Mercury-based projectors could be banned - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Mercury-based projectors could be banned

I heard somewhere (don't know where) that projectors with a mercury based lamps will be banned in Europe. EU already banned some devices which include mercury. Anyone know something more about that? Will mercury based projectors really be banned and are they really dangerous? If they are dangerous I will not use them anymore in my bedroom.
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post #2 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 01:03 PM
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1/1/2020 in the USA.

Pointless to buy a lamp based projector now.

Edit.

Read some more about the subject, lamp based projectors might not be banned. So idk.

No projector manufacturer has spoken on the Minamata Convention. Well Casio has, but they already make lamp free projectors.

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post #3 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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What else to buy then? I want 4K projector and I don't want to pay a fortune for the 4K laser projector. So the only alternative right now is Optoma UHL55 which is 4K and LED. Or I am missing some other affordable 4K alternative?
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post #4 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 03:38 PM
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Wait till 2019. I'm sure more reasonable priced laser/led projectors are coming.

The BenQ LH720 is dropping soon, it's a 4000 lumen laser projector with a MSRP of $1600, its 1080p though.

So I would think 4k lasers should be able to hit the sub $3000 market.
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post #5 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbund View Post
What else to buy then? I want 4K projector and I don't want to pay a fortune for the 4K laser projector. So the only alternative right now is Optoma UHL55 which is 4K and LED. Or I am missing some other affordable 4K alternative?

You can check out Benq HT9050 LED based projector, it's 4K but no HDR, refurbished online can be very cheap depends when you are looking. Sometimes you'll find great discounts. There is also LED based HT9060/x12000H coming out soon with HDR etc. I'm sure more and more manufacturers will be coming out with Laser and LED based projectors this year, DLP that is. I don't expect Sony or JVC to offer LED projector anytime soon and definitely not under $3000.
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post #6 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by peterbund View Post
I heard somewhere (don't know where) that projectors with a mercury based lamps will be banned in Europe. EU already banned some devices which include mercury. Anyone know something more about that? Will mercury based projectors really be banned and are they really dangerous? If they are dangerous I will not use them anymore in my bedroom.
Each UHP projector lamp contains a tiny amount of mercury vapor, similar to a fluorescent or CFL bulb. While there is known risk to repeated exposure to significant amounts of mercury vapor the risk from occasional minor exposure is not considered great. Philips invented the UHP lamp and this is the way they describe the risk in their material safety data sheet (MSDS):

Quote:
There are no known health hazards from exposure to lamps that are intact and which are used within an enclosed fixture. No adverse effects are expected from occasional exposure to broken lamps. As a matter of good practice, avoid prolonged or frequent exposure to broken lamps unless there is adequate ventilation. The major hazard from broken lamps is the possibility of sustaining glass cuts.

In the event of a bulb rupture, a limited amount of mercury vapour could be emitted into the room. To avoid inhaling this mercury vapour (which is toxic and can be harmful for lungs and nervous system) the room of use should be thoroughly ventilated for some period (30 minutes)
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Yep, I also think 2019 is armageddon for lamp projectors.

That BenQ one looks OK, if its contrast measures well it might be a compelling alternative. I can do HDR to SDR conversion on my PC to Gamma 2.8 in 10-bit, but I can't forgive these companies keeping HDMI 1.4a instead of HDMI 2.0b. The latter would allow 1080p 120hz with a DC3 DMD and 240hz with a 0.47 inch DMD (of the pico variety, which aren't always used for Faux-K XPR projectors).

I think mid-1k laser with 3000+ lumens and decent gamut are in our near future.
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post #8 of 27 Old 12-02-2018, 10:06 PM
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some Lampless pj's below, well some say that these are not Projectors rather alternatives or just plain toys


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post #9 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ DOOM View Post
1/1/2020 in the USA.

Pointless to buy a lamp based projector now.

Edit.

Read some more about the subject, lamp based projectors might not be banned. So idk.

