11. Lamp vs. Laser Projectors1

Lamp vs. Laser Projectors – Which to Choose

Here, we’ll walk you through the six steps necessary to respond to the current rage: lamp or laser?

There are many ways to maximize the performance of your projector, most of which revolve around lamp care. There were a few straightforward but irksome guidelines to abide by in order to prolong the lamp life of the projector, such as “Be sure to cool your projector down before packing it up!”‘ or ‘In order to lower lamp temperature, keep your projector somewhere cool!

Laser Projector Advantages And Disadvantages Lamp Projector

Before choosing a projector to purchase, you will need to take a lot of factors into account. Considerations must be made for elements like lifespan, upkeep, and functionality. To assist you in making a decision, we have distilled some of the benefits and drawbacks of laser projectors and lamp projectors.

Laser Projectors


  • They have a long lifespan. A few can take 30,000 hours.
  • They have more colors and are brighter, which results in images of excellent quality.
  • Excellent method for preserving space when not in use.
  • does not need to be replaced frequently.
  • Does not overheat


  • Costlier than average are laser projectors.
  • They are noisier.
  • It can be challenging to install them.
  • Lamp projectors

Lamp Projectors


  • They are affordable
  • Easy to use


  • Shorter life spans
  • Needs lamp replacement
  • Not very bright as compared to laser projectors
  • Continuous use causes overheating and necessitates cooling down.

Why Laser?

Put simply, laser-based projection offers longer lasting brightness, lower maintenance and improved color and contrast over similar lamp-based models.

Present-day projectors use solid state lasers, which have deep black levels, wide color gamuts, and never need lamp replacement. Sure, replacement lamps are now less expensive, but changing these lamps also requires labor. For instance, you might need to rent a lift if the projector is located high up in a church. You won’t really save any money if you repeat this process three or four times.

Additionally, because they don’t overheat like conventional bulb projectors, these new laser light source projectors are a particularly good option for heavy use and “all day” applications. Their color and white brightness is also maintained for a lot longer than lamp-based projection. Additionally, they provide more installation flexibility because some of them can be mounted anywhere within a 360-degree radius.

What’s The Catch?

That being said, cost is the catch. However, the cost substantially levels out when amortized over time. In the end, the laser projector might appear to be considerably less expensive if you put a value on frustration. If you need to make a case, Sony has a helpful tool that compares unit, maintenance, and electricity costs called the total cost of ownership wizard.

UPDATE as of 2021: In the last three to four years, prices have greatly leveled off and laser projection is quickly establishing itself as the standard. Although there are still projectors that use lamps, the market is unquestionably shifting toward laser technology.

Benefits of Laser Projection

  • Low to no lamp replacement or maintenance costs
  • 20,000 hour lamp life = 8 hours a day 5 days a week 50 weeks a year for ten years
  • Laser lamps don’t slowly fail the way lamps do
  • Precision color accuracy, stability
  • Instant on and off
  • No cooling-off period required
  • No mercury
  • Greater energy efficiency
  • Maintains brightness over the course of its lifespan; if it is 5,000 lumens right now, it will be very similar in two to three years.

Cons of Laser Projection

  • Not many…..
  • Higher price – typical cost difference is between $1,000 and $2,500, depending on the model

Benefits of Lamp Projection

  • Affordably priced
  • May be more cost effective for a low use projector
  • Familiar color quality, familiar performance
  • Lamps are replaceable, lasers are not
  • Replacement lamps are no longer sold at hostage taking prices (many under $150)

Cons of Lamp Projection

  • Requires more maintenance
  • Picture color and brightness will fade and change over time
  • Lamps are replaceable, but do add cost ($90-500 or so)

About 30 solid-state laser projectors with starting prices under $5,000 are available from Projector People.

11. Lamp vs. Laser Projectors2

The Superiority Of A Laser Projector Over A Lamp Projector

There are many factors to take into account when looking for the best projector before deciding which is more effective.

For instance, when compared to the 20,000+ hours that lamp projectors require to dim down from full brightness to their lifespan of 2000–3000 hours, laser projectors are more convenient and a great way to save money.

Even though laser projectors are expensive, they are durable and simple to maintain. The replacement of the bulbs in lamp projectors is a continuous maintenance task that can be expensive.

Whether you plan to use it inside or outside, you should also think about brightness. A laser projector, like the LG CineBeam Projector, has a light output of more than 3500 lumens, which is more than twice as bright as a lamp’s 2000 lumens.

Laser projectors are the superior option because of all these factors, but the best projector for you will depend on your comfort level.

Are Laser Projectors The Best?

