Older projector bulbs are identified by an ANSI Code, which is typically 3-4 letters imprinted directly on the bulb itself ("XYZ" in the example photo").
Newer projector bulbs will have a bulb part # inscribed on the item ("1A.12345.001" in the example photo) or can be searched with the Projector Model #.
Please enter one of these codes into the search box below:
Projector Light Bulbs Customer Reviews
Westinghouse 20 watt 120 volt MR16 Bi-Pin Base 3050K Natural White Flood
Bought on Amazon and delivered in 2 days. Exactly as advertised.
Plusrite 35 watt 12 volt MR16 Bi-Pin Base Warm White Flood #FMW
Love these, work great, use for ceiling lights
Sylvania 50 watt 12 volt MR16 Bi-Pin Base Narrow 3000K Natural White Flood #EXZ
Lake Oswego, OR
Great product! Excellent communication and service! Many thanks!
Although they have since been replaced with digital cameras and high-tech recording devices, we once used video and photo projectors to display our most treasured memories. Though films and photographs are no longer shot this way, projector bulbs are still available to preserve the photos and videos that were.
It is a common question if projector lamps and projector bulbs are different, but they are actually the same. The light source is usually called the lamp, but is technically the bulb.
What is a Projector Bulb?
A projector bulb is described in technical terms as an ultra-high pressure arc lamp. The way it works is by pressurized mercury vapor filling the arc gap inside the bulb and the lamp sending an electrical current through the gap. The vapor is then lit from the current and produces an extremely bright light which is shone onto an LCD (liquid-crystal display) or DLP (digital light processing) panel which then produces the images.
LCD panels break down the light into various individual colors by using a prism. A signal is then sent through the small LCD panels and the lens of the bulb to project the image onto the screen. DLP projectors have a spinning color wheel that the light beams through onto a chip that has several mirrors. The color is filtered and then beamed onto the screen.
Projector Bulb Uses
Although they are considered to be an older technology, projectors still have many uses today! They are often used in classrooms, conference rooms, and churches during presentations. They can also be seen being used recreationally on camping trips or outdoors where TVs would be inconvenient. Most projectors today are either digital or computer based and are used mainly in theater settings.
How Long do Projector Bulbs Last?
As with any light bulb, the expected life of a projector bulb varies based on the technology and the projector itself. However most projector bulbs are rated around 2000 hours. If it’s operated under normal conditions the lamp can be expected to last its entire rated life or longer.
There are steps you can take to help your projector lamp last as long as possible, such as using economy mode and avoiding turning the projector off and on rapidly. One of the most important ones is ventilation for the bulb. Because of the electrical current constantly passing through the bulb, it can overheat and burn out very quickly therefore it is important to let it air out on a consistent basis. It’s best to mount your projector in a place where there is ventilation on all sides as well as vacuuming regularly to remove any dust and dirt that would constrict the air flow.
Best Bulbs for Your Projector
When it comes to picking out your projector bulb there are several options to choose from, so make sure you are picking the one that is best for your needs!
The most common projector bulbs are metal halide and UHP which use mercury vapor to produce light. While common there have been problems with the vapor leaking through hairline cracks in the lamp. Because of this, manufactures continue to work on improving the design to make it safer and more reliable.
LED projector light bulbs are a newer design that is popular for people wanting to avoid mercury leakage. LEDs do not have a filament which helps to last much longer than others. They are mercury free and do not require any fan making it much quieter when operating. They are unfortunately not as bright as other light bulbs but are being improved every day.
Laser projectors are growing fast in popularity because they are similar to LED projectors but are able to shine much brighter than LED lights. The light bulbs use red, green and blue lasers to create and better contrast and sharper color. The higher lumen output makes these projectors perfect for larger venues such as churches, theaters and schools. They are also extremely energy efficient and can last much longer than other lamps.
How to Change a Projector Bulb
As with any bulb it is recommended to have some knowledge of how to safely and properly replace a projector bulb. In many cases your projector should come with an owner’s manual that will have instructions for how to remove and replace the projector lamp, but in case yours is missing this info here are a few simple steps to follow:
First find out what bulb you need. An easy way of doing this is to use our handy bulb finder and enter in the old bulb’s ANSI code or projector model number and our system will pull up all the matching bulbs we offer. The ANSI code will typically be a list of letters and numbers on the base of the bulb.
Carefully remove the bulb by unscrewing the panel that protects the lamp on your projector. The panel can usually be located on the side or bottom of your projector. If there is any dirt and dust inside make sure to wipe it out with a cloth to help prolong your light bulb’s life.
If needed, take apart the housing around the old bulb and keep track of which piece goes where so that it can easily be put back together. However, many of the bulbs we offer come with the housing already so that it can be installed without the hassle.
Once the new bulb is installed assemble the housing pieces exactly the way they were before and insert it back into the projector. Make sure to reset your projector’s lamp counter so that it knows it’s been replaced. Turn on your projector and enjoy!
Projector Bulb Cost
A well-known shock to many people when purchasing a projector bulb is the price. However, there is a good reason for the extra expense. Projector bulbs are designed much differently than other bulbs and operate in a specific way. The technology that goes into making the bulb is definitely not cheap. There are also different kinds of projector lights that each operate a different way making the machines that create them expensive to maintain.
Despite the price it is important to know that the few manufacturers who still make projector bulbs put great care and precision into them. Therefore you are ensured of getting the best quality of lights possible.