No projector manufacturer has spoken on the Minamata Convention. Well Casio has, but they already make lamp free projectors.
Where did you read that they might not be banned? I am wondering why..
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post #10 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 07:05 AM
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Eh... the death of lamp based projectors is one of those things that gets tossed out around here every few months right along with the death of the projector market as a whole. Those affordable 100” flatscreens are right around the corner... right?... riiiight?...

I don’t think the minuscule amount of mercury INSIDE the lamp is a big issue (although in the EU who knows). What IS a big deal is power consumption. Just like plasma before it, lamp based projectors would run afoul of proposed regulations governing how much juice one electronic device is allowed to suck from your wall. They just aren’t that efficient due to the massive amount of electricity lamps waste converting to heat— which is something you can easily verify by placing your hand near the exhaust port or listening for the sound of cooling fans.

Lasers are awesome. Colorspark LEDs are awesome. Both are REALLY expensive. While there are some affordable projectors that use more traditional LED light sources the truth is these models under perform similarly priced lamp based models because LEDs aren’t that bright.

Take a look around the home projector market and you’ll see it dominated by lamp based projectors. The price/performance advantages of lamps makes it an easy choice for manufacturers entering an increasingly competitive market. I think, eventually, we’ll look back at lamps the same way we now look back at other abandoned tech like plasma flat screens. But we’re not quite there yet. Oh— and I still own three plasmas and they all work wonderfully.
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbund View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ DOOM View Post
1/1/2020 in the USA.

Pointless to buy a lamp based projector now.

Edit.

Read some more about the subject, lamp based projectors might not be banned. So idk.

No projector manufacturer has spoken on the Minamata Convention. Well Casio has, but they already make lamp free projectors.
Where did you read that they might not be banned? I am wondering why..
Here you go below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rak306 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp View Post
...

I'm not sure of the exact timing or rules. Maybe somebody in Europe has more details. As I mentioned, I've read that they will be banned in I believe 2019.

--Darin
https://circabc.europa.eu/sd/a/eda9d...s_June2016.pdf

There is a recommendation in this document (pg 273) to continue the exemption (until 2021) for projectors with > 2000 lumen output.

"...Thus it is also concluded that on the system level time is also still needed to develop sufficient alternatives. It is thus recommended to renew the exemption for a further 5 years. To avoid misuse and to ensure market surveillance effectively, the consultants propose narrowing the scope of the exemption to specific cases as detailed below. ..."

"Exemption 4(f) - (II) Mercury in high pressure mercury vapour lamps used in projectors where an output ≥2000 lumen ANSI is required:
...

Scope and dates of applicability - For Cat. 5: 21 July 2021"

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post #12 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 10:58 AM
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The world is in the early stages of a slow transition from UHP lamp-based to solid state-illuminated projectors, same as the current slow transition from petroleum-powered to hybrid and all-electric cars. We're already in the later stages of similar transitions to solid-state illumination for LCD TVs, PC monitors, etc. At any point on the transition curve from one technology to a newer one it's important for each person to consider all the pros and cons as they currently exist and go with the option that makes the most sense for them. Just because solid state illumination is the future for projectors doesn't mean it's currently the best option for all people under all circumstances.
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If I understand ok then mercury lamp projectors which have under 2000 lumens will be banned and those who have above 2000 lumens will not be banned? Many people payed fortune for a Sony native 4K projectors and their projectors will soon be banned then because they have mercury lamps and under 2000 lumens..

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post #14 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by peterbund View Post
If I understand ok then mercury lamp projectors which have under 2000 lumens will be banned and those who have above 2000 lumens will not be banned? Many people payed fortune for a Sony native 4K projectors and their projectors will soon be banned then because they have mercury lamps and under 2000 lumens.
No. If a ban is enforced, and it's not yet clear if it will be, the ban would be on the sale of new projectors after a certain date. Any such ban would likely be based on energy consumption as it was with plasma TVs. Replacement lamps would not be banned for lamp-based projectors that were already sold. The police are not going to storm everyone's home and confiscate lamp-based projectors.
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But If the ban would be on the sale of new projectors then it would say to us who own lamp-based projectors: THROW THEM AWAY.

