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I just acquired my first LCD projector, an Epson ELP-3000 (Don't laugh, it was 100% free). This unit is only rated at 250 lumens and I was wondering if replacement bulbs are available that are brighter, or are there other factors involved in the total light output of the projectors? This unit is in perfect shape but just doesn't put out enough light.
 

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Generally speaking a bulb that is twice as bright will allow the projector to produce twice as much light. However, for a given type of bulb to produce twice as much light means that the projector would have to dissipate more than twice as much thermal energy. That is everything else being held equal. The result would be that the projector would overheat and if it didn't shut itself off, it may melt. At least any plastic in the projector might melt.


One thing to note is that most projectors are rated at a given brightness with a brand new bulb. As a bulb ages the light output decreases and will often drop by 50% or more by the end of it's rated life. If the bulbs for this projector are still available and not too expensive, you might try one and see if the light output is increased enough to make it useful.



How much light a projector puts out is tied to how efficient the optical engine the projector is built around. The more efficient the optical engine the better. Achieving high optical efficiently isn't easy and really bright projectors are expensive for that reason and because they often use more expensive components to get the high optical efficiencies. Of course, as new technology is developed it slowly finds its way into more budget oriented products, but that can take several years.


Another thing to keep in mind is that old LCD projectors have really really bad contrast. The difference between black and white may not be very much and that's one of the primary properties of a projector that makes it a good or not so good video display device. A projector with low contrast will always look very washed out. The colors will look dull and basically the image will not be very pleasing to the eye. If this is the case for this projector, you should consider yourself lucky you got such a good price. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
 
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