Once you turn on a projector is there a minimum usage time before turning it off? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Once you turn on a projector is there a minimum usage time before turning it off?

I have read that if you turn on a projector and use it and then turn it off, one must wait at least one-two hours before turning it on again. My question is, as the title says, let's suppose I turn on a projector (e.g. a Epson 8350 or 5030), with no plan to turn it off and then turn it on again but to use it for X amount of time, is there a minimum time for you to use it or could you use it for instance only for half and hour and then turn it off until next day?
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post
I have read that if you turn on a projector and use it and then turn it off, one must wait at least one-two hours before turning it on again. My question is, as the title says, let's suppose I turn on a projector (e.g. a Epson 8350 or 5030), with no plan to turn it off and then turn it on again but to use it for X amount of time, is there a minimum time for you to use it or could you use it for instance only for half and hour and then turn it off until next day?
This is false.

Generally speaking, it is believed that the on/off process of a projector may reduce lamp life by 10 minutes or so. This is not a firm number, but generally speaking, people often say that if you are going to leave for 15 or 20 minutes, just leave the projector on instead of powering it off.

But, if you do power off your projector, you can power it back on again as soon as the cool down cycle is completed. You can do that all day long if you like. It won't harm the projector, but will cause the lamp to fail earlier. If that's fine by you, then it's fine by me.

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post #3 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 02:09 PM
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I have heard people say that each time you strike the lamp it uses up about 4 hours of life, how true this is I don't know. I do know that turning it on and off several times a day is very bad for the lamp. If I leave the room and plan to be back within 4 hrs I will always leave the projector on, rather then cycle the lamp two or three times in a day.

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post #4 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 02:15 PM
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Four hours is VERY long. I have not heard this number. I've heard numbers as high as 45 minutes, but certainly not 4 hours. About 20-30 minutes is what I consider reasonable. You also need to consider energy usage during that time frame which costs money as well.

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post #5 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
This is false.

Generally speaking, it is believed that the on/off process of a projector may reduce lamp life by 10 minutes or so. This is not a firm number, but generally speaking, people often say that if you are going to leave for 15 or 20 minutes, just leave the projector on instead of powering it off.

But, if you do power off your projector, you can power it back on again as soon as the cool down cycle is completed. You can do that all day long if you like. It won't harm the projector, but will cause the lamp to fail earlier. If that's fine by you, then it's fine by me.
Thank you. Now, let's suppose: Case 1: John turns on his projector and uses it for 4 hours straight daily. Case 2: Peter turns on his projector and uses it for just 30 minutes daily.

Any additional "damage" for Peter's projector than John's projector?
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post #6 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 03:28 PM
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I do know for a fact that projectors left on for long periods of time will often exceed the expected life of the lamp. I would often get 5000hrs out of a 2000/3000hr rated lamp in my first Lamp based projector (I put about 4 lamps in it and I still have it). I have had 2 RPTV's and four lamp based projectors and I now average 3000hrs usage a year on my current projector but its still to new to know real lamp life. Based on your example above I would guess that John would get more hours out of his lamp then Peters

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post #7 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 04:20 PM
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It is absurd to leave it on for 4 hours without using it, just for saving blub life. You also need to consider electricity price (and green factor!!!). In my place, for a 300W projector, it cost 7-8c/hour in your power bill. For a $250 lamp rated for 6000 hours, that's only 4c/hour. You do the math.

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post #8 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 04:46 PM
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I know if I turn my projector off and then back on it won't start up, takes a few tries of unplugging it, replugging it and then it finally starts up. If I leave it off for a bit, it fires up no problem.

As for lamps, I got 2 years out of my lamp and I use the thing like a TV, its on 3 hours a night every night, 5-6 hours or more on the weekend. Then I bought a lamp on ebay for 95 bucks. so thats what 50 bucks a year? Even if the lamp is 300 bucks, if it lasts 2 years, who cares? And I'm what some may say is "Cheap" but 150 a year is really nothing.
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I guess you can't harm your projector if you just use it once it's turned on, just for 30 minutes or 1 hour. I have read posts saying that if they are not going to use their projector for at least 2 hours they won't even turn it on but I think it might me because of those 10 minutes or so every time you turn on a projector you waste on the lamp but at 10 minutes per turn on it's no drama so you can actually use a projector like you would with a TV for just browsing channels for 45 minutes or so...
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post #10 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post
Case 1: John turns on his projector and uses it for 4 hours straight daily.

