of Epson Lamps here!

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Good Bulb, Bad Bulb, Best Bulb, What Bulb?

Buying a replacement projector lamp should be a very straight forward process.  You find the model number or lamp number and plug it into your search engine of choice and then buy the one that appears.  Anyone who has bought one knows that is not what actually happens.

You end up with a page full of links with prices that can have over a $100 spread of difference in cost.  This can even happen on the same website.  Many sites list a Good, Better and Best option with prices that match.

What is the difference and what bulb should you buy?  These are the two questions I look to answer.  First lets go over what Good, Better, Best and OEM really mean.

The Good lamp is the cheapest.  It is almost always a non-original bulb.  Usually these are made by companies overseas that have older equipment and copy a design with cost in mind over quality.  They are limited by the patents so they use other methods to obtain brightness.  These methods include using Krypton 85 gas where it normally would not be used.  They also tend to have a much lower quality rating over the lifespan.  They tend to fail early and not be as bright.  They are cheap though.  If you only need a few hundred hours then maybe the Good lamp is fine if $25 is your budget.

I mentioned that in this post if you are interested.  These are almost always in a cheaply made housing.  They are sometimes even recycled housings.  A dead lamp will have its bulb removed and new knock-off bulb installed and then re-sold as new.  From the authors point of view, there is no place for these lamps in anyway as there are always reasonably priced options that use more reliable parts but that isn’t the point here.

Keep in mind if you expect the normal 2-3000 hour life-span, the chances are low. Even buying multiple ‘Good lamps’ will end up costing you more in the long term. See my older post here where I explain why.

The “Good’r”, I mean Better lamp can be tricky.  These can be made with Original brand bulbs such as Philips and Osram, but installed in a lower quality housing. The housing is as important as the bulb.  The housing is what makes sure your bulb is properly aligned with the optics.  If the bulb is not aligned, then image may be dim at the least or even melt the internals at the worst.  I personally have seen an NEC that had its iris assembly melted because of a “Better lamp” that had a housing that wasn’t built right.  They also will not have the proper coating on the lens.  I go on about this coating a lot because it is critical for proper color wheel operation. Many of the Better lamps cut corners in places that seem reasonable to the manufacturer, but do not serve the end user very well.

They tend to run in the sub-$100 range, or about 1/3 the cost of an OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) lamp.  These can sometimes work just fine.  I have seen “Better” Epson lamps that worked perfectly fine.  The issue I see is that its hit or miss.  There is no consistency in he product lines. You will see these all over Amazon and eBay.  There are some brands that advertise a lot that you will see use terms like DLP in there name. These companies are the ones who tend to use word-soup to ‘inform’ you that you are getting the same lamp as the OEM when in reality you are getting 2 levels down.

In fact these lamps are the ones that I see cause the most problems in the projectors I see. They will have an Osram bulb but the housing will be cheaper and not vented correctly. Then the housing will let the bulb slip and then the bulb melts the internals of the projector.  On average these are about 2/3rd the cost of the Best lamps which means for $40-50 more, the problems would have been avoided.   You spend you money as you see fit, but I strongly advise staying far away from the Better lamps.  At least the cheap lamps will fail before ruining your projector…

The Best lamps are the lamps worth buying if you want to save money over the OEM.  OEM is the top tier cost wise. If you have a high dollar projector and it is under warranty, you may need to buy an OEM lamp when it fails or you may violate your warranty.  I think that is a bad policy but I understand the reasoning.

The Best lamps are as close to OEM as you are going to get without paying OEM prices.  Many time the Best lamps are made the same companies who make the OEM lamps.  They have a deal where once the projector is out of production or our of warranty, they can sell the OEM lamps themselves through non-OEM channels.    These lamps use the same bulb as the OEM and the housing is either exactly the same or has all of the important challenges covered. They use the proper air vent setup and lens coating.  They may also have a heat shield to protect the internals that the Better or Good lamps will not have. Best lamps do not worry about cost as much as quality.  They are always cheaper than OEM. Sometimes they are as much as 60% cheaper, yet they are the same lamp.  As someone who knows what it costs to build a lamp, I also know that OEM’s can cost as much as 300% more than the Best lamps and still be the same thing!

