Projectors are extremely important elements of the worship service for the majority of churches. Worship techs must regularly service and maintain equipment so that weekend services and events run smoothly. Some churches have just one project and screen; others use multiple screens during their services. Keeping projection equipment in top shape is vital. Projector lamps are a key feature to pay attention to.

Projector lamps dim with age and use. They actually have “lamp life” indicators that predict how long the lamp will last. There are a number of helpful best practices that can maximize and extend lamp life.

Here are 10 tips to increase projector lamp life:

Tip #1 -Handle the projector lamp with gloves.

Oils and deposits from hands and fingers can cause hot spots on the face of the projector lamp, which may result in premature lamp failure.

Tip #2 – Operate with care. 

Operate your projector in a clean, cool, and well-ventilated area. A dust free environment is ideal.

Tip #2 – Keep the projector air filters and air vents clean. 

Clogged filters and vents will not remove heat effectively. This can cause the projector to overheat with an early lamp failure.

Tip #3 – Don’t block projector vents.

Do not place anything on top of the projector or in front of the intake or exhaust vents. Blocked vents will cause the projector lamp to overheat and fail. Refer to your manual for safe placement of the projector and its accessories.

Tip #4 – Maintain proper distance.

If the projector is built into a compartment, wall, ceiling, or shelf mount, the minimum distance requirement that is listed in the owner’s manual (which is usually at least two feet) should be maintained.

Tip #5 – Check housing after replacement.

When you replace the projector lamp, make sure the new housing is seated completely and securely. Pay attention to the old lamp. Re-install and remove the old lamp a few times to get familiar with the fitment. Then when you install the new lamp you can seat it firmly but without too much pressure. Use the screws to tighten the lamp into its final position.

Tip #6 – Do not shake projector when hot.

Do not move or shake the projector until the projector lamp has completely cooled. Hot projector lamps are fragile. Shock and vibration applied to hot projector lamps may cause the lamp to break or shorten its effective lifespan.

Tip #7 – Wait, don’t unplug.

Do not unplug the projector until the lamp has properly cooled. After the projector has been shut off, the fan will remain on for a period of time. This is required for proper cooling of the lamp. If the lamp is not cooled properly it will cause the life of the lamp to be shortened drastically.

Tip #8 – Don’t turn off and on too frequently.

Do not turn the projector on and off frequently during presentations. Each time the projector is switched on, the inrush of power causes stress on the projector lamp, as do the thermal cycles (heating and cooling cycles). Try to minimize your on/ off cycles by using the screensaver or video mute options that some models offer, especially if you are using the unit for less than 30 minutes.

Tip #9 – Don’t turn on until fans stop running.

Wait until the fans stop running before attempting to turn a projector back on after use. Forcing the projector lamp to start before it is adequately cooled will cause a thermal and electrical shock to the bulb causing the life to be shortened.

Maintenance is Key

Projector maintenance is critical to longevity and being a good steward of church technology. It is recommended that projectors be serviced and maintained approximately every two years. Ideally, it is good to have the projector cleaned for dust buildup seasonally. Insist on high-quality projector lamps with the original manufacturer’s bulb inside (made by Philips, Osram, Ushio, or Phoenix).

Churches can easily keep their projectors and projector lamps in top shape with these tips. All lamps are available for sale at Pureland Supply.