Whether you are a school administrator or director of technology at an educational institution, you may have to deal with the dreaded projector bulb outage. It always seems to happen right before an important class, school presentation, or educational event. The digital projector, which you use to show slides from a laptop or computer, conks out just when you need it.

In this article, we will first cover how to test a digital projector bulb. After learning how to test the bulb, we will go over the steps you need to take to replace it.

How to Test a Projector Bulb – 3 Different Ways

It’s always a good idea to check your bulb before you need it. So here are 3 ways to test a digital projector bulb.:

1. Turn It on BEFORE the Presentation

There is a simple way to test a projector bulb in a digital machine – turn it in and see if it works or not. While this may sound elementary, sometimes we forget the basics.

Especially prior to a big assembly or important lecture, you should test out the digital projector, ideally the day before, at least, so you have enough time to fix a problem. Turn the unit on and see if it works. Check the light, but don’t look directly in it, and notice if it appears to be dim or flickering. Is there any funny, burnt smell coming from the unit?

Now, this test doesn’t tell you if the projector bulb is likely to burn out soon. For that, see the next two steps.

2. Check the Lamp Life Via the Menu

Unlike old-fashioned slide projectors or overhead machines, today’s digital projectors provide an easy way to check on projector bulb life. Most modern digital projectors will have a “lamp life” option in the electronic menu.

It is usually under “setup” or “options.” Sometimes it will also say “lamp hours.” This will tell you either how many hours are left or how many hours it has been on. Check your projector’s user manual for more info.

3. Manually Inspect the Lamp Bulb

If you are very handy, then you can open up the machine and look at the bulb manually. Make sure it is not only turned off but unplugged, and check the user manual first before opening anything.

What you are looking for is burn damage on the lamp. You have probably seen similar burn damage on an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb in your home. This means that the bulb is probably going to blow soon. Replace it before the presentation.

How to Replace a Projector Bulb

Here are the steps to replace your projector bulb. You will need a screwdriver. Make sure you mark down all of the unique aspects of the bulb housing, including where the filters and wires are when you first open it up.

It is a good idea to review the user manual for your particular projector before disassembling everything. If you cannot find the manual, do not worry. You can find almost any manual for a modern piece of equipment online at the manufacturer’s website.

1. Get the Proper Bulb Replacement

Make sure you get the proper replacement for your bulb. It needs to have the same output in lumens, size, and voltage.

2. Remove the Side Panel

Remove the panel on the side of the projector that houses the bulb. Check your user manual for this since each brand is different.

3. Unscrew the Lamp Module

Using a screwdriver, remove the lamp module. Be careful to only do this when the lamp hasn’t been used recently so that it’s not hot.

4. Disassemble the Lamp Housing Module

This is not hard, and involves opening some latches. But you need to make sure you remember which filter and foam pieces go where for when you replace the bulb.

5. Remove the Old Bulb from the Housing

Remember: You need to make a note of which wires go where. Taking pictures with your cell phone as you disassemble the housing is a helpful way to remember where each wire needs to be.

6. Insert the New Bulb into the Lamp Housing

If you did your job previously, and noted where everything should go, this should be fairly simple. Just reverse what you did in removing the bulb.

7. Put the Lamp Housing Back in the Projector

Once you put the lamp back into the projector, replace the panel and make sure everything is screwed in properly. Again, if you’ve taken pictures as you go, or if you have a great memory, all of this should be simple.

8. Reset the Projector’s Lamp Timer

Once the bulb has been replaced, reset the digital projector lamp bulb life timer in the menu. Now you’re all set.

Looking for a Digital Projector Replacement Bulb?

At AISink, we offer a variety of quality projector lamps and replacement bulbs at affordable prices. View our selection here, or feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the right bulb for your projector.