This year marks the 60th anniversary of laser technology. According to the Science and Entertainment Exchange, Theodore Maiman was the first scientist to create the first laser light beam using a ruby and some theories from Einstein. Today, laser technology isn’t the work of science fiction. It brings to bear many constructive uses, including as the best light source of some of today’s top meeting room projectors. But with cheap lamp-based projectors still widely available, what laser projector advantages does the technology pose?
Lamps Are Expensive
Lamp-based projectors have been a mainstay of the boardroom for decades, but their low upfront costs are misleading. There are other hidden costs beyond the initial price tag to factor into the bottom line.
First, they require replacement lamps or bulbs. A replacement bulb can cost anywhere from $50 to $400 each, depending on the model. That’s a cost that can add up quickly when there are dozens of projectors in the building, and when there are hundreds, the it becomes exorbitant.
Another contributing factor behind lamps is that they may not last as long as expected. Typically, lamps are specified to burn a maximum of 5,000 hours, but a more accurate number is closer to 2,000.
They also are plagued with poor brightness. Brightness can vary from bulb to bulb and manufacturer to manufacturer; in addition, every bulb will dim over the course of its lifetime.
A picture that’s too dim to be seen in the back of the room may need a new lamp much sooner than expected, which means a lamp budget is more of a ballpark figure.
There’s also lamp recycling fees. Because lamps can contain hazardous chemicals, such as mercury gas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends recycling them. There may be some associated fees on the state level or within the local jurisdiction.
The second most expensive cost is labor. A company with 400 projectors can spend 7.5 weeks’ worth of workhours replacing bulbs, and that doesn’t even account for the labor to clean or replace the filter.
Filters Are the Other Line Item
A projector filter, much like those use on an HVAC system, keeps dust from entering the engine. Without a filter, the projector will overheat and shut down temporarily or worse, short out completely due to the accumulation of dust.
But filters have to be cleaned or replaced to be effective, whether that’s simply blowing off the dust, thoroughly washing and drying them. Then they have to be replaced.
That’s even more labor. In addition, where projectors are installed in spaces where a ceiling is vaulted, replacing the bulb and cleaning the filter may require renting a lift to reach it.
Rather than trust paper or cloth filters, a sealed laser projector is filter free while preventing dust from entering the unit. Look for laser models that have an Ingress Protection IP5X or IP6X rating, which signifies that is certified for dust protection. Almost everyone is familiar with IP Codes. They’re the
testing used to certify that the most widely available smartphone and watch technology available today is impervious to dust and water. For a projector, the IP rating shaves off substantial maintenance cost and prolongs the life of the investment in projector technology.
Laser projector advantages to cost
Filter-free laser projectors not only eliminate the need for bulbs, they also reduce the associated maintenance, delivering a total cost of ownership (TCO) that’s 50% lower than traditional projectors. Companies with 250 employees or more have been shown to spend $250,000 on time spent in meetings.
Time is money, and maintenance only drives up that costs even further. By opting for laser, companies can save time and money spent on meetings.
The bottom line isn’t the only reason to consider laser projectors. Meetings are incredibly valuable and a vital part of innovation, and they demand technology that keeps pace.
Proven color accuracy also helps drive information retention. Studies show that a bright, color-accurate presentation can help employees retain info 82% more effectively.
The best 4K laser projector is DLP Rec. 709-color-accurate, demonstrating its full ability to replicate the color space and preventing any shift to yellow experienced by some models. And models rated for 20,000 hours of performance without ever degrading help ensure that every presentation is delivered with impact.
Making the switch to maintenance-free, color-accurate laser technology isn’t only good for the bottom line, it also helps to foster new ideas. After all, no one wants a projector to be the reason the wheels fall off at the next client presentation.