Understanding the Different Types of Projector Lamps For Sale in the Marketplace

Share This Article

There are numerous options when it comes time to replacing your projector lamp in your prized and precious projector (or TV…or Smartboard).  With all these options often comes much confusion.  This article will attempt to clarify the different types of projector lamps that are available and why the price points can vary so greatly. 

Option 1: 

The most advertised option and safest is to go directly to the manufacturer of your projector and purchase a projector lamp from that company.  Unfortunately, there could be issues you may encounter when trying to order a lamp from the manufacturer.  The first issue is the model of your projector may no longer be supported and the lamp is no longer available from the manufacturer. On average, companies only supply parts going back seven years from the date of the projectors release.  If it is only a few years old, you most likely won’t run into this issue but the older the projector gets the more likely you will find it is no longer supported by the manufacturer.   The second issue you may find is the cost to you.  Often the manufacturer charges prices that are difficult to justify.  Everyone has some form of budget and constraints on how much can be spent on an item.  A common issue for school districts is completing a school year within the budget constraints.  Purchasing all your lamps direct from the manufacturer will almost certainly put some serious strain on your budget.

Option 2: 

You have reviewed the first option and understand that the manufacturer of your projector is the best source for your lamp but you either can’t find it or you can’t justify paying the sometimes-exorbitant prices they are charging. 

What’s the next best option?

We are glad you asked! 

Pureland Supply falls under the 2nd option of available projector lamps.  We consider our lamps the best of both worlds where we offer essentially the same exact lamp (in many cases the same exact lamp assembly) as the manufacturer at much lower pricing.  You can save over 60% where the average savings is between 30 and 40%. 

Here is how we do it.  We have contracts in place with Philips, Osram, and Ushio brand projector bulbs.  The projector bulb is the bare bulb that is the heart of your projector lamp assembly. Sometimes this is referred to as the bare lamp. Below is a basic diagram of a bare bulb that fits into the plastic housing to create the projector lamp.  Many companies refer to the entire assembly as a “bulb” or a “lamp” so there can be some confusion there. We call the glass part the bulb and the entire assembly the lamp. Makes it easier once you understand the terms.

lamp assembly bare bulb diagram

There are many other parts to the entire projector lamp assembly, but the most important part is the projector bulb.  In the center of the bulb is the burner which operates at a very high temperature and needs to have proper quality control in place to ensure a safe and long lamp life. 


The OEM(original equipment manufacturer) companies such as Philips, Ushio, Iwasaki, Matsushita, Phoenix and Osram make up more than 90% of the bulbs in the marketplace have precise quality controls that conform to rigid standards.  These burners come from The Netherlands (Philips), Germany (Osram), and Japan (Ushio, Matsushita and Iwasaki) and are the same burners that are found in your original OEM projector lamp that was first supplied with your projector.

A projector lamp is only as good as its weakest part.  If something small fails or doesn’t work, it could ultimately lead to premature failure or it could simply not work to begin with (dead on arrival). 

Over the years we have seen many issues with projector lamps that are supplied in the marketplace.  We even have technicians who will diagnose your problem and if you want to send us your projector, we can give you an estimate on the required repair. 

Some of the issues we have seen over the years include:

  1. Improper, inferior, or missing hardware or hardware not meant to be used in a hot environment.Knock Off Bare Bulb
  2. Cheap or even incorrect lamp connectors.  The lamp connector is the 2-prong plug that mates your projector lamp to the projector amp socket when you push it in.  If the connector is not mated correctly, it will cause major problems as it will start to melt and make the lamp unable to be removed.
  3. Improper or missing ND(UV/IR block) coating on the projector lens.  This is a common issue with cheaper DLP projector lamps and can cause serious issues with your projector.  When you look at your glass lens on the housing of your DLP lamp assembly at an angle it should have different red and blue hues.  Many of the lower quality lamp assemblies use a greenish coating or none. Without the proper coating this will cause your projectors optics to be heated until you get a burn mark in the center of the screen at the worst, or your image will flicker, and the unit will shut down at the least.  Running a projector lap without the proper lens coating will only damage your projector rather than save you money.
    Bad and good ND filters Melted shape lens
  4. LCD Projector lamps use a special lens to control the spread of the light to shine properly into the LCD prisms.  Many low quality lamp assemblies use recycled or plastic lenses in place of glass. We only use the proper parts as required by the manufacturer. If your original projector lamp had a specific lens, the replacement projector lamp you purchase from us will also have that specific lens.
  5. Incorrect ceramic cement used is a big cause of projector damage.  When the wrong type of cement is used to build the bare bulb, this can damage the power section of the projector which is very expensive to repair most of the time.
  6. Heat shields improperly installed or completely missing.  The heat shield protects your projector from the high heat that is generated and if it is missing or improperly installed your lamp will burn out prematurely.  Yes, your lamp will work for some time but nowhere near the lamp hours that you should expect.  This can also cause the exhaust fan components to wear out prematurely.
  7. Many higher end projector lamp assemblies use integrated lamp timer modules that record and manage the run time of the lamp.  Our lamp assemblies with timer modules are programmed and tested in house before being stocked.  This ensures your high end Panasonic or Digital Projection run without issue and record the lamp time properly.
    Timer Module

Option 3: 

You have considered option 1 and option 2 but still want to save some money, right?  OK, now you have come to option 3 which can be dangerous in the long run.  There are lamps being sold in the marketplace that are less than half the price of the lamps we sell and an even greater savings over the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). 

You have heard the saying “you get what you pay for.”  One of the largest companies in existence today sells projector lamps online and can get them delivered fast at a very low price. 

Sounds great, right? 

We would recommend reading all the reviews and taking careful consideration if going this route. 

Can you afford a failure at a bad time?

Think school teacher in a classroom or public speaker during a presentation.

It’s a fact that these lower quality lamps rarely if ever achieve the expected lamp life and even worse they can damage your projector. 

Don’t forget about the likely pitfalls mentioned in Option 2

We have had many customers that decide to go with the cheap projector lamp. The ended up having to send us their projector that didn’t work and sometimes the lamp is melted inside or damaged the power supply due to incorrect ceramic cement.

Melted Lamp

Is it worth it to take this chance? 

Many of the compatible/generic projector lamp assemblies that are sold may run for a period, and they will be inexpensive the first time you buy one.

However, on average they last about 1/3 the expected life span (that is being generous). Most compatible/generic lamps that we have tested will end up costing you 3-4x the cost of projector lamp from Purelandsupply.com .

Not to mention the lost downtime and labor costs involved with replacing the projector lamp. This is because the lower quality lamp assemblies have short warranties. As an example, you will have to spend that $65 plus shipping 3-4 times to obtain the same life span that you would get from one projector lamp from PurelandSupply.com that costs $129.50

Pureland Supply specializes in projector lamps and nothing else. 

Our Sales Representatives, Customer Service Representatives, and Technicians are all experts in this category. 

Years ago, Pureland Supply was started as a specialty lamp distributor and in 1997 we switched to offering only projector lamps. 

We take pride in our reviews and offering excellent service matched with a high-quality product. 

Lastly, you will notice we display our actual inventory on our website so you can see how many lamps we currently have in stock for a given projector. 

If you place your order during the week before 5pm Est, your order will ship out the same day, guaranteed.  We double pack every lamp we ship (your projector lamp comes in a box which will be wrapped in bubble wrap and placed in a larger box). 

It is our pleasure to serve you and if you pick PurelandSupply.com to supply your projector lamp we couldn’t be happier.  Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we look forward to hearing from you.

Related Posts