It’s among the best projector technologies, based on some of its key characteristics. Regarding entertainment, laser projectors have a huge 150-inch screen that can be used for a larger audience at homes, schools, theaters, churches, and many other platforms.

Additionally, they have special built-in features like speakers and smart technology that make programming and operating them simple for anyone. Some laser projectors have a lifespan of up to 30,000 hours.

Decide How Much Colour And Contrast You Need

Compared to lamp projectors, laser projectors offer a wider variety of colors and a sharper contrast between hues. You’ll find this laser light source benefit to be a useful feature if your projector will be used to display intricate images or video.

A wider color spectrum will always look more impressive than its smaller counterpart, but if you don’t actually need this benefit in your home theater or office projector, it might make more financial sense for you to choose a lamp projector with a smaller color spectrum.

A lamp projector might be sufficient for sporadic use when viewing straightforward presentations, documents, and spreadsheets.

Work Out How Bright Your Space Is

The top end of the market is where laser projectors first appear because they are a relatively new technology. High brightness is what this means in terms of projectors. They often have a maximum brightness of 20,000 lumens or more. This won’t be required in most office settings.

This level of projector simply won’t produce a clear image in darker meeting spaces. For displaying a bright image with the best clarity and detail in most boardrooms and meeting rooms, you only need about 5,000 lumens. However, you might need 10,000 lumens or more to achieve the same results if you have a very large screen or you’re in a bigger conference space, auditorium, or lecture theater, and laser might end up being a more economical choice in the long run.

The assumption is that home theater laser projectors will be used in lounges or designated dark rooms, so they aren’t made to be extremely bright. Brightness is almost irrelevant for home cinema in these rooms because they typically block out a significant amount of ambient light.

However, laser does offer exceptionally bright whites, high contrast, and obvious benefits on color-brightness that aren’t apparent on the spec sheet, so we’d still advise a full demo of a range of projectors before discounting laser.

Establish How Often And For How Long You Will Use Your Projector

It should be simple to respond to this. Unlike their lamp counterparts, laser projectors have a much longer lifespan, so you won’t need to replace the lamp as frequently. While lamp life on a lamp projector can be as low as 2,500 hours, laser projectors typically have a lifespan of 20,000 hours; more on the costs of lamp replacement later.

If you’ve ever owned a projector, you know that the warranty on the lamp and the warranty on a replacement lamp are separate from the warranty on the projector itself. The 2,500-hour running time isn’t always guaranteed.

The vast majority of laser projectors come with a 5-year warranty, and in some cases, usage-hour guarantees, because manufacturers are so confident in the long lifespan of lasers.

It can be challenging to comprehend just how long that 20,000-hour lifespan is because we don’t frequently think of hours in counts of more than 24 at a time. In other words, it’s the same as continuously using the device for two years and four months. The projector’s lifespan would be ten years even if it were used eight hours a day, five days a week, throughout the year.

This lifespan is ideal for industrial projectors that need to be durable and last a long time. However, if your projector is more of an incidental tool that is only used occasionally and is only necessary when necessary, a lower lifespan may be acceptable.

Do You Enjoy Waiting Around?

You may spend a lot of time turning your projector on and off again if you frequently give lectures or schedule meetings throughout the day. This is a problem with old lamp projectors because the process is frequently delayed by a few seconds or even close to a minute each time the lamp needs to heat up in order to function.

This won’t be much of a problem for you if your projector will only be used occasionally or won’t be turned on and off frequently. A laser projector with “instant on” capabilities, on the other hand, will be a great help if you frequently stop and restart the machine because it enables you to immediately get the projector’s best performance.

The Location Of The Projector

For lamp projectors to continue operating at the required level, routine maintenance is necessary. The projector’s lamps will need to be replaced, which will be a major expense in addition to the projector’s original cost and will be very inconvenient. Regular cleaning is also necessary for the device’s internal filters, which keep dust from obstructing the mechanism.

Given that they don’t have to deal with lamps or filters, laser projectors are free of these issues. An easier-to-maintain laser projector might be more cost-effective for you in the long run if your projector will be in a hard-to-reach location, especially when you take the cost of AV technicians into account.

What’s Your Budget?

If money is not an issue for you, we advise you to choose the best model you can find, which is typically a laser projector. But the vast majority of companies and people will face financial constraints.

In order to make the best choice, you must weigh your needs against your priorities and determine which of the features we’ve already discussed are worth the extra cost and which ones you won’t actually need.


Lamp-based projection is at the bottom of the cost scale as a result of a downward industry-wide trend. Why the change? At this time in the history of the sector, manufacturers are shifting away from a business model where customers had to replace lamps and filters to one where projector units were replaced as a whole.

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