As companies incorporate more audio/visual presentations into their meetings, upgrading presentation equipment becomes a top priority. Your projection options likely fill a prominent place in the upgrade plan for larger spaces. The primary choices for your projector come down to laser vs lamp. While each has something to offer, Unified recommends investing in a laser projector for the best quality and long-term value.

How Do Lamp and Laser Projectors Work?

A lamp projector utilizes a high wattage lamp to emit light through liquid crystal diodes or a DLP chip to create the displayed image. This was the height of projection technology until about ten years ago.   Operationally, it still suffers from issues with lamp burnout, high Color Wheekmaintenance, and brightness that lessens quickly until the lamp is changed.

A laser projector, in contrast, uses laser technology as a more focused light source for color production. This allows a wider color gamut than most lamp-based projectors, with less heat generated in the process. It operates more efficiently, with a crisper image and higher contrast ratio, than a lamp projector can provide.

Key Advantages of Laser Projectors

Quality is the most obvious differentiator in comparing laser vs lamp projectors. No projector provides as wide a range of colors as the human eye can perceive, but a laser projector comes closer than previous projector technologies. As a result, if you use laser projectors in your workplace, you give a brighter, fuller viewing experience than a lamp projector can give.

You also gain efficiency. A lamp projector can take up to a full minute to warm up before being operational. A laser projector boots up immediately. In addition, a lamp projector brings greater maintenance requirements. You need to clean the filters and check the airflow regularly; the lamps generate heat, and a clogged filter will overheat leading to failures. That maintenance takes the time that your IT staff could be using on other tasks for your company. The laser projector is almost maintenance free, with neither lamps nor filters to create maintenance challenges for your team.

Green TechFinally, the laser projector is more eco-friendly than a lamp projector. It consumes less power, generates less heat and light engines last longer. In addition, projector lamps contain mercury which creates a complicated recycling task to prevent an environmental hazard if not disposed of properly. The laser projector saves both time and money for your company.

Longevity and Total Cost of Ownership

That said, a laser projector does cost you more up front. Many companies concerned with their current year budget will lean towards a lamp projector thinking they are good enough at a lower cost.

This may help the current budget, but it is a bit short-sighted. If you have the available budget to invest today in the laser projectors, it pays off over the long term. A lamp projector has an average lamp life of between 2,000 and 3,000 hours or a year of steady use in your company before a lamp change is required. Today’s laser projectors light engines last 20,000 hours, giving them a solid ten years of corporate lifespan even after heavy use.

Furthermore, the costs are coming down. The burden, once onerous for all but the wealthiest corporations, has reduced to the point that total cost of ownership is virtually equivalent to that of a lamp projector–and continually improving. When you combine this with reduced time and energy expended for maintenance and far less frequent replacement of the lamps, choosing a laser projector becomes almost a slam dunk.

Your Bottom Line on Projectors

If your company is focused on anything other than the up-front expenditure, the investment in laser projectors makes the most sense. Brand diversity has increased and costs have decreased, to the point that buying the inferior projector will not save you money over the long term. For the same or less cost you get better picture quality, lower maintenance, and a more environmentally friendly option.

Unified remains a brand-agnostic company, prepared to handle installations based on working with our clients and delivering the solution that makes sense to you. When you compare lamp and laser projectors side by side, laser emerges as a clear winner. Purchase the superior product, and you will continue to reap the benefits for years to come.

Josh Davis

Author Josh Davis

Josh started as a Design Engineer with Unified Technology Systems in 2014. He is a President's Club member. In the AV industry for more than 10 years, Josh brings invaluable insight into Unified Technology Systems' projects providing an unparalleled level of service to customers and fellow employees alike.

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