Best lamps are the Best value in my opinion.  They do not cut any of the corners that the Better or Good lamps cut.  They are not overly inflated price-wise and are definitely not lower quality.  In our case, they even have a 6 month(180 day) warranty.  The OEM only has an 80-90 day warranty from the best vendors.

When you inevitably go to purchase a lamp, you will see websites with multiple options. When you do I ask you to go back and read this blog post.  Once you read it, I hope you decide the close those other links and buy one from us, but if you don’t I hope you at least buy what you decide is right for you and do it with the confidence that decided for the right reasons.

Pureland Supply only carries the Best lamps(well we have some OEM) and we only use those with the Original Bulb Inside.  Give us a call or click today and get your projector back to where it was and save some of that money.

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Why All OEM-Inside Lamps Are Not the Same

Original inside.  OEM Bulb Inside. “100% Authentic Lamps”.  Platinum Lamps. Manufacturer Original Lamps…

Buying a new lamp can be confusing when you have to wade through the marketing campaigns and creative wording.  These are all terms used to describe the type of bulb used in the lamp for your projectors.

This wording could lead you believe these are the same as the manufacturers and in some cases they are.  In other cases they are not.

My goal by the end of this post is to help you understand what you are buying and to make sure you get the best value for your money.

Let’s use a BenQ SP840 projector as an example.   BenQ supplies a lamp inside BenQ SP840 Proejctor with 5J.J2N05.011with a specific bulb.  That bulb is from one of the Six OEM Bulb manufactures in the world. Those manufacturers are Philips, Ushio, Phoenix, Osram, Iwasaki-Eye and Matsushita. No other company makes an original projector lamp. Any other brand of bulb is a compatible. Not worth dwelling on compatibles…

Lets take a step back and look at the beginning of the 5J.J2N05.001 lamp to fully understand the situation.5j.j2n05.011 with Philips 300W bulb inside.

Most manufactures do not make their own Lamp housings.  They contract to another company who has the factory and molding equipment. That factory may make lamps for multiple companies.  In this case the lamp is molded by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and then labeled as a BenQ part. When the company is designing the lamp with BenQ, they decide on a bulb manufacturer that fits the parameters of the performance they want to get out of the new lamp and projector.

In this case the bulb manufacturer used was Philips.

Philips was the first manufacturer to patent Short Arc Mercury Vapor lamps back in the late 70s.  The original use was for Printer Circuit board manufacturing. Since the market for PCBs is much smaller than projectors, they found the technology was better suited than the original bulbs which used metal halide technology.

Once BenQ and their OEM decided on the Philips UHP bulb, they then design the housing to properly support and align the bulb. Upon completion of the design the OEM manufacturers all the new lamps that BenQ then ships in their SP840.

The OEM also makes quite a few extra and has them boxed in BenQ boxes with the BenQ label.  That way , when a lamp fails under warranty, BenQ replaces it with a BenQ OEM Lamp.  That is what you should get if you see a listing for OEM lamps. It should be in the manufacturers box with the manufacturers label.

These same companies make a lot of the aftermarket versions of the same lamps.

This brings us to the aftermarket lamps. Some vendors list OEM Bulb or 100% Original Bulb when that is not necessarily the case. Some companies will substitute a bulb that is made by one of the main 6 companies in the aftermarket and while its still technically an Original bulb, its not a suitable replacement for any number of reasons.

If your BenQ SP840 needs a new lamp and you look around you will see people selling them with Osram bulbs inside. It is true that Osram makes a bulb of similar specs and the same size but it is not the same. The focal point of the arc tube is in a different place.  While the bulb will light, and display an image the image may not be as bright as the Philips version. It also may cause stray light leakage.  This isn’t Osram’s fault.  They designed the bulb to run properly in another lamp where the Philips may have a focal point miss-match.  The simple reason for this is cost.  It makes it look like you are getting the same-as-the-original when in reality you are not.

The BenQ scenario I explained above is far from exclusive to BenQ. In fact every manufacturer except Panasonic have their lamps made that way.  They all use multiple bulb brands (never in the same model).  Next Ill explain what I mean about Panasonic.

