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How To Test If A Projector Lamp Is Bad? (5 Easy Ways)

How To Test If A Projector Lamp Is Bad? (5 Easy Ways)

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It is irritating if your projector fails just when you need it the most.

I mean, picture this. You’re about to give an important presentation at a meeting. You turn on the projector only to find that the lamps are dead.


Is there any way to avoid this disastrous situation?

Yes, test if the lamps are bad beforehand.


In this article, we’ll give you the 5 ways on how to test your projector’s lamp and tell if it’s almost burnt-out.

In addition, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions.

So are you ready? Let’s begin!

5 Ways to Test if Your Projector Lamp is Going

A Woman Test If The Projector Lamp Is Going

You know that, after a while, lightbulbs grow dim until it completely burns out.

The same is true with projector lamps.

However, it’s a lot harder to notice. Partly because projectors aren’t turned on that often and partly because your eyes get used to the dimness.

Good news!

There are 5 ways to tell if your projector lamps are about to burn out.

1. Check the Indicator Light

If you own a high-end projector, chances are it has an indicator light that tells when the lamps are going.

Now, if the indicator light turns on, it doesn’t mean “replace your lamps ASAP!”.

Instead, it’s giving you an early warning – the first signs of wear and tear.

This is a helpful feature as it always reminds you to be aware of the projector’s dimming lamps.

And when the dimness is very noticeable, that’s when you should consider replacing the lamps.

2. Turn Up the Brightness

woman turning up the brightness of a projector lamp

If you don’t have a light indicator, don’t worry.

You can run a few tests that’ll help you determine whether the lamps are bad or not.

For this test, you need to turn up your projector’s brightness to the highest level.

Check out this video on how to turn up the brightness of a projector:

How to Calibrate Projector - Contrast, Brightness, Colour, Sharpness, Colour Temperature?

You’ll also need to make your surroundings as dark as possible.

With the lamp’s brightness all the way up and the room in darkness, it’ll be a lot easier to tell if the lamps are dimming.


If the displayed images appear blurry and dull despite the ideal setup.

The more blurry and dull it is, the nearer your lamps are from burning out.

3. Try to Spot Color Shifting

Another way you can tell if your projector lamps are going bad is through color shifting.

At one point, you might have enjoyed clear and crisp colors. Now, all you get are colors that merge together and are constantly shifting.

That’s a BIG sign that your lamps are dimming.

It’s no longer strong enough to shine accurate colors.

So if you notice a change in color quality, maybe it’s time to consider replacing those lamps before it burns out completely.

It might be hard to spot at first. But as the lamps grow dimmer, the more noticeable it gets.

4. Watch for Flickering Images

a professor playing shadow to check the projector lamp

Do you wonder why the displayed images flicker every now and then?

Yes, it could mean the lamps are starting to go.

This test is a bit tricky, though.

The reason is that there are a lot of factors that cause flickering images.

So how can you tell which is which?

If the images flicker after a hard fall, then the problem lies in the mechanics.

If your projector goes through extreme temperatures, that could have damaged the lamps.

However, if nothing’s happened to it and images start to flicker, you have reason to believe that it’s the lamps going out.

One more thing. The flickering might not be noticeable. That’s why you have to carefully watch for it once in a while.

5. Bring It to An Expert

If you aren’t bothered to test it yourself…

…or if you want to be 100% sure before replacing the lamps…

Go visit an expert.

Experts have a way of checking the lamps’ strength. Not only that, but they also have a rough estimate of how long each lamp is supposed to last.

They’ll be able to tell you if your lamps are in good condition or are about to die.

Of course, for this convenience and surety, you have to be willing to spend a few bucks.

So these are the 5 ways you can test and see if your lamps are about to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

As promised, we’re taking the most frequently asked questions and answering them for you.

1. Can Projector Lamps be Replaced?

By now, you probably know that the answer is YES.

There’s no need to worry. You don’t have to get a new projector. You just need to replace the dying/dead lamps with new ones.

Read more: OEM vs. Generic Projector Lamps

2. How Do I Know If My Projector Lamp Needs Replacing?

A Projector Lamp Need Replacing

You know by following the 5 tests we mentioned.

To summarize:

  • If your projector has an indicator light and it turns on, that means your lamps are getting weak.
  • Turn up the projector’s brightness in a dark room. If the images are dull and blurry at an ideal setup, that could be the result of dimming lamps.
  • Watch for color shifting. If the lamps are weak, its color accuracy weakens as well.
  • If the displayed images flicker without any known reason, the lamps are about to go.
  • Take it to an expert to test the lamps’ strength for you.

3. How Do I Replace My Projector Lamps?

To replace your projector lamps, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the projector and unplug it. Make sure you wait for it to cool down first.
  • Open up the part that holds the lamps. (There are different ways to do this depending on your projector.)
  • Remove the lamp module.
  • Insert the replacement. Avoid holding the bulbs with your bare hands.
  • Put everything back together.

Check out this video showing you how to replace the lamps of an Epson EMP-X56:

How to Replace a Projector Lamp in Projector EPSON EMP-X56

If you ask us, though, we recommend you let an expert do it for you to ensure zero risks.

4. Where Do I Buy Replacement Projector Lamps?

Since projector lamps are bound to malfunction, it shouldn’t be a problem finding a replacement.

Any projector shop should have what you’re looking for, as well as offer services to replace it for you. You can also check the main store of your projector’s brand or on Amazon.


Don’t wait until your projector lamps completely die out!

Start looking for the signs that help you determine when the lamps are burning out.

We hope that this article has been a great help!

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