Who Makes Projector Lamps?
Originally Posted by diat150
anybody here replace their own lamp bulbs on the 8350? I have been trying some of the knockoff lamps but for every one that has good quality it seems 4-5 dont. I have a spare lamp enclosure and would like to get a high quality bulb to install and see if that is a better(and cheaper) option. Better option than the knockoffs and cheaper than a OEM. Our projector literally stays on from 8 in the am till 9-10 at night. Id appreciate any help finding a good source for quality bulbs that I could replace myself.
High quality projector lamps that meet industry standards are only made by a few projector lamp manufacturers in the world. Manufacturing projector lamps is an incredibly expensive and challenging technological process that only a few companies are able to meet.
The major manufacturers in the projector lamp industry are -
- The pioneer of the projector lamp world. In 1995 they began researching and developing the first metal halide lamps. They eventually developed a mercury vapor projector lamp, which they called a UHP lamp or ultra-high pressure mercury vapor. The new development made it possible for projection systems to emit a brightness never before seen, and made digital projectors possible. Philips remains a dominant force in the projector lamp industry, and some estimates indicate Philips has more than 70% control over the projector lamp manufacturing and sales market today worldwide.
- Founded in Japan, but now with offices around the world, Ushio manufactures hundreds of different industrial lights, lamps and bulbs. The company started in 1964 as an industrial light manufacturer. Ushio manufactures projector lamps for Sony, Sanyo, BenQ, and many other companies. Estimates indicate they have a 10% share in the projector lamp market.
- Osram started in Germany. The company specializes in producing the ARC tube in mercury vapor lamps and metal halide lamps. Osram claims to be the second largest lighting manufacturer in the world, with about a 7% market share.
The Others - There’s a handful of projector lamp manufacturers in Taiwan, Japan, and China. The most notable is Matsushita, which is a subsidiary of Epson and manufacturers all of Epson's lamps. Most smaller manufacturers of projector lamps don’t produce high quality lamps and aren’t commonly found in new projectors.
Why Are Projector Lamps So Expensive?
There is a good reason for the high cost of a new projector lamp. Compressed inside the ARC tube of the projector lamp is an ultra-high pressurize mercury vapor which is ignited when electricity jumps or arcs, across the gap filled with this gas. The ignition of the gas is what produces a projector lamp's extreme bright light.
Thus, the technology and engineering that goes into making a projector lamp is not cheap. In fact, the machines required to produce a single projector lamp can cost the manufacturer millions of dollars.
In addition to the cost of the machinery, manufacturers also have to hire expert scientists and engineers that can ensure that the projector lamp meets the standards required by your projector. The mercury vapor must be precisely pressurized and the ARC tube and quartz reflector must be exactly positioned at the correct angle. If any of these elements are not calibrated exactly as they need to be, the projector lamp may not produce the brightness expected, may burn the LCD panel within the projector, or could fail to ignite.
Every projector lamp has different ignition and running voltages and wattages. These configurations produce different brightness levels (ANSI lumens rates). Therefore, machines that manufacture projector lamps are complex and expensive to maintain. They have to be recalibrated for each specific new lamp setting. There’s no short way around this process if the manufacturer wants to produce a high quality projector lamp.
Projector lamps are cost intensive to make and that is why there are only four/ five major manufacturers of high-quality, ORIGINAL projector lamps in the entire world. These manufacturers have spent a lot of money both researching and developing projector lamps. They also have to maintain the assembly plants where the lamps are made. The costs to develop and make projector lamps limits competition in the market, but both of these factors increase the cost of projector lamps.
Basically you get what you pay for. If you are intent on using bare bulbs make sure they are manufactured by the companies mentioned.