How To Easily Check Lamp Hours on Your Projector (Epson, BenQ, Optoma): Understanding Lamp Life

Projector Info page in Epson projector settings screen

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Projector Info page in Epson projector settings screen
What To Know

  • Projector lamp hours indicate how long the lamp has been in use, and when exceeds its lamp life, the bulb dims by 50%.
  • Epson, Optoma, and BenQ projectors have different settings and methods to display lamp hours, with some requiring calculations for an accurate total.
  • Regularly checking lamp hours is essential for timely replacements, and can be done via the main menu or the service menu of your projector.

In this article, I will explain the meaning of projector lamp hours, demonstrate how to check them on popular brands like Epson, BenQ, and Optoma, and provide guidance on understanding lamp life for timely replacement.

Let’s get started!

Meanings of Projector Lamp Hours

Your projector’s lamp hours refer to how many hours your unit’s lamp has been in use. So, if you’ve just turned on your projector for the first time and used it for two hours, its lamp hours should read “2.”

Every projector lamp model will boast a different lamp life depending on its lamp type and quality. However, you’ll find that many units’ lamp lives range anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 when in standard mode. Once the unit’s lamp hours exceed the lamp life, the projector bulb will dim by 50%, making the picture look dull. 

However, if you fail to properly maintain your projector lamp, it may dim before reaching its expected lamp life. 

So, if you notice that your projector’s lamp hours have exceeded its lamp life or that the lamp is looking dimmer than usual, it may be time to replace your lamp. 

To learn more about how to tell when your projector lamp needs to be replaced, check out our article Projector Life Expectancy: How Long Do Bulbs Last?

Epson Projector

Lamp Hours info highlights in Epson projector settings

Epson projector settings separate the lamp hours into two distinct sections: how many hours (represented by “H”) in Normal and ECO Power consumption mode. 

Combined, these two values represent the total number of lamp hours your projector has been in use. 

Epson makes it easy to identify if your projector’s lamp hours have or will soon exceed its lamp life by displaying them in yellow. So, if these values are yellow, then it’s time to start shopping for a replacement lamp.

Optoma Projector

Lamp Hours in Optoma projector Info tab

Like Epson projectors, Optoma also categorizes its lamp hours in different sections depending on which mode was used. In your Optoma’s Info settings, you’ll typically find five lamp hour sections: Bright, Eco, Dynamic, Eco+, and Total.

The values next to Bright, ECO, Dynamic, and Eco+ plus represent how many lamp hours were used in each of these modes. Meanwhile, the value next to Total refers to the total number of lamp hours used. So, if you’re trying to compare the lamp hours to the lamp life, check the value beside Total.

BenQ projector

Equivalent Lamp info in BenQ projector INFORMATION tab

BenQ projectors have, by far, the most complicated lamp hour settings. Under your projector’s Information tab, you will find Equivalent Lamp, which represents to the total number of lamp hours used. 

However, calculating the Equivalent Lamp hours is not as simple as adding the number of hours in both Normal and Eco mode. Instead, your projector uses the following formula to come up with this total: 

(2.4 x Hours in Normal mode) + (1.5 x Hours in Economic mode) + (1.0 x Hours in SmartEco mode). 

Since all these modes use different amounts of energy, this formula is meant to demonstrate their effects on the lamp, thus creating the Equivalent Lamp hours. 

How To Check the Lamp Hours on Your Projector

Now that you understand what your projector lamp hour values mean, it’s time to learn how to check them! 

I recommend checking your projector lamp hours regularly to ensure you give yourself enough time to purchase a replacement lamp before they run out. Again, your projector lamp may expire earlier than expected if you overuse it or do not frequently clean and maintain it. 

Epson Projector

Step 1: Head to your Epson projector’s Menu screen by hitting the remote’s Menu key.

Menu button on Epson projector remote  

Step 2: Go to the Info tab followed by Projector Info

select Info and followed Projector Info in the Epson projector setting screen

Step 3: Navigate to the Lamp Hours section. 

