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Discussion Starter #1
I have a quick question. I'm sure this has been addressed before, but I didn't notice it. If it has, can you post the link here? Anyway, the question is this: What type of replacement lamp should I buy for my projector?

I am on a very limited budget, so I originally planned on buying a generic lamp without a housing (not really knowing that there are other options). But then I saw that you could buy OEM lamps alone and lamps in housings, both new and reused, with various price levels for each option. So I read up a little bit and got scared into thinking that it's better to spend $350+ on a genuine lamp, then it is to spend ~$100 on a generic bare-bulb lamp, even if I can barely afford that.

I figured I would come here and ask you guys what is best. I can see that in general you guys don't skimp and buy poor quality items to save a few bucks, but you also seem like a handy bunch who isn't afraid of a DIY project. I am also pretty handy and am not afraid to take apart electronics and replace things. I do this all the time with computers, for instance.

So what's the consensus? Bare lamp vs. Lamp in a housing? And Genuine OEM lamp vs. generic compatible lamp? Also, if I but a genuine OEM lamp in a housing, does the housing also have to be new? I know they often sell lamps installed in old housings.

By the way, my projector is an older Panasonic PT-AE900U and the recommended lamp is an ET-LAE900.
 

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Bare lamp is no problem if you are sure it is the original. The problem is that many vendors don't sell the original but some replacement and call it OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks lcaillo. Where would you recommend buying a genuine lamp for my projector?

Does no one else here have any input on this topic? I need to buy a bulb soon and I'm not sure what to buy or where to buy it. I'm on a budget, but I don't want to waste my money either. Thanks everyone.
 

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Re-using the housing is a good idea, but installing the bulb in the housing can be easy or challenging. In my Sony VPL-HW15 it is fairly easy, but I had an early Sharp projector (late 1990s) where it was pretty difficult.

I agree that going with a true manufacturer replacement is the way to go. Bulb failure can be a really nasty thing inside a projector, with glass pieces going everywhere. Plus, the color temperature of the light will match the projector's optics.

Do a few Google searches to find the best prices. I have bought bulbs from Amazon and some of the vendors listed on Projector Central:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/lamp-suppliers.htm


Also, remember to keep your fingers off the bulb. The oil in skin can affect bulb life. Use a microfiber towel if you have one, paper towels if not.
 

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Hi JonJW, I was in the same situation a few months ago and I have the same projector as you. I found some genuine Panasonic lamps on eBay but they were over $300 and had to be shipped from overseas. B&H Photo has genuine lamps, but again...over $300. Since I was also on a budget I went with a non genuine lamp from Pureland Supply. I know non genuine are frowned upon and I took a chance, but I must say I'm around 100hrs on this lamp with no issues at all. Time will tell though.
 

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Where to buy replacement lamp?-Urgent!

Hello,

I live in the Minneapolis suburbs and need to buy a replacement bulb asap for the superbowl party today. It's an infocus bulb and has 4014 hours.... How much longer do you think it has? I've tried calling Menards, Best Buy, Office Max, and nobody has bulbs in store... Does anyone know where I can buy one in store today?

Please respond ASAP as I need it for the superbowl!!

Thank you!

Jamie and Chris
 

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Just before Christmas I purchased a couple of BrightLamp assemblies for my AE2000 from Projectorzone.com. I called and talked to the rep there and he said they've been using this brand for replacement in a lot of projectors they service (schools, etc.) and have had good luck with them, so I thought at the sale price of slightly less than $100 each (they've gone back to the original price since, but that's not bad either) it was worth a shot. The units are serial numbered, look great - as good as the OEM assemblies, but I haven't had a chance to try them yet so that will be the final determining factor, but if they deliver close to the OEMs, it's a good deal on lamps. Will report when I get them going. They include a 90 day warrantee and have an optional upgrade for a longer term warrantee for a few dollars more.

http://www.projectorzone.com/T:Lamps/C:projector_Lamps/S:BrightLamp
 

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I was able to get an OEM lamp for my first projector, an LG, at a local electric supply house at a price way better than the internet, and it was fantastic. For my second projector, a Sharp, I bought an OEM from Newegg for $300, and it was also perfect. Then I bought an "OEM bulb" in an aftermarket housing from Discount Merchant for nearly $200. Despite it being slightly suspect, I thought it was worth the discount, and with an OEM bulb, why not? Lets just say it is a clearly different bulb. It is not nearly as bright, some light spills out the sides, and the projector takes over a minute to warm up. Also, they refused to take it back claiming that it was not defective (no returns only exchange for defective). So, I am stuck with it, and every time I turn on the projector I am reminded that I should have just ponied up the extra cash.

So if you really want to go with the aftermarket route, be 100% positive they will take a return if you are not satisfied and only use a merchant you have confidence in.
 

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My projector globe blew the another night and I did a lot of searching and researching for an alternative to the OEM lamp..
The general consensus is that it's better to buy the lamp unit rather than just the globe..You have to be very careful not to touch the globe when assembling, or it may blow prematurely..It can also be quite difficult to swap out a globe with some makes of projectors..

The replacement OEM lamp for my projector ranged between $500-$600..Since the projector make isn't made any more (Mitsubishi) I felt I would probably change to a different projector in the not too distant future..So I just needed a cheaper lamp for the time being..

There are a number of "alternative" lamps available, some not very good..and reading numerous reviews on them, many said they only lasted a few hours and were not as bright as the OEM lamp..

There are however some worthwhile alternatives..
The best of these are "Diamond lamps"..They use the original manufacturers globes with a lamp housing made elsewhere..
Many people reported that the brightness of these lamps were slightly better than the OEM lamps!..How that could be I don't know..

The other alternative lamps are the ones that state "original globe inside"..They appear to be the same as Diamond lamps only without the name..

Unfortunately none of these alternative lamps were available (Here in Aus.) for my HC4000!..So I 'm not going to be able to evaluate them myself..
 
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