DLP and LCD Lamp Information
Care and Feeding of DLP & LCD Lamps
Back Lights, Lamps, UHPs and so on
The DLP and LCD based display devices of today do not produce visible light on their own as CRTs and plasma devices do. They rely on another source of light to display a picture. In the case of flat panel LCD displays, a series of thin fluorescent lamps generates light behind the display device, and this light is polarized and managed by the LCD devices themselves. For the most part, the lamps in flat panel LCDs are not supplied as replacement parts at this time.
In rear projection DLP or LCD based products the light source is in the form of and Ultra High Performance Lamp (UHP). These are generally mercury vapor lamps, similar to dusk to dawn lights, and are replaceable. Run time varies based on the individual lamp, but most are specified at between 6000 to 8000 hours of operation. (See causes of short lamp life below) While these lamps are quite efficient in terms of light output vs. energy consumption, they do generate considerable heat when in operation that requires fan forced air for cooling. It is important to read the use and care instructions in the user's guide with the TV for specific instructions, but in general it is very important to allow several inches of clearance between the set and the wall, and keep the air intake slots free of dust and debris. Also, when powered down the fans continue to run for several minutes to properly cool the lamp, therefore the set needs to remain connected to a live outlet . Do not use an external switch, i.e. cable converter or master switch, to turn off these devices. Below are listed a collection of suggestions from various sources regarding lamp life.
Common causes of short lamp life:
- Sudden temperature change – Is the TV located near an air conditioner, heater or open window?
- Repetitive power failure or interruption (cable box) –An AC power loss shuts off the TV and resets the microprocessor (Brain) so the fans do not cool the lamp when power returns. Solution: After an AC loss, keep the TV off 1-2 hours so the lamp cools naturally. Turning on the TV before the lamp has cooled either naturally or by even by normal forced air will shorten lamp life considerably. Do not rely on a UPS AC power supply. The AC interruption is still present.
- Vibration – Try moving the TV to a quieter portion of the house, if possible or start the activity (such as vacuuming or playing) after the TV has cooled.
- Repetitive power on – Allow 30 minutes time for the lamp to cool off to room temperature before turning it on again as a guideline.
- Never touch the lamp glass - If inadvertently handled, don't leave fingerprints on the lamp glass. Contact with skin can contaminate the lamp envelope with grease, oils, skin flakes, water, and salts. Organic matter on the lamp may cause hot spots when the lamp is run, even worse if the organic material carbonizes. Salts can leach into the quartz envelopes of high-temperature lamps, weakening the material. Degrease glass. Use only isopropyl alcohol.
- Loose socket connections – Check the socket with a flashlight for signs of white corrosion. If white dust is found, the socket and the ballast must be replaced. Do not clean.
- Poor ventilation - By far the most common cause of short lamp life is the accumulation of household dust, debris, etc in the vent slots of the set and /or the air filters. It is a good idea to vacuum these slots frequently and filters if applicable. Household vacuum cleaner with a soft brush is best to keep the dust from reaching the inside of the set. This is best done when the TV has been off for a few hours. Do not use compressed air, canned or any other kind, as blowing the dust around and into the set may force it further into the set and create more serious problems.
We carry many replacement lamps for DLP and LCD televisions, most in stock, and available same day. We can also special order replacement lamps, many of which will arrive on the next business day. For a chart of the lamps we stock and can special order, please click here. To be sure we have the lamp you may need and to confirm current pricing, please call or email our office. We'll need to know make, model, and lamp part or code number.