How to test & tell a projector bulb condition? It’s good or bad.

Last updated by Nitish_Lakra on January 13, 2023

How to test & tell a projector bulb condition? It's good or bad.

Although all parts of the projector are important. But the most important part of the projector is the lamp. That helps the projector project the image on the screen. 

And all the projector lamps have a certain life. After that, you have to change the projector to use the projector continuously.

If you’re confused you have to change your projector lamp or not. Want to know what the signs are. That projector shows before its lamp gets completely dead from the projector.

Or you want to be 100% sure. Is your projector lamp not usable anymore? Then in our today article. We are going to talk about these things. How to test a projector bulb.

And at last, I will tell you how you can test a lamp with a multimeter and change your projector bulb. If you are sure your projector lamp should be replaced. 

Let’s begin our article.

What does a projector lamp do?

Projector lamps project the brightest light. It can create a bright image on the screen.

 When the projector projects the light. Its light passes through display technology like LCD, DLP, Color wheel and LCoS

And images take the shape. How it should be on the projection surface or screen.

Read also: DLP vs LCD/3LCD Projector: Help you in choosing & Comparison.

Definition of a projector lamp

The brightest part of the projector. That produces the light. To create the image. And also technically it can be explained as the high-pressure vapour ARC.

How can you tell if a projector bulb or lamp is bad?

There are five signs. I am going to talk about the projector lamp. You can check out these things on your projector. Flickering images, Old and new brightness levels, Spot colour shifting, Check lamp status Or Try to listen the popped sound. To know your projector bulb condition?

Should you buy the new projector lamp in the advance or not? Ahead I have explained everything in detail.

Watch for the flickering images

If you have not put your project lamp in a hot or cold place for a long time. Or you have not dropped the projector lamp from the height. 

And you open the projector. And you are seeing the image in the flickering. It is possible your projector lamp is about to die. 

It will die soon. You should get the new projector lamp. In advance for the replacement of the old lamp with the new one. 

So you won’t stop the projection. And use your projector continuously. For your various purposes.

Also, there could be another reason for the flickering. For that, you can check our article on projector flickering.

Turn up the brightness

To check this symptom. You have to do your room. Completely dark. So that you can clearly see the change in the brightness. And judge your projector lamp. Is it good or bad?

In the darkroom. Turn on your projector. And go to your projector menu setting. Find the brightness setting in your projector. And increase the projector brightness. 

At its peak. And see the projection on the screen. Is it bright enough? As it used to be bright in the highest brightness at projector bright settings.

If you are seeing less brightness on the screen. In the full brightness setting of the projector. Then it’s confirmed your projector lamp is dying. It’s not capable of projection for a long time.

Read Also: How to make projector brighter or increase brightness?

Try to spot colour shifting

When you turn on your projector to watch movies. And you think my image colour is dull or muddy. And you try to adjust the image. Colour in the projector menu setting. 

And you still get the dull or muddy image on the screen. Then it’s also symptoms of projector lamps. 

That will not be any longer usable. You have to prepare with the new projector lamp. 

Anytime you need to change the old projector lamp with the new one.

Check the lamp status on the projector 

There is a system inside the projector that measures the projector lamp life. So it can give you the report on the projector lamp. 

When you should change your projector lamp. Before your lamp suddenly turns off during the projection.

If this kind of system is in your projector. Then you will get the message on the screen. Or the indicator light will blink. 

And alert you about your projector lamp status. Check your projector manual to know. 

Which type of led light will blink in the projector. When your projector lamp life will be about to end.

When you get the message on the screen or blinking light in your projector. That does not mean. 

You have to suddenly change your projector lamp. This kind of alert tells you to be prepared with the new lamp. 

If this type of system is in your projector. Let you know the status of your projector lamp. Alert you before your projector dies completely.

Read Also: Projector vs TV: Which is best for home entertainment?

*Popped* Sound 

When you turn on the projector. For watching movies or gaming. And your screen is suddenly black. And you hear the sound like pop. In your projector. 

