Should I change the projection lamp in my 50 inch Sony projection TV?

I have a 50 inch KF50XBR Sony projection TV which is over 5 years old. My son says the picture is not as good as it was and that I should change the projection lamp. I was told the lamps dont get darker, they just stop working like any other light bulb. Does a projection lamp loose brightness over time? Will changing the lamp before it blows do any good for my picture?

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3 Responses to “Should I change the projection lamp in my 50 inch Sony projection TV?”

  1. agb90spruce says:

    Projection lamps can blow, but more often they slowly dim. There is no way to accurately predict what the lifetime will be, but If you have more than 3-4000 hr use on the lamp (and at 5 years you likely do) your son could be right.

    You should have a menu option for hours on the lamp. You can change the bulb and see if it improves things. If you decide to keep the new bulb, remember to reset the timer.

    You don’t want the lamp to blow .. it can actually explode and could cause damage. But the biggest difference with a new lamp will be a brighter picture. This will be particularly important if you ever use the TV in anything but a dark room.

    Have a look at the posts on the site at the link. If nothing else you may find you benefit from cleaning out the TV!

  2. techman2000 says:

    It could be the lamp. 5 years is extremely long to be on your first lamp. I would check the TV menu to verify how many lamp hours. Usually lamps are quoted to have a half-life around 3000-4000 hours.

    Lamps should slowly fade, then eventually rupture. It depends on the quality of the lamp design.

  3. RudeKarma says:

    Most manufacturers rate lamp life loosely.

    Sure, a lamp will operate on average from 3000-5000 hours as stated.

    What the do not state that most projection bulbs will output its full lumen rating for only 50% of the lamp life.
    After this half life, the lumen output will gradually degrade until the lamp fails by merely burning out or catastrophic failure occurs.
    (glass fragments dispersed where they shouldn’t be).

    Most important, check the lamp timer and compare this number to the lamp life rating of your particular equipment.
    If your lamp life is more than 50% of its rating, replacing it will noticeably improve overall viewing quality.

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