Case 2: Peter turns on his projector and uses it for just 30 minutes daily.

Any additional "damage" for Peter's projector than John's projector?
Peter will have less wear and tear on the projector since the fans aren't running as long and the internals aren't getting as much heat and use. I mean, that's pretty basic. You drive you car 30 miles a day in the city or 200 miles a day mostly on highways, you may get better gas mileage, but at the end of a year, you've put way more miles on that second car, and it will be worn out far earlier than the city driving car. But, it may wear out with more mileage on it than the city driving car will ever manage.

So, yeah, John will likely get more lamp life out of his projector. 4 hours a day - 365 days a year, that's about 1,500 hours a year, and call it a 3,000 hour lamp life, and it's lamp replacement time in 2 years. Still, a couple of lamp replacements and 6 years later it may be time for a new projector.

Peter only gets 2,000 hours on his lamp, but only puts 182.5 hours on it a year, so he's at 10 years before his first lamp replacement. But, at that 10 year mark, it may also be time to replace the projector.

All of this must be taken with a grain of salt though. Airflow, altitude, dust, and general build quality are just, if not more, impactful on the life of a projector and the projector lamp. A warmer room will have less internal cooling and may burn out not just the lamp, but the electronics earlier. A bunch of dust clogging things up may do the same.

I saw my first projector lamp fail in about 1,400 hours on a 4,000 hour rated lamp. I replaced the lamp and the next lamp was run for over 3,000 hours and still looked great. Change in setup or usage? None!

So, the first lamp sucked, the second one was better. No rhyme, no reason.
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post #11 of 21 Old 06-18-2014, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
Peter will have less wear and tear on the projector since the fans aren't running as long and the internals aren't getting as much heat and use. I mean, that's pretty basic. You drive you car 30 miles a day in the city or 200 miles a day mostly on highways, you may get better gas mileage, but at the end of a year, you've put way more miles on that second car, and it will be worn out far earlier than the city driving car. But, it may wear out with more mileage on it than the city driving car will ever manage.

So, yeah, John will likely get more lamp life out of his projector. 4 hours a day - 365 days a year, that's about 1,500 hours a year, and call it a 3,000 hour lamp life, and it's lamp replacement time in 2 years. Still, a couple of lamp replacements and 6 years later it may be time for a new projector.

Peter only gets 2,000 hours on his lamp, but only puts 182.5 hours on it a year, so he's at 10 years before his first lamp replacement. But, at that 10 year mark, it may also be time to replace the projector.

All of this must be taken with a grain of salt though. Airflow, altitude, dust, and general build quality are just, if not more, impactful on the life of a projector and the projector lamp. A warmer room will have less internal cooling and may burn out not just the lamp, but the electronics earlier. A bunch of dust clogging things up may do the same.

I saw my first projector lamp fail in about 1,400 hours on a 4,000 hour rated lamp. I replaced the lamp and the next lamp was run for over 3,000 hours and still looked great. Change in setup or usage? None!

So, the first lamp sucked, the second one was better. No rhyme, no reason.
Excellent and clear response! Thank you.
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post #12 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 06:45 AM
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I agree I am not being very green in leaving my electronics running, my electric bill is 30% higher then my neighbors. I have a degree in electrical engineering and have been a computer field service engineer for 40 years, my customers that shut off their computers every night opposed to those that leave them on all the time have a much larger failure rate over the life of the system. Electronics highest stress is during warm up and cool down they don't wear out from use but more from time. This is true for the car analogy I would buy a 5 year old car with 200,000 miles long before a 15 year old car with 30,000 (assuming they are both maintained properly and not used for a police car ,taxi or similar service of course). Our servers although designed to run 24/7 fail during a shutdown 90% of the time opposed to failing while running. Peter will have a 3 year old projector with less than 600 hrs of use and will most likely needed to be replaced where John will have at least gotten some use out of his. This also includes mechanics like fans as their highest stress level is during spin up as bearings dry out and are cold . The lamp of course is an arc lamp and the electrodes will wear out regardless but its cycle times are more stressful than its on time.

