Frequently Asked Questions on DLP Lamp Replacement and Maintenance

Mitsubishi DLP TV
DLP TV. Amazon

Owning a television is like owning a car—you have to spend a little on maintenance to keep it running smoothly. You also have to be prepared for the cost of repairs. Before you buy a DLP rear- or front-projection model, look into the cost of a replacement lamp, because as an owner of a DLP television, you will need to buy a replacement lamp at some point.

How Long Does a DLP Projection Lamp Usually Last?

It is safe to list the lamp life for most DLP front- and rear-projection televisions between 1,000 and 2,000 hours. Some lamps might last only 500 hours while others may last 3,000 hours. The window is so broad because no one knows for sure how long one lamp will last versus another. They’re like light bulbs, and depending on how you use them, some will just last longer.

If you watched television three hours a day the lamp would last approximately 333 days at the 1,000-hour lamp life and 666 days at the 2,000-hour lamp life. That’s pretty realistic because most people will need to replace their lamp every one or two years, but some consumers replace a lamp every six to eight months while others replace them every three to four years.

How Do I Know When It's Time to Replace My Lamp?

The screen will lose its brightness and appear dim. You won’t necessarily have to replace the lamp when you notice the dimming. Some people might wait until the bitter end to install a new lamp while others will have one in reserve waiting for the screen to dim. It’s a matter of choice.

How Much Do Replacement Lamps Cost?

Replacement lamps for all projection televisions are costly. Depending on the type of lamp and manufacturer, the cost will vary considerably.

Where Can I Buy a Replacement Lamp?

Contact your manufacturer to see what lamp they recommend for your particular television and to see who is an authorized dealer in your area. Several good online stores will send you a lamp usually for a lower price, but be wary of ordering something fragile like a replacement lamp through the mail unless you're confident that the vendor will replace items damaged in shipment.

Are They Easy to Install?

Some models of televisions might be more difficult than others. Usually, it should be as much or little as twisting a screwdriver, pulling the lamp out, inserting the new one and turning the set back on. If you're in the market for a new projection TV, ask the retailer to show you the replacement procedure or check online for that model's instruction manual.

How Can I Keep My DLP Rear Projection Screen Clear of Dust and Static?

Contact your TV's manufacturer for specific recommendations about cleaning the screen. Usually, though, you can clean most screens with a damp—not dripping—microfiber cloth, using only plain water (no chemicals!). You really don’t want to use any kind of abrasive material, which is why manufacturers recommend microfiber cloths.

While a damp cloth will clean the screen, it won’t get rid of any static. Most electronics superstores, like Best Buy, Circuit City, Frys, and Tweeter, sell a chemical solution for a reasonable price to clean your screen and get rid of static. Some packages come with a microfiber cloth.

Whatever you do, do not put any glass cleaner on your screen or you will risk permanently damaging it.