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Too many bulbs to choose from. What do I need?


Best Answer ClarkVent, July 06 2014 - 06:07 AM

To answer my own question (and for those that find this thread searching for the same questions):

 

Apparently, the production process of projector bulbs is an elaborate one. To make the product cheaper, some manufacturers take "shotcuts" causing the bulb to be either less safe, less bright or less durable or in the worst case a combination of the three. The problem is that it doesn't necessarily mean the cheaper bulb is guaranteed to be of lesser quality. Some last as long as the original bulbs and give the same quality image. But some experience catastrophic failure, like exploding inside the projector. Or they ruin your projector because they radiate heat in one direction only (while proper bulbs are made so visible light can only exit from the front, but infrared light - heat - can exit the lamp from every direction). And a lot of those cheap bulbs work fine for the first few hundred hours, then dim considerably to only 25% of the original brightness.

 

So, yes, you should try to avoid those bulbs.

 

That said, there are also 3rd party replacement lamps that do use quality bulbs made by Philips/Osram (two of the big players in manufacturing projector bulbs). Reviews of those lamps are generally quite good and prices are around 1/4th of OEM lamps. Are they as good as the original lamps? I really wouldn't know but again, looking at the reviews they at least aren't considered "cheap crap".

 

But (and this is a really big but), this doesn't necessarily mean that you automatically buy a quality product if it's original OEM. Apparently, these bulbs only have a limited shelf life when not used. You can only store them for a limited period of time before their quality degrades. I have no idea what happens with those lamps once they get beyond their expiration date. Are they destroyed? Are they sent back to the manufacturer? Are they refurbished? Or do they end up on the gray market? So caveat emptor. When buying an original OEM lamp from non official channels, try to find out how long these have been stored.

 

So to summarize, it does pay to buy cheaper lamps if you are able to verify the parts used and their age. If no indication is given about the bulb manufacturer, or if they list the bulb to be compatible with many other projectors, you should be very, very cautious.

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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   ClarkVent

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Posted July 05 2014 - 04:58 AM

I just recently bought a used projector (Hitachi ED-A100). The only reason I bought it is so I can watch the worldchampionship soccer on a big screen with my friends. According to the projector itself, the lamp only has 150 hours on it but I realize that number can be tampered with. So to make sure I'm prepared when the bulb goes, I want to buy a spare one.

 

Problem is, through the "official" channels (projector shops), the bulb is close to $300. But when I look on eBay, I see them for $70. Also, I see they are mostly being sold including the bulb housing, but also just the bulb alone.

 

So what's the difference between the "cheap" eBay bulbs and the bulbs I can buy at the store? And why would I need to buy the bulb with housing?

 

Thanks in advance.



#2 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 05 2014 - 08:01 AM

Bulb with housing is so you don't touch the bulb, at all. Buy OE, period.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   ClarkVent

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Posted July 05 2014 - 04:16 PM

Buy OE, period.

 

Why?



#4 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 05 2014 - 04:18 PM

Only way to know you aren't buying some cheap crap bulb.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 05 2014 - 04:26 PM

Myprojectorlamps.com has it for $200 and change.If that is too much to pay for a lamp...sell the projector.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   ClarkVent

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Posted July 06 2014 - 03:39 AM

Only way to know you aren't buying some cheap crap bulb.

 

How do you know they are cheap crap? Experience? Could you please explain what the difference is between the expensive bulbs and the cheap ones? If I look at the reviews for the official OEM bulbs, I see the same "these lamps are crap/bulb died after 100 hours/I would be better off with a cheap bulb" comments as I see with the cheaper bulbs.

 

So what makes a lamp "crap"? Do they use a different filament? Is the color off? Are they less bright? Do they use different materials?

 

If that is too much to pay for a lamp...sell the projector.

 

[Moderator edits. No need to attack answers given in a spirit of helping.] 

 

[...] All I'm asking is what the difference is between the cheap and expensive lamps. [...]I dont mind paying $200, $300, $400 or whatever for a replacement part - as long as I know I'm not throwing money away because I could have gotten the same thing for (a lot) less money.