I am wondering if it is ok that I use my lamp based projector in my bedroom.

It looks to me that LED projectors are the safest one. But there is only one 4K projector with LED and that not have enormous price - UHL55. But this projector is not good. There are also some good laser alternatives in terms of picture quality. But there are also doubts about the safety of laser projectors. Ahh....
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post #16 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 12:53 PM
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Each UHP projector lamp contains a tiny amount of mercury vapor, similar to a fluorescent or CFL bulb. While there is known risk to repeated exposure to significant amounts of mercury vapor the risk from occasional minor exposure is not considered great. Philips invented the UHP lamp and this is the way they describe the risk in their material safety data sheet (MSDS):
You copy and pasted the same exact thing in the other thread I posted on when I had the exploding bulb incident where I pointlessly chucked the pj out the front door hoping the vapor wouldn't get all over the home.

I thought about it again after coming across this thread, and why would I care about or listen to what Philips thinks about the safety concerns on something they profit from? Those remarks would be a lot more reassuring if they came from an independent agency such as the FDA etc.
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post #17 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Condojector View Post
You copy and pasted the same exact thing in the other thread I posted on when I had the exploding bulb incident where I pointlessly chucked the pj out the front door hoping the vapor wouldn't get all over the home.

I thought about it again after coming across this thread, and why would I care about or listen to what Philips thinks about the safety concerns on something they profit from? Those remarks would be a lot more reassuring if they came from an independent agency such as the FDA etc.
Well of course anyone can always choose to believe whatever they want to believe. Anyone who is fearful of exposure to any product that they suspect might be hazardous to their health should avoid those products and find alternatives. However, companies are required by law to publish an MSDS for each of their commercial products that lists any hazardous properties and accurately describes any human safety risks.

It's well know within the scientific community that mercury, like many other elements, can be a health hazard in sufficient quantities and exposure duration. Therefore most developed countries now have consumer protection laws limiting the amount of mercury that can be contained in any commonly used consumer product. Anything below that threshold is not considered a health risk per the recommendation of the scientific community.

It can be seen below that OSHA, NIOSH and ACGIH have set slightly different limits for workers exposed on a daily basis in their work environment, which would result in a much higher cumulative total over time than a few minutes exposure to the tiny amount of mercury vapor in a small UHP projector lamp:

Quote:
The OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL) for mercury is a ceiling limit of 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter of air (mg/m³), which is currently enforced as an 8-hour time-weighted average. Other organizations suggest lower exposure levels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that exposures to mercury metal be limited to an average of 0.05 mg/m3 over a 10-hour workday, in addition to a ceiling limit of 0.1 mg/m3. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends that metallic mercury exposures be limited to an average of 0.025 mg/m3 over an 8-hour workday.
osha.gov/Publications/mercuryexposure_fluorescentbulbs_factsheet.html
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Odd, a while back I dropped an old projector lamp and it popped. I vacuumed up the glass and threw it in the trash. I guess I should have had a hazmat team come out and rip up the carpet in addition to getting checked out at the ER.

Same thing with radon in the basement. The test calls for closing off the basement vents/doors/windows for four days prior to the test and many of my neighbors jumped on the radon removal systems while some of us discussed it and found that we never let our basements sit closed off for four days with no heat/air/open vents/doors/windows, so we passed on the "once in a lifetime deal" offered by the company doing the installations.

At firearms a new agent once complained about the safety hazards of using/firing lead ammunition. As the old firearms instructor said "Sure...lead can kill you...are you sure you picked the right career?"
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post #19 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 07:15 PM
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Odd, a while back I dropped an old projector lamp and it popped. I vacuumed up the glass and threw it in the trash. I guess I should have had a hazmat team come out and rip up the carpet in addition to getting checked out at the ER.

Same thing with radon in the basement. The test calls for closing off the basement vents/doors/windows for four days prior to the test and many of my neighbors jumped on the radon removal systems while some of us discussed it and found that we never let our basements sit closed off for four days with no heat/air/open vents/doors/windows, so we passed on the "once in a lifetime deal" offered by the company doing the installations.

