How to replace a projector lamp

It's just another day of enjoying your Projector or Rear Projection TV when all of a sudden you see the dreaded lamp warning indicator telling you it will be time soon to replace the projector lamp. With these simple steps, you will learn how to replace a projector lamp and be back to enjoying your projector or TV in no time.

Step 1: gather the necessary tools

Luckily, you'll only need a manual screwdriver to remove the panel. You will also want to have a soft, non-abrasive cloth handy to help avoid any contact with your fingers and the lamp assembly. A Micro-Fiber Cleaning Cloth is recommended.

Step 2: turn off TV or projector

After the unit has cooled down properly, remove the power cord from the outlet and the unit completely.

Step 3: remove lamp compartment door

The lamp compartment on projectors is usually located underneath the projector unit. For Rear Projection TVs, the lamp compartment should be located in the rear towards the bottom left or right side of the TV. 2-4 screws will be holding the compartment in place. Removed the screws and the lamp compartment door.

Step 4: remove lamp assembly

Carefully pull out the lamp assembly and disconnect any power cords that may still be connected to the lamp assembly. Put it aside and don't get it confused with your new lamp!

Step 5: clean lamp compartment

Dust gets everywhere and while you have the projector open, use a soft cloth or micro-fiber cleaning cloth to remove any loose dust from the lamp compartment.

Step 6: insert new lamp assembly

Carefully reconnect any power cables to the new lamp if present and slide the new lamp into the compartment in the same orientation that the original lamp came out.

Step 7: close lamp compartment door

Set the lamp compartment door back into place and securely screw in the door without screwing it in too tightly.

Step 8: reset the lamp timer

Instructions on how to do this should be covered by the instruction manual.

Step 9: done!

Enjoy your projector or TV again and make sure you have a backup lamp handy in case the lights go out unexpectedly. To maximize the potential life of your projector lamp we recommend you read this document.

Avoid overheating of the lamp

The discharge temperature of all the projector lamps is very high since it involves electric arc discharge. This ultimately leads to potential damage to the electrode which deteriorates in its performance gradually. So the first tip is to avoid overheating of the lamp. Some projectors are fitted with thermostats that automatically shut down the lamp after a peak allowable temperature is reached while others have to be switched off manually. Never switch the lamp off by disconnecting the power cord! It will affect the required cooling down period, so wait before you unplug.

Operating the projector in "Economy mode"

All projectors come with a built in 'Economy Mode' which economizes the life of the lamp by decreasing the brightness. It projects the images with a brightness that is optimum rather than maximum. An illustration would perhaps help: if the lamp is operating in 2000 lumens and the life is rated at 1500 hours, it can be increased to 1700 hours by operating it at 1800 lumens which is possible by operating it the economy mode. Increase your lamp's life expectancy by decreasing lumens.

Don't move or shake your projector

We strongly recommend that you do not move the projector when on or when shutting down. This will damage the electrode or the filament and might even cause the lamp to burst.

Your projector needs air in the room

Heat dissipation is one of the most important factors that influence the life of the projector lamp. It is therefore mandatory to keep the projector in a place where there is sufficient air for circulation and some considerable space for venting the heat. Keeping the projector away from walls will help to some extent. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and if possible enhance the cooling by artificial cooling or air conditioning.

Installing a projector lamp

Worn out projector lamps need to be replaced by new ones which are either OEM or alternatives. Great care should be taken when replacing a lamp and should never be done without consulting the user's manual. Replacements can be done as bare bulbs or as bulbs with housing. Bulbs are in general very fragile and may burst if not properly handled; one of the vital steps is to avoid 'skin contact' with the bulb making it mandatory to wear a glove while handling it. Installing the bulb with housing is a good advice since it always fits the projector in the best way possible. For more information read how to replace a projector lamp.

Climatic conditions

Your projector need to be in an atmosphere that is climate controlled. It should basically be free from dust and suspended dirt. Extreme hot conditions as inside a car might tend to prove hazardous if the projector is switched on immediately afterwards. The lamp can burst due to the extreme temperatures. It becomes mandatory to leave the projector in a cool place for a while for it to attain the room temperature and work efficiently.

Carry a spare bulb

It is advisable to carry a spare bulb with you when you are to make a presentation. Even if there are some lamp hours left, it might let you down unexpectedly. So we recommend to always carry a spare lamp along with the manual and some technical insight into the replacement procedure.


In general it is expected that a projector lamp is functioning properly. Yet it can happen that some lamps do not reach the number of operating hours indicated by the projector manufacturer. A projector lamp is a consumable. Even with proper use and maintenance, it occurs that a lamp fails sooner than indicated. Neither the maximum lifetime nor the performance of the lamp can be 100% guaranteed, as external factors may have a negative influence on the lifetime of the projector and its lamp.