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post #13 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 10:09 AM
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They may have just exited the front projection market, but Mitsubishi's is the advice that I'd follow:


Quote:
The number of times you turn the projector on and off. Frequently turning the projector on and off shortens the projector lamp life. Each time a projector is turned on, a significant amount of power is required to strike the lamp for it to start up; this extra powerful strike to the lamp wears the lamp out significantly more than when the lamp is under constant but normal operation. Using the projector continuously for two to four hours per day, turning it on and off only once, puts less stress on the lamp than using it for the same two to four hours cumulatively, and turning it on and off the same four to six times in the same day.



From here:
http://www.mitsubishi-presentations...._v09132009.pdf


As for power consumption: that's what modes like Eco-Blank - which drops consumption to around 100W on the BenQ W1070 (that's less than two incandescent light bulbs) is for.
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post #14 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post
Using the projector continuously for two to four hours per day, turning it on and off only once, puts less stress on the lamp than using it for the same two to four hours cumulatively, and turning it on and off the same four to six times in the same day.
On the low end of that statement from Mitsubishi it isn't clear at all. But, it looks like if you have it on for 2 hours during a day, and turn it on/off 4 times, then it would be better to leave it on for four hours. So, about 30 minutes lost per lamp strike. This is kind of in-line with what I have heard over the last decade of following this.

As is typical, manufacturers are completely unwilling to say "A lamp strike removes XX minutes from typical lamp life." and give us something to work from. Most likely, because they aren't performing this type of testing and they really have no idea at all.

I leave it up to individuals for sure, but less than 15 or 20 minutes seems like a definite waste of lamp life. 20-45 minutes seems 'questionable' - kind of the grey area. More than 45 minutes, by most accounts I've read over the years, seems like a definite 'turn it off' point.
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post #15 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekbones View Post
I agree I am not being very green in leaving my electronics running, my electric bill is 30% higher then my neighbors. I have a degree in electrical engineering and have been a computer field service engineer for 40 years, my customers that shut off their computers every night opposed to those that leave them on all the time have a much larger failure rate over the life of the system. Electronics highest stress is during warm up and cool down they don't wear out from use but more from time. This is true for the car analogy I would buy a 5 year old car with 200,000 miles long before a 15 year old car with 30,000 (assuming they are both maintained properly and not used for a police car ,taxi or similar service of course). Our servers although designed to run 24/7 fail during a shutdown 90% of the time opposed to failing while running. Peter will have a 3 year old projector with less than 600 hrs of use and will most likely needed to be replaced where John will have at least gotten some use out of his. This also includes mechanics like fans as their highest stress level is during spin up as bearings dry out and are cold . The lamp of course is an arc lamp and the electrodes will wear out regardless but its cycle times are more stressful than its on time.
Similar scenario... I let my Synology NAS shutdown (standby I guess) every night and come back on the next morning. perhaps I should just let it stay on. I dont know how much power it uses in standby. I guess I could hook the Kill-a watt up to it.
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post #16 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post
Using the projector continuously for two to four hours per day, turning it on and off only once, puts less stress on the lamp than using it for the same two to four hours cumulatively, and turning it on and off the same four to six times in the same day.

On the low end of that statement from Mitsubishi it isn't clear at all. But, it looks like if you have it on for 2 hours during a day, and turn it on/off 4 times, then it would be better to leave it on for four hours. So, about 30 minutes lost per lamp strike. This is kind of in-line with what I have heard over the last decade of following this.

As is typical, manufacturers are completely unwilling to say "A lamp strike removes XX minutes from typical lamp life." and give us something to work from. Most likely, because they aren't performing this type of testing and they really have no idea at all.

I leave it up to individuals for sure, but less than 15 or 20 minutes seems like a definite waste of lamp life. 20-45 minutes seems 'questionable' - kind of the grey area. More than 45 minutes, by most accounts I've read over the years, seems like a definite 'turn it off' point.

No, they aren't that clear. But if we extrapolate a bit, their theory seems to match yours. You're taking the lower bound of their time scenario. Let's take the opposite approach:

In the 4-hour bound of their 'best-case-scenario', they consider 4 hours of use with a single power-cycle in that time period as ideal.

Similarly,
In the 4-hour bound of their 'worst-case-scenario', they consider 4 hours of use with 4 power-cycles non-ideal.