Panasonic is the only company who makes their own bulbs and lamps.  They are owned by Matsushita Heavy Industries.  They are a huge Japanese company who have the capabilities to make their own bulbs and lamps.  Panasonic is the one company you cannot buy aftermarket with their own bulbs inside(unless it ‘fell off the truck’).  Even Epson uses an OEM company called Iwasaki-eye and Philips to make their bulbs.  Panasonic recently bought Sanyo and brought them in under the Matsushita umbrella. I fully expect to see Matsushita bulbs in new Sanyo projectors now.

Up until recently(past 5 years or so) that leaves the consumers only able to buy OEM replacements or Compatible replacements.  Nothing in between.

Fortunately a few years ago Ushio and Phoenix decided it was time to make a replacement that was custom designed to work in place of the Matsushita bulbs. Rather than take an existing bulb and cram it into a reflector, they actually designed the gas mix, the arc tube and refectory to properly recreate the same specs that the Matsushita bulb had. They did it in such a way that did not violate any patents. This gave us a very reasonably priced option for an out-of-warranty projector to use for replacement lamps.

While this was successful, sometimes the vendors who sell these take advantage of the situation and will try and cram a Phoenix into an Epson lamp because the Phoenix bulb is $20 less than the Osram that would work better. They take the stance that, “it fits so it ships” when in reality,  that is doing us a huge disservice.

There are many other aspects to substituting a lamp. When Ushio made their Matsushita replacement, they made sure the heat generated would be dealt with the same as the original. Sellers who do not know what they are doing substitute bulbs they are not checking for things such as cooling or airflow.  They don’t check the focal points of the light or the startup voltage required. Sometimes they will even use a 200W bulb in place of a 150W bulb.  It’ll light, but it’s going to fail early.

Another issue is Counterfeits. I have personally seen counterfeit Ushio bulbs being sold as original by other less than upstanding companies.  Fortunately the amount of counterfeits in the USA are quite low and I don’t see a reason to waste your time ranting about the obvious.

Osram,Philips, Ushio

Pureland Supply only sells Original Bulbs in our lamps. We work very hard at sourcing the lamp with an Original bulb that was used by the OEM company who made that lamp for BenQ(for instance). We don’t stop there though.  We will go as far as purchasing a SP840 and running that lamp for 2000 hours and checking the brightness, CRI, and temperature while operating.  We will go back to our supplier and have them update designs if they are not up to par. We will even go as far as manufacturing our own parts if it means the lamps will be as close to your original as possible.

As an example, we tested 3 different bulbs for the Panasonic ET-LAD60 projector lamp.  We tested Ushio, Phoenix and Osram in their housing inside a projector.

  Total testing took 3 weeks to run all of them.  At the end the data showed the Ushio and Phoenix to be as bright(in some cases brighter) than the Matsushita OEM that was used as a control.

 

Average Lumen output was 3500 for the Matsushita, 3700 Lumen for the Ushio and an average of 3550 for the Phoenix.  After verifying the timer modules were correctly programmed we were able to sell them with confidence. 

 

Where does this leave you the consumer?  Hopefully with a little more insight into where your lamps come from and how to know what is what.

To help further, here are 5 tips to keep in mind while shopping around for your lamp.

  1. Know your bulb type and wattage.  Look at the back of your bulb inside the housing. It will list the specs. Refer to our “How to Identify Your Projector Lamp” for specifics.
  2. Make sure the company you are shopping with has that bulb listed under the lamp type. They may or may not have the bulb wattage listed. If not, do not hesitate to ask them for that info. Any decent company will share that with you.
  3. If they are substituting one original brand for another, be skeptical. Not all substitutes are bad or incorrect mind you, but if you see an Ushio in place of an Osram, I would be very skeptical for the simple reason that Ushio bulbs  generally cost more than Osram bulbs. Again, ask them.  If you were to ask us, we could tell you why we use what we use and what testing we did to confirm its use.
  4. Be wary of any advertisement that uses glowing (no pun intended) for the bulb name.  ie. “Platinum or Gold Lamps”                                                If you need to make a fancy names for your lamps, then maybe it’s not that great of a lamp(just my personal opinion). If it’s not one of the 6 names above, that makes the bulb a compatible and those are a waste of your time and money.
  5. Warranty Status. Unfortunately in the USA, the warranty on your projector can be violated if you use anything other than an OEM  lamp as a replacement. Once your warranty expires you are free to use whatever you want.  Until it expires your warranty can be denied if you were to need service and sent in your projector with a non-OEM lamp.

