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Lamp vs Laser Projectors, What’s the Difference? Let’s Find Out

Projectors have been the popular way to project large images for decades, and lamps have usually been at the heart of multimedia or data projectors as a light source. Even as projector lamp technologies have evolved, they have still been an essential element in the ability to project their images on the screen. 

But this is changing rapidly as solid-state projection light sources like lasers have taken the industry by storm. These laser-powered projectors use an LED-based laser to project their images and offer long-lasting brightness. Both lamp and laser projection technologies have their pros and cons, but if you are unsure which light source is right for you, and are looking for an honest overview, look no further! 

So, which projector should you get?

Should you adopt newer technology or stick with the lamp-based projector technology that has been around for many years now?

Team Actis is here to help you decide which projector is the best fit for your needs. Before we delve into the details, here are some key differences, for those who are in a hurry to decide which train to jump aboard — Laser Projectors vs. Lamp Projectors

A few key differences
Lamp Projectors
Laser Projectors
They offer compact design options  and lower machine sound They have thermal elements that are slightly larger and noisier. 
The initial investment cost is low The initial investment cost is high
The total cost of ownership can be high depending on requirements like a lamp replacement, electric consumption etc. The total cost of ownership is much lower during the lifespan for a laser projector, with a reduction in high electricity bills and other additional set-up expenses
Full brightness is achieved with easy lamp replacement, but the lamps inevitably dim (after almost 2000 hours of life), affecting brightness They have an absolute black, higher contrast ratio and provide stable colour rendition over their lifespan (20,000 hours is common across most of them).
These projectors require regular upkeep, like keeping the projector in a cool location to reduce lamp temperature It has a virtually maintenance-free operation and can be turned on and off instantly
If a lamp fails, the owner has to bear the costs for lamp replacement, besides losing the projection immediately With a lifespan of about 25,000 hours, the need for lamp replacement is cut out, by 10-12 times, including the labour cost
These are the best fit for scenarios where there is intermittent use of the projector and budget constraints Cost-effective AV upgrade solution for demanding applications requiring many hours of daily use, or even 24×7 operation

Understanding CAPEX and OPEX for both types of projectors

The purchase price of lamp-based projectors is way less than the initial cost price of a laser projector. But although the initial investment in laser projection technology is high, one can look at it as delivering better value in the long run.

  • In the longer run, you will experience lower electricity bills, as laser projectors are power-efficient
  • Maintenance costs are usually lower, leading to substantial saving over its lifecycle
  • Take into consideration that the upkeep of laser projection only requires cleaning fans, filters, or lenses for optimal performance, but it eliminates the need for lamp replacements
  • Laser engines can sometimes have a defect, in case of which they are sent back to the factory for repair by expert technicians
  • Laser projection is a good investment if you’re on a budget, they need less power, and yet create better, brighter outcomes in terms of exact colours and superb brightness
  • In terms of longevity, most lamp projectors, even after several years of innovations, have at best up to 6000 hours of lifespan. Laser projectors, on the other hand, offer around 20,000 hours or more of lifespan
  • As opposed to lamp projectors that can take a substantial amount of time to light up, laser projectors have instant on/off capabilities, making them a great choice for ‘all-day’ applications
  • If a higher price tag is not a factor, then settling for a laser projector should be a no-brainer choice for improving your projection experience

Having said that, lamp-based projectors still have their advantages and may be better suited for your application scenarios. If your use of the projector is not extensive, mobility is a priority or you prefer a more affordable projection solution, then a lamp-based system may be perfect for you.

Are you ready to go laser or stick to traditional lamp projectors?

Lamp vs Laser Projectors

When it comes to deciding between lamp-based and laser projectors, the final choice rests in your hands and may vary depending on your application. Nevertheless, being a well-informed customer goes a long way. We hope this has helped inform you of important factors such as colour quality, power-up time, mechanical noise, price point and longevity that come into play while making your purchase decision.

In case you have any other questions on whether laser or lamp projection technology is right for you, Team Actis would be happy to help! Whether you need one for your business or home entertainment needs, we’re just a call away.