Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tips to Identify Your Projector Lamp

There are thousands of different projector lamps. If you don't believe me, look at our Website in the Epson Section, as an example.  Epson alone has around 100 different lamps. Last count we had about 3100 unique items with close to 20,000 associated Model numbers. That is a lot of info.

Occasionally we get a call or email asking for a lamp but the customer is not sure of the brand or model.  When you are not the one replacing the lamp and you have to buy the lamp, it can be stressful and difficult without that info.

There are a few tips that I can share that will help. 

First and foremost ask your tech / installer for as much info as possible.  The ideal info is the model number off the projector.  All projectors have a data plate.  Its the sticker or metal plate that has all of the units pertinent info such as the model, serial number, power rating and any certifications.  That plate is usually located on the underside of a projector.  The underside if its sitting on a table. When that is the case, getting that info is easy.

Now say the projector is mounted 30 feet in the air, and you have to rent a lift to get the old lamp out?

The data plate might be blocked by the mount.  It may also have faded from years of sunlight on the sticker.  What can you do?

We have a lot of info at our fingertips.  While we prefer the proper info such as the model number or lamp number, we can usually identify a lamp pretty precisely.

What I am going to teach you is a last ditch option.  After you have exhausted all other options see how this goes.

I'll start with the useless info.  All housings have numbers on them.  Sometimes they mean things.  Many times they don't.

Most lamps will list the type of plastic they are made from. This is one of two types.  PPS and LCP.

PPS is Polyphenylene Sulfide. Its a higher temp thermoplastic that usually has some glass fiber re-enforcing.  Commonly listed as PPS-GF40 (Polyphenylene Sulfide Glass fiber 40%).  You can visually tell by the look of the plastic.  It will be glossy and hard.

The other kind of plastic used is LCP (liquid Crystal Polymer).  It is no better or worse.  I can only speculate on why one would be used over another as they compare almost the same with only negligible differences.

If you see PPS-GF40/GF30 or LCP-GF40, you can ignore those numbers.  They are only useful to the plastic recycling center.

There may also be a 2 digit number. That is usually a mold ID.  When the lamp housing was molded it was done so in a mold that had a number in it. That is for quality tracking.  Also not much help for finding your mystery lamp.

There may be other random letters and numbers. Most of them will be useless.

Here is what you WANT to look for.

Flip the lamp over and look at the back of your bulb.  Most lamps will have markings on the bulb unless its a cheap knock off.  You know how I feel about those.

That bulb will have some numbers.  Those will be helpful. They may not ID the lamp entirely but it will narrow it down immensely.

Refer to this chart:

Ushio:  Look for NSHxxxY(x= numbers, y= letter suffix)  or NSHAxxxY.  NSH refers to a DC (direct current bulb) and should have at least one wire physically attached. NSHA is for AC(alternating current bulb) and will have 2-3 terminals that can have a connector attached via screws. Many Ushio bulbs are purpose made for a specific manufacturer.  For instance, NSH200EDC is a 200W DC lamp made for Eiki with 3 terminals instead of 2.

Philips:  The first number on the sticker is the part number.  In this image the 636 is the part #.  The 90 indicates that this is an aftermarket bulb for Original Inside lamps.
UHP Philips Bulb
We can match that info to a handful of lamps.

Osram:  There will be a sticker on the reflector or text on the read of the ceramic. You are looking for the "PVIP" data.  It will say P-VIP xxx(x= wattage) then the arc gap(1.0 or 0.9 or 0.8) which is the spacing in millimeters inside the arc-tube.  Then the reflector size which will be a P (for parabolic) or E( for elliptical) and a number.

Phoenix: This is the most difficult but fortunately its also rare.  There will be a short number such as SHPxx on an OEM.  The aftermarket lamps are harder.  They use a 3 character listing such as GX4 or SX5.  They have the wires permanently attached and usually are in older lamps.  Even so, if we know you need a lamp with a Phoenix bulb it will still eliminate a lot of variables.


Knowing the brand of the projector will then get us even closer if not to the exact model.

Lastly take a picture for us.  We look at lamps all day long. Whether in our Quality Control Department or by our warehouse staff, some of us can ID a lamp by just seeing it.

Set the lamp on a nice clear background.  White table or solid lighter colored surface.  Put a piece of paper under it if you aren't sure.  Then take a picture looking straight down. Make sure to get the connector in the shot.  Then take another from the bottom with the lamp flipped over.

Refer to the image below. The first two pictures show a POA-LMP94 from a PLV-Z4 /PLV-Z5.  The third picture is the same lamp but while its a 'nice' picture, its not recognizable as easily.

Ideally of course, get the model number.  Even if you have what you believe is the proper Lamp ID , use the Model number.  It is the best way to guarantee you are sent exactly what you need and nothing less.

We can ID most lamps the same day as our staff is highly trained and well versed in finding the lamp you need. Contact us Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm via phone or Chat or anytime at and we will reply the following business day.

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