Projector lamps have to withstand enormous pressure and massive heat to generate the light output required for projected displays, such as presentations and videos.
In 1995 UHP™ technology was developed by Philips, which allowed an increased light output and lifetime for projectors lamps. This evolution in lighting technology rapidly became the cornerstone for practically all projector bulb manufacturers.
The lamp itself is a complex mix of chemicals, including mercury, and precision electronics packaged into a sealed glass bulb. The unit is expected to operate at above 8000k (hotter than the sun!) and to withstand high pressure, in excess of 200 bar.
The lamp is developed with a high voltage ballast (or driver) and is delivered as a lamp system. This system has been developed working with the projector manufacturers to provide the optimal viewing experience from the projector and the collaboration ensures that the finished product is properly tested and meets stringent quality standards. This care is taken to ensure the lamp will provide high light output, uniform light distribution and a long lamp life.
There are now just four independent original lamp manufacturers: Philips; Osram; Phoenix; Ushio and Iwasaki. These are companies who work with the projector OEMs to ensure the lamp set-up delivers the optimal performance within the projector setting. They are also the companies who hold Intellectual Property (IP) rights to projector lamp technology, find out more on our Original ‘v’ Copy page.
Some companies in the Far East have created copies of many original lamps and sell them into the replacement market. Often referred to as “compatible” these copy lamps generally offer lower performance, poor reliability and reduced lifetimes, and in many cases they are breaking patent laws.