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Projectors are an excellent source of entertainment as well as an educational tool, but it can put quite a damper on the fun if your projector lamp suddenly explodes. While this can certainly be a nuisance to deal with, it is not a serious problem and there are steps you can take to prevent your bulb from exploding in the future.  

How a projector lamp works

Projector bulbs are extremely bright. Most projectors typically display images with a lumen count of at least 2,500. So, it comes as no surprise that they are constructed with a complex technology. Projector lamps are constructed with short arc high-pressure mercury bulbs. The mercury is found in the arc tube, which is made of quartz glass. The super bright light is then produced when the lamp sends an electrical current across this pressurized noble gasses and mercury in the arc tube. This electrical arc is so powerful, it can cause the lamp to reach almost 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit at the point of the arc.

What causes them to explode?

Surprisingly, one of the main reasons why your projector lamp can explode isn’t caused by a problem with the lamp itself, it is due to a lack of cooling of the projector lamp. Which is why projectors are designed with specific features meant to cool them down. If the projector lamp is not cooled properly/effectively, the quartz envelope that holds the gasses will become soft. Once that happens the pressure of the gasses is enough to rupture the envelope, leading to an exploded lamp assembly.

Another known cause of exploding projector lamps is when an assembly uses an off-brand or unbranded bare bulb/lamp.

Only brands such as Ushio, Matsushita, Iwasaki, Phoenix, Osram and Philips should be trusted in your projector.

No-name/Knockoff brands for sale on some websites, may be incredibly unreliable at the best and might ruin your projector at the worst.

Unless the bare lamp/bulb is one of the six name brands listed above, you could be gambling with the operation of your expensive projector.

What’s the best way to prevent an explosion in the future?

Preventing an exploded lamp requires you to keep up with both your projector and your bulb. Keeping them running properly in involves routine maintenance, like any other device. A gentle cleaning using a vacuum and a damp rag will help a lot. We recommend removing the lamp assembly, and vacuuming the inside where the lamp goes(lamp basket) will help prevent early failures and exploding lamp assemblies.

Depending on your brand and model, there are many available how-to videos on the internet. Search your brand and model and use the keywords, “cleaning” or “maintenance”. The results will vary depending on your brand but most of the videos that already exist will be the same method, even if the model in the video is different from your model.

I cleaned my projector, purchased a proper name brand lamp assembly, and my projector lamp still exploded. What are my options?

At this point, it may mean your projector has a fan problem. Most projectors have a fan dedicated to cooling the lamp assembly. If that fan is worn out, damaged or full of dust, it will not cool the lamp assembly regardless of the brand.

Please feel free to contact us at to obtain more information on obtaining a High Quality Replacement Projector Lamp. You can also call us M-F 9am-5PM Est at 610-444-0590

Thank you as always for choosing, your number one source for replacement projector lamps.

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