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Considerations when purchasing a projector

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

When looking for a new projector, there are always a few things to consider. How much money do you want to spend? How often are you doing to use the projector? What are you looking for quality-wise?

There are three common types of projectors: LED, laser, and lamp. The oldest and most common projector type is the lamp projector. It's also the cheapest option. The other options are LED and laser projectors. They cost a little more but, overall, are the better options.


Overall, lamp projectors have a higher "total cost of ownership" than LED and laser projectors. The average lifespan of the bulb in a lamp projector is about 10,000 hours. Replacing the bulb every other year can become an unnecessary cost. For example, the average price of a JVC projector replacement bulb is between $400 and $600. If you're looking for a cheap projector upfront, the lamp projector is the way to go.

Life Span

An LED projector is better than a laser projector which is better than a lamp projector. These projectors average a life span of 30,000 hours, 20,000 hours, and 10,000 hours respectively.

Let's do some basic math to show just how long these projectors can last. Say you watch your projector every day for an average of five hours, or 35 hours a week.

At 5 hours a day:

  • It would take about 286 days (or <9.5 months) before your bulb would need replacing on the lamp projector.

  • It would take about 571 days (or <19 months) before your laser projector bulbs need replacing.

  • It would take about 857 days (or >28 months) before replacing your LED projector bulbs.

Remember that it is not recommended for customers to replace their laser and LED bulbs.

Side note: some LED bulbs are making their way to having a lifespan of 60,000 hours. At 5 hours a day, that's about 1,714 days (>56 months/4.6 years).

As long as you keep your projector from dust, overheating, and any injuries, you can make it last a little longer.


Other Factors to Consider
  • Brightness

    • lamp: 2000+ ANSI lumens

    • laser: 3500+ ANSI lumens

    • LED: up to 2000 ANSI lumens

If you're thinking of using a standard projector for a space bigger than a living room, you'll need to consider a commercial projector. The lumens needed for bigger rooms (meeting rooms to auditoriums) range between 4000 and 5000+ lumens.

  • Color Performance

    • both lamp and laser projectors offer the recommended color standard (Rec. 709).

    • LED projectors, however, offer a color saturation up to 125% of the norm (Rec. 709).

  • Power-up Times

    • lamp projectors need time to turn on and off as they have to warm up and cool down.

    • laser and LED projectors can instantly turn on and off.

  • Sizing

    • lamp projectors are considered a "medium" size, so they are bigger than an LED projector (considered compact) but smaller than a laser projector (considered large).

A little safety tidbit: lamp projectors generally contain mercury. ⚠️

There is always a lot to consider when purchasing new equipment. If you're not sure what you want or need, reach out to us, and we'll help you find the perfect projector! You can read more about projectors here.


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