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Classroom Projector Buyer's Guide - Operating Cost

Lamp Replacement

Just like any light bulb, projector bulbs have an expected operating time, called lamp life. Its value is expressed in hours and represents the number of hours before the lamp is at half its original brightness.

The expected life of a lamp will vary based on the lamp technology and the projector; however, most of today's projectors offer between 2000 and 5000 hours. The lamp's success rate is based on a bell curve, so that a majority of lamps will meet the lamp life hours specified. Some lamps will fail sooner and this is part of the acceptable operating range of the rating.

Projectors that are used three to five hours per day in a clean, relatively dust-free environment with proper air ventilation, have the greatest likelihood of lasting through its entire rated lamp life. Lamp replacement costs should be factored into the overall maintenance costs of owning a projector.

If you intend to ceiling or platform mount the projector, give consideration to the need to access the lamp model in the event of a lamp failure in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to replace the lamp.

Filter Replacement

If your projector has air filters, be sure to service them as recommended by the manufacturer. Air filters accumulate dust and this dust can reduce the air flow that cools the projector during operation. Over-heating can damage the projector and/ot reduce lamp life. In the event of a ceiling or platform mounting, ensure you have access to the filter paneld to save time during replacement.

Projectors require little maintenance other than replacing lamps and cleaning filters, if any. Some DLP projectors do not require filters. If you operate them in a relatively dust free environment and avoid overheating, you can expect relatively trouble free operation. If your projectors are networked, you can centralize the monitoring and maintenance and better manage the up-time of your projectors. Networking also gives you the ability to detect the removal of a projector from the network giving you the potential for reducing loss due to theft.