At firearms a new agent once complained about the safety hazards of using/firing lead ammunition. As the old firearms instructor said "Sure...lead can kill you...are you sure you picked the right career?"

And don't call the Hg hazmat team while you're eating a tuna fish sandwich, you're labile to go hungry.
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post #20 of 27 Old 12-03-2018, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by peterbund View Post
But If the ban would be on the sale of new projectors then it would say to us who own lamp-based projectors: THROW THEM AWAY.
Or retrofit a led bulb into a lamp-based projector. Think I might start working on designing that now for my 1070
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post #21 of 27 Old 12-04-2018, 10:08 AM
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Anyone who is overly obsessed with the safety of brief exposure to the minutest level of everything on this planet that can potentially be harmful with long exposure to high levels is doomed to lead a miserable existence.
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post #22 of 27 Old 12-04-2018, 11:50 AM
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Anyone who is overly obsessed with the safety of brief exposure to the minutest level of everything on this planet that can potentially be harmful with long exposure to high levels is doomed to lead a miserable existence.
As a kid I had a pill bottle about one eighth full of mercury. We would collect it from things that had mercury in them like switches and thermometers and such. I would pour it out on the kitchen table and watch it roll around or hold it in my hands. We would polish coins with mercury to give them a super shine. Then my parents would send me to the dentist and he would drill holes in my teeth and fill them with amalgam metal made with mercury. We even played with mercury in my sixth grade science class under the watchful eye of our teacher.

I mentioned it once to my 80 year old dentist and asked him if he ever worried about it. He said no but for 30 years he held X ray film in kids mouths with his finger to get the picture. He said that bothered him a little. When I turned 20 he started laying a lead blanket over me to take the X ray.

Times change growing up in the days of no seatbelts and mom holding the little one on her lap are gone. It’s a wonder we made it. So I guess now I’m not too worried about my lamp.

In the late 60’s we started hearing about mercury in the local fish in the great lakes. I asked my dad about it and he said no worry we will go ice fishing and when we catch fish we nail them up by the tails wait for the mercury to drop and then cut off the heads.

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post #23 of 27 Old 12-04-2018, 02:29 PM
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Before everyone loses their mind, please be aware that the United States banned incandescent light bulbs starting in 2014.

Ever look for them in your local hardware store or online?

Here you go...
https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/52...10KFR-4PK.html

(info from wiki)...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-...nt_light_bulbs

Yes, here we are almost half a decade later and they are readily available pretty much anywhere. Yes, we have a huge uptick in LED bulbs out there which work perfectly fine. I am hopeful that if there is a ban on new projectors with traditional lamps that we will see a huge uptick in solid-state light engines for projectors. But, the key will be lowering the price. Getting laser/led engines into projectors that are plenty bright and have accurate color.

Laser is really the bomb as you can really pump the brightness way up with them. The absolute best projectors have all gone to laser as far as I know. But, getting that down under $2,000 and having the color accuracy needed for home theater will be a challenge. Still, it's not like we aren't seeing more and more (and more!) people asking on these forums about LED projectors. We just need laser models to really hit the sub $3K forums hard. Maybe we will in a couple of years.

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On the mercury in the lamps, who cares if one pops once in a blue moon. I would be more concerned if I was working at the mercury lamp factory than as a homeowner given cell phone radiation, microwave oven radiation/EMFs, pop corn butter, radio/TV/etc. waves, WiFi, plastic, Roundup, pesticides, black mold and every thing else that will kill you via cancer or something else. My Honda had airbags were deadly (we had three at the time...well we have three now but only one former airbag issue one). My blood pressure medicine has been recalled in the last week or so for being contaminated/deadly. Scary to eat lettuce and other produce not to mention Chipotle's track record.