The latter case produces more 'stress on the lamp'.

Now let's say those 4 non-ideal hours are spent watching episodes of a TV show; with each episode followed by powering off and taking a break. That's a fairly practical use-case (ie powered on for a single episode of a TV show and then powered off) and certainly not uncommon for TV-type use.

With episodes being around 45 minutes each, we'd be looking at around 45 minutes of time per on-cycle (with 4 on-cycles) - that'd give us 180 minutes of on-time (ie 45 minutes x 4 episodes = 180 minutes of on-time in total)

The balance is then the 15-20 minutes of off-time between cycles - say, 20 minutes between those 4 cycles (making it 3 periods where the projector is off).
That's about 60 minutes of off-time (20 minutes x 3 power-off-breaks = 60 minutes of off-time in total).

Then:
total(Off_Time) + total(On_Time) = 180 + 60 = 240 minutes. That's now the 4 hours total they're talking about.


Here's the rub: they're actually saying that these 20-minute intervals with the projector spent powered off in between sessions is a waste. So Mitsubishi's implication would seem to be that for sustained use in a day, it should definitely be above 20 minutes powered-off if another viewing session will follow; and if its going to be less than 20 minutes, then leave it powered on.

Since that's their worst-case scenario, it'd be pretty safe to double that and - like you say - assume that 40 minutes (or maybe a bit more) still makes sense for a power-off between sessions. Less than that? Stick to Eco-Blank mode!

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post #17 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 05:39 PM
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Hello gentlemen. OK there's a lot of informative posts and a lot of educated people in this thread so I have a question please.....

How important are brightness and contrast settings to the duration of the lamp's life? If I use my unit and constantly have a setting of say, 75 Brightness/65 Contrast, would that eat up more lamp life compared to if I had it set to say, 55 Brightness/50 Contrast? Or are the differences on the lamp's impact fairly trivial?
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post #18 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 05:59 PM
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Once you turn on a projector is there a minimum usage time before turning it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by isamu View Post
Hello gentlemen. OK there's a lot of informative posts and a lot of educated people in this thread so I have a question please.....

How important are brightness and contrast settings to the duration of the lamp's life? If I use my unit and constantly have a setting of say, 75 Brightness/65 Contrast, would that eat up more lamp life compared to if I had it set to say, 55 Brightness/50 Contrast? Or are the differences on the lamp's impact fairly trivial?


Conventional wisdom says that only factors affecting power to the lamp affect lamp life. Most obviously, Lamp Power (normal or eco - with higher lamp life provided by eco mode.)

On a fixed lamp mode such as those two, the image properties you're asking about make no difference to the power provided to the lamp.

You don't mention what projector you're running but some have additional lamp modes (such as BenQ's SmartEco) that fluctuate power to the lamp depending on the displayed image's brightness. In this case, cranking those values up will increase the 'average' power to the lamp (due to higher average brightness in the image); but even then, the overall effect will likely be negligible.

So the answer? Nope, brightness and contrast won't significantly affect lamp life.

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post #19 of 21 Old 06-19-2014, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeturez View Post
some have additional lamp modes (such as BenQ's SmartEco) that fluctuate power to the lamp depending on the displayed image's brightness. In this case, cranking those values up will increase the 'average' power to the lamp (due to higher average brightness in the image);
Are you sure the smarteco checks the actual image setting? I had an impression that the lamp power is determined by source image content, eg how many percentage of bright scenes of the image.
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post #20 of 21 Old 06-20-2014, 01:07 AM
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Are you sure the smarteco checks the actual image setting? I had an impression that the lamp power is determined by source image content, eg how many percentage of bright scenes of the image.
I guess we can't be 100% sure without measuring, but since both Contrast and Brightness have such a significant impact on both average brightness and peak white in an image, it'd make sense for it to be checking said content for brightness post-processing rather than at the source...?

The simplest way to test would be to put a meter on the wall-socket, stick on a static image, and check power consumption whilst varying contrast and brightness.

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post #21 of 21 Old 06-20-2014, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for the replies. FWIW I own a BenQ W6000 and it indeed has an eco mode which I always utilize. Last lamp I had only got around 2200hrs before conking out. One prior gave me 3600hrs. Crazy difference there, especially how my usage has been pretty much the same routine wise(around 17hrs a day).
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