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For many of us the days are much shorter. The temperature has dropped to “stay inside” levels. A great solution to enjoying this time is to use your video projector for some holiday cheer.

The question remains, “Is your projector ready?”

When family and friends come to visit, one of the wonderful benefits of a projector is being able to entertain everyone at the same time. Even if you do not have a dedicated home theater room(like most of us), your living room or den is a great place to congregate and watch the latest HD movie or sporting event of their choice.

Again I ask, “Is your projector ready?”

Okay, enough of the literary engagement methods. Let’s look at what this question means.

How old is the projector and when was the last time you changed the projector lamp? Most if not all modern video projectors have a place in the menu that will tell you the lamp hours used. This is critical for all video projectors. While having a lamp fail can be a hassle, it can also thoroughly damage your projector if it fails catastrophically. Ideally you want to replace your lamp when the projector indicates the time is about to run out, or if it merely stops lighting. If you are able, it is best practice to replace your lamp before it either fails to light or the lamp timer expires. The benefits here are two-fold. Your picture will be greatly improved and the chances of having a catastrophic lamp failure are greatly reduced.

Manufacturers dictate that the lamp should be replaced once it is running at 50% of its rated light output. This is due to wear on the arc-tube internal electrodes(arc points) and deposits on the inside of the arc tube caused by reactions between the arc points and the noble gas mixture in the arc-tube. In plain words, the lamp wears down from use. A new lamp will put out about two times the brightness of a properly used lamp. 100X more light than a failed lamp.

If you are ready to check your projector lamp for the holidays, refer to the owners manual. PurelandSupply offers many owners manuals in PDF form here. If you are unable to locate your manual via that link, you can check your manufacturers website, or even contact us for help with finding the location of the lamp timer information of your projector. All we need is the model number and we can figure out the rest.

As an example, the BenQ HT3050 DLP Projector uses the 5J.JEE05.01 Projector lamp. Here is a link to the owners manual.

If you own this model or similar, its well worth getting familiar with it. The same general idea applies to all modern projectors. The method of finding the time will vary from brand to brand and even sometimes from model to model. Refer to your owners manual for specifics.

Page 49 of Benq HT3050 manual
From Page 49 of the HT3050 Manual

The section above begins on Page 48. It goes over the different lamp messages and their meaning. Knowing this information is the best way to know when to replace your projector lamp. Even if you still have a few hundred hours left, it can’t hurt to swap the lamp sooner. The benefit is that you now have a bright new lamp and a reliable backup as a spare. I tend to swap my lamps once they are over 1500 hours in standard mode or 3500 hours in Eco mode on my BenQ HT1075 and its 5J.J7L05.001 projector lamp.

The other process you want to perform is some seasonal maintenance. This is best done when you change the lamp assembly. After you remove the projector lamp, get a vacuum and a dry bristled brush (or the brush attachment on the vacuum) and give the inside a gentle vacuuming. The section that holds the lamp is subject to a lot of heat. Dust is the projectors main enemy as it keeps the heat from being vented. Using the brush, you can knock the dust loose and the air being pulled through will help pull more dust out of the projector. Note, this is not a substitute for a deep professional service cleaning, but if performed seasonally, it may prevent the need for a service cleaning for a lot longer.

Once you finish vacuuming, you can install the new projector lamp and reset the lamp timer as per the manual. This will continue to ensure a proper hour count on your new projector lamp for when this process needs to happen again in a few years.

The last bit of maintenance is just giving the outer casing a nice wipe down. Do not use any cleaner and especially NEVER EVER use Endust for Electronics. That stuff is dust glue and will ruin your projector. Just a lightly damp cloth or paper towel will suffice. Wipe down the plastic surfaces, maybe unplug the cords and wipe down the connector panel. The lens should only be cleaned with proper lens cleaner though. There is a coating that can be damaged with incorrect cleaners. I tend to use no liquids and just a nice microfiber lens cloth. There will always been ‘some’ dust and that is Okay. It’s when the dust reaches levels where it is clearly visible on top of things that it is an issue.

While I only go over the BenQ HT3050, this again applies to all modern lamp based video projectors. Performing some seasonal maintenance and changing your projector lamp will greatly help in preparing your video projector for the entertaining this holiday season.

As always, feel free to contact our knowledgeable and helpful customer service staff. We know lamps and we want to help. contact us at 610-444-0590 or email us at You can also reach our live chat via our website. Click the link in the bottom corner. Lastly, don’t forget to visit our Facebook and YouTube pages for any coupon codes or sales.

From all of us at we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

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