Hopefully this enlightened your knowledge on why not all Original inside lamps are the same.

I also expect you know how committed Pureland Supply is to carrying a good product. We would much rather sell you a lamp that will perform well for a long time so that you will come back than go for a cheap sale.

You do get what you pay for and if the OEM’s trust the bulbs they use, so do we.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Makes a Projector? (Part 2)

LCD Optical Block

Last time we spoke I talked about what makes up a DLP Video Projector.  How it works as well as its Pros and Cons.  From this point forward, I will be discussing what makes another large segment of the projector market, LCD Projectors.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a subtraction display technology versus DLP, DLP Rainbow effectadditive display technology.  DLP Adds layers of colors to make an image where as LCD blocks pixels to take away color for dark area.  One is not better than the other. One of the main advantages of LCD is the lack of a color wheel.  This means one of DLP’s main detriments(rainbowing) is not a concern.

LCD uses 3 colored filters to break the light into Red, Green and Blue.  These are then re-combined before final projection.

LCD Projectors were the first projectors on the market.  They quickly replaced the older and antiquated CRT (cathode ray tube) Projectors.  Their portable size and surprisingly bright image( for the time) was a welcome change.

You would think this type of technology was rather new, but in reality its almost 35 years old.  The first ‘Light Valve’ was pioneered in 1968 at RCA by John van Raalte.  It took until 1984 for him to work out the issues such as being able to control the ‘light valves’ in a meaningful way for a projector.  Since each pixel is arranged in a grid pattern, there needs to be a way to address each pixel.  This also showed the first use of negating the ‘screen door affect’ of each pixel being too obvious and looking like a grid of color.

LCD Panel

It wasn’t until the mid to late 1990s that LCD computer projectors became more common place. Before then, the most common form of LCD projector was a flat panel that was set atop a common overhead projector.

Once the LCD digital projector became common place it rapidly advanced.  At first the contrast was an issue at low brightness’s.  The implementation of an auto iris resolved that.  This Iris physically blocks the lamps light beam at a specific level to balance the light needed to display the color required by the video.

Both LCD and DLP Projectors use lamps and lenses. Everything in between is quite different.

The lamp in an LCD projector starts off by focusing its light through a lens in the front of the lamp. This lens ensures the maximum amount of light hits the first lens of the projector.  The lens ‘ job is to focus the lamp light onto the the next piece of glass which is a color prism.  This prism reduces the light to its core colors of Red, Green and Blue.  The now filtered light is passed through a set of mirrors and multiple Dichroic filters.

LCD Optical Path

The 3 filters further filter the lights to single color channels. Each of the 3 core colors have their own light path and their own LCD panel. Directly prior to passing through the LCD panel the light is balanced by 2 polarized glass panels.  These are adjusted in the factory so that each color is of equal intensity. This is critical because once the light passes through the LCD panel it is now 1/3 of the picture.  It is combined with the other 2 colors to form the full color image.  If any of the 3 colors are more dim or bright than each other, the image will look out of balance and not vivid.

The Lamp in an LCD projector is different as well. POA-LMP125 LCD projector lamp with Ushio bulb inside

The lamps usually have an optical lens rather than a filter lens as in a DLP lamp.  There is no need to block the UV and IR as it leaved the lamp.  The UV is already blocked by the glass, but the IR is not going to affect a color wheel so it can be filtered out after it leaves the lamp.

Around 2010 DLP projectors were surpassing LCD in quality but now the differences can be minuscule in the image quality.  LCD is still quite popular and posses a slightly large part of the home theater market but only barely.

Either projector can serve you well for most purposes.  Once type of lamp is not necessarily more expensive either.  Ideally you want to look at the picture.

If the image looks how you want it to look then LCD is the right technology for your home theater.  Maybe DLP looks better since it does have slightly deeper colors?  At that point it is up to your personal preference.  no matter which you choose you can get your lamp from us with the confidence that you are purchasing from a company who knows lamps.

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