 

I buy replacement parts for my equipment all the time. I've bought "cheap crap" many times. And many times it turned out they were of the same quality as the OEM stuff. Sometimes even better. Much better.

 

But this is the first time I've owned a projector. So I'm trying to inform myself by asking questions.

 

[...]



#7 of 11 OFFLINE   ClarkVent

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Posted July 06 2014 - 06:07 AM   Best Answer

To answer my own question (and for those that find this thread searching for the same questions):

 

Apparently, the production process of projector bulbs is an elaborate one. To make the product cheaper, some manufacturers take "shotcuts" causing the bulb to be either less safe, less bright or less durable or in the worst case a combination of the three. The problem is that it doesn't necessarily mean the cheaper bulb is guaranteed to be of lesser quality. Some last as long as the original bulbs and give the same quality image. But some experience catastrophic failure, like exploding inside the projector. Or they ruin your projector because they radiate heat in one direction only (while proper bulbs are made so visible light can only exit from the front, but infrared light - heat - can exit the lamp from every direction). And a lot of those cheap bulbs work fine for the first few hundred hours, then dim considerably to only 25% of the original brightness.

 

So, yes, you should try to avoid those bulbs.

 

That said, there are also 3rd party replacement lamps that do use quality bulbs made by Philips/Osram (two of the big players in manufacturing projector bulbs). Reviews of those lamps are generally quite good and prices are around 1/4th of OEM lamps. Are they as good as the original lamps? I really wouldn't know but again, looking at the reviews they at least aren't considered "cheap crap".

 

But (and this is a really big but), this doesn't necessarily mean that you automatically buy a quality product if it's original OEM. Apparently, these bulbs only have a limited shelf life when not used. You can only store them for a limited period of time before their quality degrades. I have no idea what happens with those lamps once they get beyond their expiration date. Are they destroyed? Are they sent back to the manufacturer? Are they refurbished? Or do they end up on the gray market? So caveat emptor. When buying an original OEM lamp from non official channels, try to find out how long these have been stored.

 

So to summarize, it does pay to buy cheaper lamps if you are able to verify the parts used and their age. If no indication is given about the bulb manufacturer, or if they list the bulb to be compatible with many other projectors, you should be very, very cautious.



#8 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 06 2014 - 08:38 AM

I didn't say "buy Hitachi made". Pretty sure Hitachi didn't make it anyway.As with DLP, cause it is simpler to figure out. You buy French made DLP. If it ain't French, you don't buy it.MPB is not OE. They buy the OE bulb though and refurb the carriage.This is the same procedure as buying my outdoor bulbs.can't think of their exact name...but inner bulb excites the outer bulb for intense light. Drop one...You are in the hospital.I could buy "who knows how they are made" on Amazon and Ebay for $25. Or buy known good ones at Lowes for $65.And those $65 bulbs...I've had them burn out in 24 hours. You box It up...send it to the manufacturer.

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 06 2014 - 08:56 AM

This is the same conversation had on various car forums about parts.We always reply "buy OE". We don't say "buy OEM". There is a difference. How many sites sell that projector lamp?How many of those sites buy an OE bulb? (By the way...Original Equipment means you buy the part that meets the original one in quality. That is all it means. OEM means you buy the manufacturer specific)The OM of your projector tells you what bulb was used. Then you cross reference that with Philips, Osram, Sylvania and whoever else made that bulb.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   ClarkVent

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Posted July 06 2014 - 09:10 AM

We always reply "buy OE". We don't say "buy OEM". There is a difference.

 

Ok. I was not aware of that. I thought you made a typo.

 

The OM of your projector tells you what bulb was used. Then you cross reference that with Philips, Osram, Sylvania and whoever else made that bulb.

 

Thanks. That's good advice.



#11 of 11 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 06 2014 - 09:32 AM

There is a reason for that.OE and OEM, like many terms, mean opposite what they used to. Take Virtually. Look it up.Anyway. For me...OE is the same part used in a manufacturer. OEM is the part specified by the manufacturer. As in, did they use Philips...or Osram? Like oil filters, that "same part used" could be Wix, Mobil or Fram/Champion.




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