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What exactly makes those projector bulbs worth $500 (1 Viewer)

Jackson L

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Nov 13, 2004
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I have always wondered why bulbs for projectors are so darn expensive and I have never recieved a straight answer. Are they made of some rare expensive material or are they just marking up the prices like they do with ink for printers?
 

Jimi C

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I have also wondered.. i can buy a standard 200 watt GE bulb for $2.. what makes projector bulbs so special?
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Well, i'm still a little shady myself, but from what I understand the bulbs used in projectors are extremely bright for their listed wattages.

The bulb in my InFocus X-1 is rated at 150 watts I think, but must burn extremely bright, bright enough to throw the image from 25' away (max) and last 4000 hours.

So, for a bulb that size to burn that long at that brightness level for so long, it's easy to see why these cost alot more than your average GE table lamp bulb. Plus you have to factor in the extreme temperatures these bulbs have to endure.

That's just to put it in the proper perspective for you.
 

Michael TLV

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Greetings

That's pretty much it ... economies of scale.

For instance, there really isn't that much mark up on the dealer end for this ... an example being a BenQ 8700 bulb. Dealer cost is $490 cdn and the Retail is $599 cdn.

Regards
 

Bob Maged

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Check out the price for a Sony Qualia bulb -- if you can afford $25000 for the PJ, what is another $4000 for the bulb?!?
 

brentl

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What happens when a new projector is just a little more expensive than the bulb itself??

For instance, Staples in Canada has the PB6100 for $750 after rebate, and a new bulb runs around $600!

I almost want to buy another one!

Brent
 

Leo Kerr

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On the other hand, it's also a very good principle for upgraditus... if it's cheaper to just replace the projector... who knows what's newer and better in the 1-3 years of lamp service?

Wasteful, I know, but an interesting idea... I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it when my lamp is ready to go.

Leo
 

ChrisWiggles

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Getting the color right on the bulb is first off very important, and they ARE very very bright. Do you know how much bulbs cost in film projectors? Thousands. Sometimes a lot more than that.

As noted, the Qualia uses an expensive bulb that is $3K for the replacement. You'd be kidding yourself if you thought a $2 bulb could reproduce the same spectral content and brightness as a proper projection bulb.
 

Leo Kerr

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Actually, Chris, it's an interesting little thing...

A 1500w Sylvania XBO xenon lamp used in, among other things, Christie lamp houses, sells over the net for $650-$900. But these are very different animals than go in projectors, because they have no optics whatsoever.

The 1900w xenon lamps used in the Christie Roadie S-12 projectors, however, go for about $4000. They do have optics in the lamp-house, and a rather higher order of magnitude of... precision.

Now, it'd be interesting to know what the 15kw xenon lamps used in Imax theaters cost..!

One thing that caugth my eye recently was that my first post was... truncated. It should have read something along these lines:





It should have been:

1. The lamps are, in essence, highly refined mercury lamps. They use a curious cocktail of mercury, thalium sulfide, elemental iodine, radioactive krypton gas, and a few other things. The contents are blended to make a relatively even color, brightness, et cetera.

Leo Kerr
 

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