There are many laser projectors advantages over lamp-based machines, but we wanted to condense the buying logic down as much as possible for technology managers and IT departments to start with.
Rich McPherson, project manager for projectors at NEC Display Solutions, has a few thoughts on why you should consider laser projectors advantages over that of lamp-based options.
Laser projectors come in a variety of models, which can include anywhere from 32 to 128 actual lasers in the design for most models.
Why is this important?
The reason is that when a lamp-based projector’s actual lamp fails, the machine will not display anything; whereas with laser-based projectors, if one laser doesn’t work, a the machine will still operate.
“The most important piece of the pie is that you can still present something to your audience and get your point across,” McPherson says.
McPherson introduced the concept of “constant brightness” in his explanation of laser projectors benefits. This concept refers to the amount of relative brightness needed in a room and the fact that laser options can scale down to that level easily and consistently, presenting economical efficiencies for the user.
So let’s say you’re the technology manager for a college campus, and one of your new classrooms has a couple of windows but isn’t altogether the brightest space on campus. This is a pretty standard environment for most school projectors, so your integrator will likely recommend a 5000-lumen projector.
“If you need 5,000 lumens in a room, you’ll want to upscale to a 6,000 lumen product,” he says. “You want to do that because we can set it at 5,000 lumens and make sure the projector never changes brightness, making sure for you have the exact same image on the screen as the day you purchased the projector.”
McPherson stresses this “constant brightness” just can’t happen with a lamp projector.
Laser longevity is greater
In higher brightness ranges, traditional lamp projectors typically last about 2,000-4,000 hours per lamp, McPherson says. But with laser, 20,000-30,000 hours is fairly common.
“The longevity and usage factors far outweigh traditional lamps over time in terms of your return on investment,” he says.
But when you should consider lamp-based projectors instead?
- if the room is consistently fairly dark (meaning the high-performance of a laser machine won’t likely be needed)
- if the usage is rare or uncommon
- if the budget is extremely tight
More advice on buying laser projectors for your business or org
For more detailed information on buying laser projectors, we recommend you start with our guide, The Technology Manager’s Guide: Tips for Buying Projection Technology.
In that guide, we cover how to write a projection RFP, fitting the different price ranges into a solution budget, on-network vs. off-network projectors, placement, and much more.