Who makes DLP lamps?
There are only a few trusted manufacturers of DLP lamps: Philips, Osram, and Matsushita (Panasonic in the US). The most dependable and reliable brands seem to be Philips and Osram, with Philips in the lead as a pioneer of UHP lighting technology. These few manufactures produce lamps for Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and other name brand television makers.
How does a DLP Lamp work?
DLP lamps are precharged with about 15,000 volts. That electrical charge ignites mercury gas inside the lamp. The easiest way to describe the lamp is a cross between an incandescent bulb and a florescent lamp. There is no actual filament wire inside the lamp, just wires that carry electrical current into mercury vapor located in an arc tube. This means DLP lamps will fail continuity tests like florescent lamps.
How long do DLP lamps usually last?
DLP Lamps manufactured by Philips and Osram have the best reliability. Older lamps will last from 1,000-2,000 hours, while newer lamps will last 6,000-7,000 hours. This translates to anywhere from less than 1 year to up to 4 years, depending on your useage and the type of lamp you have. There are bad brands out there, and companies that "remanufacture" lamps. Stay away from those companies! Those lamps may cost a lot less, but will not last as long. Expect to pay about $120-$150 for an average UHP Lamp. Discount Merchant carries Philips 132W E22 lamps for just $109.99.
How easy is it to replace a lamp?
Instead of spending $200 for the whole unit, you can easily replace just the lamp. Some people call this the "bulb-only solution." Almost all lamp replacement relies on the same principle: remove the ballast wires from the lamp, then swap out the lamp, then reverse the proceedure. It can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on your personal dexterity with a screw driver, but replacing a lamp yourself is very straight forward. I can do it in 5 minutes!
Whether you have a Samsung, RCA, or Mitsubishi, swapping out the lamp is very easy. The ballast wires don't even have to go in any particular order because most DLPs use AC (alternating current, for those tech-savvy people).
Where do I purchase the lamps?
Bulb-only solutions and lamps may be purchased from many sources over the internet, around town, from the manufacturer, or through catalogue services. For the best prices, shop the internet, but make sure to purchase from a reputable company. Do some research and weigh your options. The lamps provided to us for this article came from Discount-Merchant.com, which sells bulb-only and lamps with enclosures for various TV models. I highly recommend them because they are one of the largest parts distributors in the United States with a very loyal customer base. Any company can sell you lamps, but Discount-Merchant.com also provides free technical support and same day shipping--just read their reviews online. </plug> lol!
Symptoms of a bad lamp:
- If you hear audio, but have no picture
- If you hear a ballast click, but the lamp doesn't ignite
- If you can't see the lamp light up in the back of the TV
- If you have blinking lamp indicator lights
- Visual indication that the lamp is blown
- Dim picture after years of use
Symptoms of another part malfunctioning:
- Consistant or inconsistant clicking from the ballast
- Screeching or winding sounds from the color wheel
- No picture, no audio (possible power supply or ballast)
- Blurry picture, or truncated picture (DMD or light tunnel)
- No blinking lights, or different blinking lights
- Spots or blobs on the screen (prevalent in LCD projection)
What you'll need:
- A Torx T9 screwdriver
- A Phillips screwdriver
- A Pair of Pliers
- A new Philips Lamp
- About 5 minutes of your time
Note: Handle the bulb with gloves or a lint-free cloth. Oils from your fingers can damage the bulb!
Any questions or comments are appreciated; I'll try to answer them as soon as I can! If you need more info, simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. So, leave some comments! How long has your lamp lasted? I've heard some lasting 15,000 hours! Who have you purchased from? What's your experience buying online?
My particular model is PT-50lc-13
I was replacing my rca bulb made by osram and when I took out the old bulb little bits of glass fell out of the opening located on the side on the bulb. Should I be worried about any mercury leaking anywhere. Its looks like the glass is comming from the bottom of the little light bulb in the middle of the lamp. Anyways I replace the old on with your site instructions any my tv is working great.
MY COMMENT/QUESTION IS....THAT AFTER A NUMBER OF HOURS OF USAGE OF THE TV ...IT STARTS FLICKERING ON THE SCREEN....I CHANGE MY LAMP(WHICH BY THE WAY WENT OUT ON ME) AND AFTER 4 DAYS OF THE NEW LAMP IT STARTED FLICKERING AGAIN..I HEARD THAT IT COULD BE A BAD BALLAST...IS IT TRUE? PLUS ..WHERE WOULD I LOCATE IT AT? I NEED SOME SORT OF A SKELETON OF THE TV.HELP!!!
The whole picture is dim and yellow? Where is the bulb located?
the instructions are way different from what my tv looks like when you remove the back panel