With the hundred per cent surety, I can tell you. That your projector lamp is dead. It’s time to buy the new projector lamp. And when you are going to buy the projector lamp.

I will suggest you go with the official company projector lamp. It will be better. Because an unofficial projector lamp causes damage to the projector’s other part. 

If you are still not sure whether your projector lamp is dead or not. Read the next process. You will be sure. 

Can you test a projector lamp with a multimeter?

If you want to be sure about your projector lamp. And want to know that your projector lamp is causing the issue. 

Because of that, you’re not getting the projector then. Here I am going to teach you how to check your projector lamp condition with the help of a multimeter.

If you do not have the digital multimeter. You can get the below one. 

  1. Open your projector and take out the lamp. But before that make sure you have the projector off. And let it rest for one hour. So that it can cool down. 
  2. Now take your digital multimeter and put the black and red cable in the multimeter. 
  3. Now find the projector lamp input place. 
  4. Set your digital multimeter. To the OHMS or Resistance.
  5. Now touch your red and the black cable. With each other. And make sure threading on the digital multimeter is zero.
  6. Now touch the black and red wire with the input of the projector lamp you will get the reading on the multimeter. Multimeter shows the reading from 0 to 20. If your reading of the multimeter is 10 or something. Then your projector lamp is ok. If a multimeter is showing nothing. Then your projector lamp is not ok.

Your projector lamp is dead. Or might you have dropped the projector lamp from the height? 

Or something else is happening that gives the shock to your projector lamp. To deal with that you check out the below video.

I hope now you know How to test or check a projector lamp with a multimeter?

How do I check the life of a projector lamp?

For this go to your projector setting and find the projector info section. There you will get information about the projector lamp life.

How do I replace or change my projector lamp?

Now if you are completely sure that your projector lamp is dead. And you have the new projector lamp.

Then let’s see how you can change the old projector lamp with the new lamp.

  1. The first step will be to turn off the projector and unplug it from the power outlet. As well as unplug the cable from the projector. And let it rest at least for one hour. So it can cool down. Because the projector lamp became too hot. When you use it. So it’s necessary to let the projector rest before you open it. And take out the old lamp.
  2. Now read your projector manual. And find where your projector lamp is located in your projector. In most projectors, this type of compartment is available at the top of the projector. When you locate that location where the lamp is. Loose the screw of that compartment cover and the screws of the lamp. And take out the old dead projector lamp. 
  3. Make sure you have bought the projector lamp from the authorized seller. It will be high in cost. But the projector lamp will not make any issue in the projector like overheating etc.
  4. Now you have the new projector lamp. And you have taken out the old projector lamp from its place. It’s time to place the new lamp in its palace. And tight those screws that hold the projector lamp in its compartment. 

And that’s in four simple steps you have to change your projector lamp. Place the new projector lamp in its palace. 

Now your projector is ready to use as the new one. Next time you can follow these steps again. And change the projector lamp. 

Conclusion: How to test a projector bulb.

Projector lamps have an important role in projection. And in the picture quality and the colour production. So it’s important to use a healthy projector lamp. 

And if your projector lamp is dead. You have to change the projector lamp. For that, you have to be sure of your projector lamp. Not usable completely.

There are lots of projector lamp systems. I have to tell you. But not all of them tell you that the projector lamp is dead with a hundred per cent surety.

For the hundred per cent of the surety. You can use the digital multimeter to check the condition of your projector lamp. Or you have to notice the pop sound when you turn on the projector.

I hope this comprehensive article on how to test a projector bulb.

See you next time…


Nitish Lakra is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. He has written for numerous publications on a variety of topics including home theatre and projector. Nitish is passionate about educating and informing readers through his writing and strives to provide accurate and engaging content. When he's not writing, Nitish is enjoying the pc games, movies or cooking. My YouTube: @nitishlakra My Instagram: @nitish__lakra


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