Is the panic over ever little thing a generational thing? I've seen the younger generation complain about a little mold in the shower and leaded ammunition. When I went through the same academy, we had to clean our own showers and wouldn't have dreamed about speaking up on lead in ammunition since we were just trying to secure our dream career. Now you have to pat their backside and give them a snack to stop the whining. (Not all but a growing number.)

When my government workplace was tested several years ago, it tested positive for PCBs, asbestos and mold in the walls/ceiling and carpet. One younger co-worker suddenly developed life threatening allergies (rushed to the hospital twice) after the findings came out even though the prior year and a half in the office he/she was as healthy as a horse. Admittedly when the boss was asked about the toxic work environment his response of "don't lick the walls or carpet" was not met with enthusiasm. We had a even less enthusiasm a year later when they moved us from our private individual offices (some with bathrooms/showers) in the toxic environment to a brand new building with tiny cubicles. The employee with the allergies was long gone before we were, and sadly so were my after lunch naps and extensive TV research during less busy work hours. (Near the end of a long long career, so don't judge me.)

A mercury Lamp pops and running out of the house to throw the projector into the yard, or throwing out the projector if mercury lamp based projector sales are banned....common sense? Maybe, but not for me. Years ago I stocked up on pesticides prior to several being banned. I stocked up on freon prior to the ban. Many...many years ago I had a relative who had a drum of DDT which he used for decades after the ban around his farm. At the time I thought the old guy was crazy. (Old age got him not the DDT.) I recently saw a piece on how mosquito netting with DDT sprayed on the netting would save a staggering number of lives in third world countries by combating mosquito bites and illnesses. I will not quote the number because it seemed unbelievable...think mill plus ion a year. Let's keep the egg shells firm and let kids/adults...suffer. Makes sense??? Maybe??? However, I would vote for saving people not birds. Makes sense??? Maybe???

I have four lamp based projector and spare lamps for only two of them. Please keep up the "ban" thread so I'll know when it is time to stock up on lamps.

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post #25 of 27 Old 12-06-2018, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
Eh... the death of lamp based projectors is one of those things that gets tossed out around here every few months right along with the death of the projector market as a whole. Those affordable 100” flatscreens are right around the corner... right?... riiiight?...
Indeed. I've been waiting for and hearing about how LED would send traditional bulbs packing for many years now. Ever since I got my first projector, the LED LG PA70g. And that was nearly 6 years ago! I thought since then we would have all manner of 1080p LED projectors at nice prices. Still waiting for that.

I would love a low cost bright quality LED 1080p projector but where are they? For now I am enjoying my BenQ 2050a traditional lamp projector the past several months. (Yeah I stayed with the BenQ because the picture is so nice and very clear focus - liking that aspect a lot.)

The bulb costs on projectors are something I think about, I don't agree with persons claiming the cost is a non-issue. $200+ cost is an issue for me at least. But it is what it is.

One thing I don't understand - today I was looking at a $20 LED flashlight putting out 1000 lumen. And look at the LED headlights on cars putting out lots of lumen. Why can't projector makers incorporate this into projectors? If cost is issue - traditional lamps are costly to manufacturers as well. Maybe some day projector makers will stop relegating LED to smaller/pico sized projectors in the lower price ranges, allowing easier fitment of larger LED light sources. At this point I give up on predicting when the jump to LED will occur.
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post #26 of 27 Old 12-06-2018, 07:17 PM
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I don't know the exact numbers but willing to bet the average 200w projector lamp puts out in excess of 10'000 lumens the loss in the projector is anywhere between 70% to 90%.

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post #27 of 27 Old 12-06-2018, 08:57 PM
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Mercury-based projectors could be banned

@indio22
From what I understand, it has less to do with the lumen output alone and more with quality of the light that LEDs can produce. LEDs which can achieve the color reproduction of common projector lamps are not as easy to make as the LEDs used in flashlights. Lamps for color evaluation in printing studios don’t use LEDs for this reason. It seems that manufacturers can get the needed color accuracy for lower lumen output, but maybe not for higher output. Also, I believe LED lights for projectors need to come from one source for each color, while flashlights can use several to achieve more lumens. I may be wrong though.


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