Tech Tip: The Pitfalls of Aftermarket Lamps


Tips from our experts


The Pitfalls of Aftermarket Lamps


In a world where laser illuminated projectors are fast becoming the norm, there are still many lamp-based projectors owned by our customers, and DP remains committed to assuring every one of those units delivers maximum performance and reliability for the long term.  In that regard, we want to alert owners of lamp-based projectors to the perils of purchasing and installing aftermarket 3rd party lamps. We understand the temptation - the cost of non-DP certified lamps can be attractive; however, lower cost often does not present the best value. Using such lamps can place your projector at risk and will void your warranty. That being the case, non-DP certified lamps are not suitable for use in any of our projectors and we simply cannot be responsible for lamps that we have not vetted and approved.
We have witnessed first-hand the serious damage that some aftermarket lamps can cause to projectors. This damage can be expensive to repair and in extreme cases, has even resulted in projectors being declared a total loss. Aftermarket lamps can have the following issues:
  • Inferior UV filters – inadequate filtration of UV light can cause permanent damage to the projector color wheels (which can melt) and critical optical components, cracking integrator rods, fold mirrors, and prisms.
  • Lack of thermal couplers installed in-series with lamp wiring – this results in insufficient fan speed, creating excessive heat which can melt fans, wiring, and color wheels, or shatter UV filters and internal optics.
  • Defective lamp timers - inhibiting “Lamp end-of-life notifications and alarms”. Inadvertently running lamps beyond their rated hours of operation creates the potential for lamp explosions, which often causes damage to optical components including color wheels and integrator rod assemblies.
  • Lamp anode and cathode wiring or connectors that plug into the lamp driver installed backwards/upside down – causing failures of the lamp driver assembly or the DC power supply.  Replacement of those parts, along with the lamp will be required to restore functionality.

The pictures below provide examples of the damage non-DP Certified lamps can cause to customer-owned projectors. Clearly, the best solution is to always use manufacturer-certified lamps. For further information about purchasing DP-certified lamps or to consider upgrading to a lamp free - laser illuminated projector, e-mail!

Inferior uV-IR filter on aftermarket lamp Color Wheel adhesive compromised causing hub to separate from the motor Hole burnt through the projector color wheel