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My Projector Dims With A New Bulb: How To Fix It?

My Projector Dims With A New Bulb: How To Fix It?

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Different conditions can make a projector bulb get damaged or perform less. Some of them are: reduction in lamp life, overheating, accumulation of dust, poor handling, just to mention a few.

The bulb fails to work as effectively as it used to. The image is also affected. When a projector bulb goes bad, it is only economical to change the bulb alone instead of the whole projector.

A new bulb should mean better and brighter images. However, in some cases, that is not how it turns out. Some common problems that you may face with your new projector are:

  • The image becomes dimmer than it should normally be.
  • The projector shuts off moments after it is being turned on.
  • Your projector gets too hot.

These are not the only issues that you can encounter. Various problems are associated with a new bulb. Here, we will look at one of these issues: why your projector dims with a new bulb.

If you are experiencing this, then read on as I will be revealing the possible causes and solution to this problem.

Why does my projector dim with a new bulb?

It is common to have a dim image when you change the bulb alone, and not the housing. The same thing may happen when you change both the bulb and housing.

The following are some of the major reasons your projector dims with a new bulb.

The new bulb is not properly aligned

man fixing a new bulb of a dim projector

Fixing a new bulb may not be as straightforward as you think it is. When replacing an old bulb, it is crucial to place the new bulb in the same orientation as the old one.

When the new bulb is off-center, or is not properly aligned as the old one was, the image will be dim.

To solve this, gently remove the bulb and reinstall it. This time, be sure that it is fixed in the exact spot as the old one. Closeup the projector and turn it on.

You got the wrong bulb

A new projector bulb is not usually a guarantee that things will get better. You just might have gotten the wrong one.

Before you get a new bulb, know that there is a difference between a projector bulb and a lamp. Although both are erroneously used in place of each other, they mean different things.

The projector bulb is the light source of the projector, while the lamp consists of the bulb and its housing.

Also, know that all projector bulbs are not the same, and not all are compatible with your projector. It is better to choose an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) bulb.

These bulbs come with your projector, and they are built specifically by the projector’s manufacturer. Their quality is also guaranteed.

Get your new bulb from the same company that manufactured the projector. This way, you will be assured of the same performance as the original bulb.

The lamp ballast is faulty

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The lamp ballast is that big metal block with round holes behind the lamp. It converts the electricity that enters the projector into the right voltage that will run the lamp.

A faulty lamp ballast may affect the brightness of your projector. This is because the wattage rating will determine the intensity of light that is produced by the bulb. The two main wattage options that you can find are 35w and 55w, however, there are lamp ballasts of up to 70-100w.

If the fault is from the ballast, the best solution is to replace it. You can easily obtain a fairly used ballast. All you need to do is to get a used projector with a good ballast, remove the lamp ballast, then replace the faulty one with it.

You can also get OEM ballasts instead of fairly used ones. They work well, but they are expensive. There isn’t much difference between the fairly used ballasts and the OEM types. Although, the original one is most preferred, possibly because they are better in terms of long-term reliability.

The housing is bad

Both the bulb and the housing make up the projector lamp. When one is faulty, the projector’s brightness is affected.

If your projector dims with a new bulb, the bulb’s housing may be the culprit. In this case, you will need to remove the new bulb from its housing.

You can fix the new bulb in the old housing. Simply disassemble the new lamp, remove the bulb, fix it into the old housing, then reinstall it in the projector. After this, the projector should be back in shape in no time.

The lens is dirty

huge projector lens

A dusty lens will affect the projector’s brightness. When debris and particles accumulate on the lens, the image quality gets diminished and the brightness reduces.

You can clean the lens yourself using simple steps, however, you need to be careful not to damage any of the vital components of the projector.

Be sure to always wipe the lens in circular motions outward from the middle. Wiping the same area more than once causes debris to spread around the glass. Also use products that are specifically made for cleaning lenses.

If you feel that it is unsafe to clean the lens yourself, you can get it cleaned by a professional. Although this may cost a lot , it is a safer option.


When you replace an old projector bulb, you expect the image to get better. But we don’t always get what we want, do we?

When you notice that your projector’s brightness is not as it used to be, do not conclude that the issue is from the bulb itself.

Several factors may cause your projector to get dim. Some have been discussed in this article, others factors may include passive VGA splitters or faulty cords.

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