Projector lamps explained
Is it a bulb or is it a lamp? What’s the difference?
Its part terminology and part who uses what word to describe what they require, a bulb or a lamp.
There is a difference.
A projector bulb is exactly that, the bulb. If you purchase a bulb you will need to, very carefully, fit that bulb into the bulb housing. It is quite a technical procedure and not one we recommend.
A projector lamp is the complete unit, bulb + housing. The housing will already have the bulb fitted, so you simply have to remove the old housing from the projector and fit the new one. This method is far more convenient than fitting a bulb only.
Now onto the lamp itself. You will see all manner of terms used to describe the lamp being sold; genuine, genuine original, genuine compatible, original this, original that. It can get quite confusing.
There are just 3 types of lamp you can purchase.
- Original – Manufacturers genuine lamp. This means the whole unit, including the bulb and the housing are original, supplied by the manufacturer, such as Epson, NEC, Optoma etc
- VIVID – Genuine Inside. This means all VIVID lamps are fitted with a genuine bulb in a compatible housing.
- Compatible – This means a compatible bulb (3rd party) inside a compatible housing (3rd party).
VIVID lamps have exactly the same bulb as the projector manufacturer’s use in their projectors. The major manufacturers in the projector lamp industry are; Philips, Osram, Ushio and Phoenix.
One major shock for customers who need to buy a new lamp is the cost. The technology and engineering that goes into the making of a projector lamp is anything but cheap. Indeed, the machinery required to produce a single lamp can cost the manufacturer hundreds of thousands of pounds, even millions of pounds. This why there are only a handful of major manufacturers producing high quality, Original projector lamps Worldwide.
All projector lamps also have different ignition and running voltages and wattages. These configurations produce different brightness levels (ANSI lumens rates). Therefore, the machines that manufacture projector lamps are complex and expensive to maintain. They also have to be recalibrated for each specific new lamp setting. There is no short way around this process if the manufacturer wants to produce a high quality projector lamp. This all adds to the cost of the final product.
To help keep costs to a minimum, some projector manufacturers have teamed up and use the same lamp in all of their projectors, so the same lamp could fit several models and manufacturers’ projectors.
VIVID lamps offer the perfect balance. This means you need not have to pay what can amount to hundreds of pounds more for a genuine lamp without compromising on quality. Every VIVID lamp carries a genuine bulb, exactly the same as the original manufacturer uses, so peace of mind without the expense.