How to Choose the Best Replacement Toshiba Projector Lamps
The lamp is the integral part of any projector, so this is one area you can’t afford to skimp on – although it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. Original Toshiba projector lamps are precision made to exacting standards – currently, there are only four or five manufacturers worldwide making high quality projector bulbs – so it makes sense to purchase one recommended by the manufacturer, rather than a cheap and inferior copy.
If this makes you balk, you can make substantial savings by buying your Toshiba projector lamps online, from a supplier endorsed by Toshiba. To bring costs down further, these same suppliers often sell duplicate lamps as well as manufacturer’s originals. These are not always inferior products; they can be as good as the real thing, but use different materials (such as the housing, packaging etc). The important part – the bulb – will either be a Toshiba original, or a top quality alternative from a manufacturer such as Osram or Phillips.
The things to look out for are suspiciously cheap “Toshiba projector lamps” packaged to look like the original and delivered from a foreign supplier. On closer inspection, these lamps are often fake and have not passed the rigorous quality controls imposed upon genuine alternatives. They are illegal, and often dangerous; nobody wants to have a mercury vapour bulb explode in their face. Yet this is what can happen if you buy projector bulbs from a disreputable source.
Of course, you can’t “see before you buy” online, which is why it’s so important to only use sites endorsed to sell the original product. If they also sell replica projector lamps, these should be clearly packaged to reflect this fact and you should always get a full guarantee and “no quibble” returns policy, whichever brand you choose.
When you see how projector lamps are made, it’s easy to see why they’re so dear. This is not a high yield, bulk-consumable product. Mercury vapour bulbs are designed to last a long time, and replacements have a finite lifespan (owing to the possibility of loss of pressure over time, leading to a duller output). Consumer demand is therefore quite low, meaning Toshiba projector lamps are made in relatively small batches. The machinery is very expensive, and since it is used throughout the entire Toshiba range it must be carefully reset and recalibrated for each batch. The process uses exotic raw materials, such as quartz glass and mercury. It is also extremely labour intensive, with a team of specialist scientists and engineers overseeing quality control, calibration and more.
Toshiba projector lamps are sold as a sealed unit, complete with the housing and lens. Replacement of the ARC bulb alone is a highly specialised process and outside the realm of DIY. In fact, the housings are made so they can’t be dismantled. There are numerous reasons for this – the main one being safety. The arc tube is sealed with mercury vapour at ultra-high pressure. Mercury is essentially hazardous, as is exploding glass. Buying bulbs in sealed units ensures safety of both user and machine. It also ensures that Toshiba projector lamps run 100% efficiently, with efficient wiring and a scratch-free reflector.
Whether you choose to buy the Toshiba original or a reputable copy is up to you.