Not only is the name of this lamp highly confusing, so is trying to understand exactly which type of lamp you are buying!
When shopping online for a replacement lamp for a projector or RPTV, purchasers are often confronted by a bewildering barrage of terms that can lead to confusion as to exactly what you are being offered.
In simple terms there are basically three types of lamp:-
Manufacturers’ Original. These are provided by the manufacturer of the projector or RPTV who supplies both the lamp module and the cage or housing. These are generally the most expensive.
Genuine. These are manufactured by organizations that source bulbs from the original lamp developer holding the technology patent (e.g. UHP™ from Philips) and combine these with a cage or housing sourced elsewhere. Genuine lamps are manufactured with the full endorsement of the original lamp manufacturers. There are a number of manufacturers of this type of lamp including Diamond Lamps, APO-G and Alternative Lamps. These are typically 20% lower in price compared to the Manufacturer’s Original.
Compatible. These lamps use neither the bulbs nor housings originally used by the OEM but have one distinctly attractive feature in usually being the cheapest option. Knowing it’s an imitation, it is generally understood that there will be compromises in quality and lamp life and it’s a matter of deciding what’s acceptable.
So how do other terms fit in to this scenario? The headline for this article obviously contains a number of examples but there are even more in regular use. Below is our explanation of a number of the terms that we’ve come across on various websites. These interpretations might be useful in helping you get a better understanding of what you are being offered.
“Brand New” or “100% Brand New”. Says nothing more than the fact that the lamp in question has not been used before. It could be a Manufacturers’ Original, Genuine or Compatible lamp.
Copy. Almost always refers to a compatible lamp, but often combined with other words such as “Original copy” “OEM copy” or “Genuine copy” which in our opinion is purely done in an attempt to mislead the customer – it is still highly likely to be a compatible.
OEM. Stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer” and should therefore be a Manufacturer’s Original.
Bulb only. Refers to the fact that the lamp is being offered without the housing, but could in fact be either a Manufacturers Original or Compatible. Bulb only solutions are generally aimed at the AV trade as the task of removing the existing bulb from its housing and installing the new one is likely to be a reasonably technical one.
Refurbished or re-lamped. Where a third party has taken a failed lamp and removed the faulty bulb and replaced it with a new one. The issues with these lamps are who has carried out the refurbishment (are they qualified to do so?) and what type of bulb have they used?
In conclusion we hope that this article is useful in helping you to decide what type of lamp you are buying and the old adage “if it looks to good to be true ….” absolutely applies here. If you are at all unsure about which type of lamp you are being offered and would like to speak to an expert please call us at Projector Lamp Genie on 814-308-9459.