Lamp Hours info highlights in Epson projector settings

Optoma Projector

Step 1: Find and press the Menu button on your projector’s remote or control panel to navigate to the Menu screen. 

The menu button on the control panel of the Optoma projector

Step 2: Go to Info and click on Lamp Hours

select the Lamp Hours option in the Optoma projector Info tab

Step 3: Here you will find your projector’s Lamp Hours information as shown. 

Lamp Hours in Optoma projector Info tab

BenQ Projector

Step 1: Hit your BenQ projector’s Menu button found on its control panel or remote. 

benq panel with menu button highlighted

Step 2: Open the Information tab to find the Equivalent Lamp section which displays the lamp hours. 

Equivalent Lamp info in BenQ projector INFORMATION tab

Alternatively, go to SYSTEM SETUP: Advanced, followed by Lamp Settings. Here, you’ll find Equivalent Lamp which represents your unit’s lamp hours.

lamp settings of a benq projector

 To learn more about how to check your BenQ projector’s lamp hours and how to extend its lamp hours, check out our detailed guide How to Check Lamp Hours on a BenQ Projector? 

Bonus: Check the Lamp Hours on the Projector’s Service Menu

If your projector doesn’t have a remote or you need to try another method to check the lamp hours, consider using your unit’s service menu instead! This method is equally simple and will only take a few moments. 

Let’s learn how to use your projector’s service menu to check the lamp hours on Epson, Optoma, and BenQ units!  

Epson Projector

Step 1: Locate the Menu button on your Epson projector’s control panel, and press and hold it for at least eight seconds before releasing it. 

select the Menu button on the Epson projector control panel

Step 2: Within four seconds of releasing the Menu button, quickly press the ESC button twice to open the Service Menu screen. 

select the Esc button on the Epson projector control panel

Step 3: Now, you will be able to see your projector’s Lamp Hours on-screen. 

Lamp On. Time hour in Epson projector Service Menu

Optoma Projector

Step 1: To open your Optoma projector’s Software Settings screen, press the following control panel buttons: Power > Left > Right > Menu.

labeled buttons on Optoma projector control panels

Step 2: Head to the Return to Service Menu and click the control panel’s Enter button. 

select Return to Service Menu in Optoma projector Software Settings screen

Step 3: Now, you’ll be able to see your projector’s Lamp Hours on-screen. 

Projection Hours highlighted in Optoma projector Service Menu

Near the top of the screen, you will see a value labeled “Projection Hours,” which represents the total number of hours your projector has been in use since released from the factory. This number is different from the Lamp Hours, which refer to the number of hours the lamp has been in use. 

The OSD Lamp Reset function will reset the OSD Lamp Hours and service mode Lamp Hours, returning them to “0.” This function should be utilized whenever you install a new projector lamp. However, the service mode Projection Hours will not be reset by this function

BenQ Projector

Step 1: Press the Menu key on the projector’s control panel. 

labeled buttons on the BenQ projector control panel

Step 2: To open the Service Menu screen, simultaneously press the Enter and Source buttons.

Service Menu showed up on BenQ projector screen

Step 3: Click the Right navigation button to highlight option 6

selecting option 6 in the BenQ projector Service menu

Step 4: Hit the Down navigation button to see your projector’s Lamp Hours

Total Hours highlighted in BenQ projector Service Menu

Wrapping Things Up

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your projector’s lamp hours to make sure your unit lamp is always in optimal condition. Expired projector lamps can produce images at 50% of their original brightness. So, make sure you get the most out of your unit by keeping its lamp in tip-top shape. 

Depending on its brand, your projector will categorize and label its Lamp Hours settings differently. Luckily, these settings are easy to understand once you learn what these labels mean and how their values were calculated. 

What’s your experience checking your projector lamp hours? 

Let us know in the comments below!

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