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From a standpoint of cost, is it better to buy a lamp/bulb for a projector early in the lifecycle of the projector, or is it better to buy it when you actually need the bulb?


I have an Boxlight CD-455M. I know the stories of the bulbs blowing out on these units, but luckily, it hasn't happened to me yet. I know that eventually, I have to get a new bulb. Logic tells me to wait till the projector is discontinued and therefore is cheaper. If the unit as a whole is cheaper, then possibly the parts for it will be cheaper. Makes sense to me. But by doing this, do I risk the unit becomeing so old that parts for it are hard to come by? Making the bulbs a rarity? The skeptic in me knows the high price of rarity.


I ask this because at the rate I am going at, I won't need a new bulb for another 2 1/2 years (if the CD-455M doesn't blow up on me prematurely). $300-$400 invested in a bulb that may not get used until then, when it may cost significantly less, is quite a costly price for a being prepared with a replacement bulb in hand.


So veteran owners of projectors, when it comes to buying bulbs, is it your experience that "sooner is better then later?"
 

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Bulb prices are pretty much a set expense that doesn't seem to vary much over the life of a projector. There does seem to be a relationship between bulb prices and the original MSRP on the projector, but the price per hour of operation is also an important part of the equation. In the case of the LT150 the bulb price is fairly high on a per hour basis. Bulbs for the other Plus clones are slightly less expensive which leads to the question of why the NEC bulb costs more? How bulb prices are set is a question that no projector manufacture has ever answered to my satisfaction.


When it comes to when in the projector life cycle to purchase a bulb, that is a tough one. I've seen some variation of bulb prices for a particular projector, but the price usually stays within a narrow margin. If a bulb starts to become difficult to find the price may go up, but by that point there will be new projectors on the market that will offer higher light output, longer bulb life, and more resolution.


[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 08-03-2001).]
 
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