Counterfeit Replacement Projector Lamps

Counterfeiting of projector and RPTV lamps is becoming an increasing problem facing our industry and one that can have significant consequences – so here is some information about counterfeit lamps that you might find helpful.

Types of counterfeit lamp

1 The “clone”

Much like the fake Rolex, some counterfeit lamps use none of the original parts that make up the genuine article, but use a series of cheap components that are stamped with the name and possibly part number of the original product. These are potentially the most dangerous type of counterfeit lamps, in that they may be poorly manufactured, with little if any regard to safety standards. At the same time they are also the easiest to spot as a simple side-by-side comparison against the lamp being replaced will usually reveal a number of obvious differences.  If you do receive a “clone” lamp do send it back to your supplier, as well as being illegal, like the fake Rolex, it may not work for very long.

2 Same bulb different housing

A lamp comprises of 2 main components, the bulb (the bit that creates the light) and the cage or housing (the bit that holds the bulb and is used to fit the lamp into your projector). Bulb manufacturers sell to both the original projector manufacturer (OEM) and a series of authorized 3rd parties such as Diamond Lamps, who source cages from elsewhere and produce their own branded aftermarket replacement lamps. Because such manufacturers have lower overheads than the OEM they are generally cheaper than the OEM version. Some unscrupulous companies are taking these aftermarket bulbs, sourcing a cage similar to the OEM version and putting them in boxes branded as the manufacturer.  They are then either selling them at full price making an additional profit or at a reduced price in order to “steal” business from the OEM. The quality of these lamps may be as good as the OEM lamp, but this practice is still ILLEGAL.

3 Grey lamps

The third category of counterfeit lamps comes from factories that manufacture lamps for OEMs and produce additional quantities or product overruns. They then sell these onto the “grey” market, usually at knock down prices and in turn they find their way into the channel at reduced prices. As these are in effect the same product as the OEM, they cannot be identified as counterfeit and it is down to the manufacturer to try to prevent this activity occurring.

What are the issues with counterfeit lamps?

Firstly, counterfeiting is illegal and any individual within an organization that knowingly participates in buying or selling counterfeit lamps can be liable to prosecution by the state, with significant fines and possible imprisonment amongst the penalties.

Specifically, there are a number of issues that the authorities are trying to protect against.

End user safety

Counterfeit lamps may be of poor quality or even dangerous. In the first instance they contain mercury so if they are poorly manufactured a leakage of hazardous material may result. Even if the bulb is from a genuine source, the cage may not be and there have been examples of overheating and projectors breaking or even catching fire.

 Trademark or Brand infringement

Projector and bulb manufacturers invest great sums of money in designing and developing high quality products.  A significant part of their return on that investment comes from the sales of replacement lamps. Counterfeiting cheats the brand manufacturers’ of their return.

Invalidation of warranty

Not only does using a counterfeit lamp deprive the brand manufacturer of their return on investment, it is also likely to invalidate any warranty that comes with the projector. It would be a real shame to invalidate the 3 year warranty on a $2,000 projector for the sake of saving a few dollars on a lamp.

Protection of legitimate businesses

Organizations that buy or sell counterfeit products are usually undercutting the prices of the legitimate channel which mean that genuine law-abiding businesses cannot compete with the price.

Reduction of organized crime

Whilst the selling of counterfeit projector lamps does not seem like a major underworld activity, it is a fact that all types of counterfeiting have links to organized crime and the use of slave or child labor and it is everyone’s duty to take reasonable steps to avoid being involved in the buying or selling of counterfeit lamps.

In the next edition of the BLOG we will provide some assistance in how to identify counterfeit lamps, and what to do when you find one. In the meantime if you would like any further assistance on this subject, or would like us to evaluate any lamps that you suspect might be counterfeit, then please call on 814-308-9459 or email sales-us@projectorlampgenie.com

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Sanyo Replacement Lamps in Short Supply?

Following the acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic, and the subsequent withdrawal of the Sanyo brand of projectors, the audio visual industry is rife with rumours of a shortage of replacement lamps for Sanyo projectors. Whilst Panasonic fully support the entire Sanyo range, I guess it stands to reason that with the closure of the Sanyo warehouses and selling off bulk stock, it is inevitable that there will be some disruption to the supply chain.

But there is no need to worry. Projector Lamp Genie carry the Diamond Lamps range of projector lamps and we are pleased to report there are Diamond Lamps available for 176 of the 192 Sanyo projectors that have ever been produced.

Diamond Lamps use the same original bulb as Sanyo (predominantly produced by Philips and Osram) and combine these with a third party housing. These components are then assembled to exacting standards with the full approval and endorsement of Philips and Osram.

Diamond lamps (and Projector Lamp Genie) recently received a very favorable review from Home Theatre Review – which can be seen here.

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Diamond Lamps get a great review!

We at Projector Lamp Genie have been selling the range of Diamond Lamps since we started and have always been impressed with the quality, low DOA and returns rates and customer satisfaction with the products. Recently we supplied one to Andrew Robinson of HomeTheatreReview.com who was delighted with it and wrote a forum post about his experience. See Replacing A Projector Bulb.

Diamond lamps are a range of what are known as “Genuine” lamps. They have the original manufacturer’s (Philips, Ushio, Osram etc.) bulb located in a third party housing or “cage” to form a lamp module. Consequently, they have the same specification as the Manufacturers’ Original (OEM) but are typically 20% cheaper and come with a 120 day warranty whereas OEM lamps typically have a 90 day warranty. If you would like to find out more about the Diamond range of lamps please call us on 814-308-9459 or email us.

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Solid State Projectors

Whilst we are happy that our outstandingly competitive pricing makes replacement projector lamps more affordable, we are aware that it is still an expense that projector users would rather avoid if possible. For the last 2 years much has been made of solid state or “lamp free” projectors that will last for 20,000+ hours without breaking down. So to find out what’s happening in the market I visited ISE Europe www.iseurope.org earlier this month to check out the state of the market and particularly to see how far solid state projectors have come along in the past year. The answer is that in terms of the business/education projector (1,000 + ANSI Lumens) not much. Casio are still the only manufacturer with a product actually shipping and whilst they have done very well over the past couple of years with their “hybrid” technology, solid state projectors still only represent a tiny fraction of projectors being purchased right now.

But things look set to change. Manufacturers of LED projectors such as Optoma, Acer, Vivitek, BenQ snd Projection Design, which have so far been limited by low brightness (the majority of projectors being1000 ANSI lumens ready to ship in 2012. Perhaps more exciting is that several companies are also starting to develop projectors using laser technology as their light source and BenQ are on the verge of shipping a 2000 ANSI lumen projector using blue laser technology click here.

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Projector Lamp Genie Introduce – Free Lamp Recycling

Lamps are hazardous products and need to be treated with great care. The burner in each lamp is pressurised to extreme levels of 200 atmospheres or more and contain hazardous chemicals such as Mercury, all housed in glass. Mishandling or incorrect disposal can pose a serious health and safety threat, which is why Projector Lamp Genie, have established a policy of responsibility in accepting back old units.

As experts in the field of projector and RPTV lamps Projector Lamp Genie are happy to arrange for the FREE disposal of any used lamps that you may have – whether they were purchased from Projector Lamp Genie or not.
All you need to do is contact us on 814-308-9459 or email us and we will provide you with an address label to send your used lamp to our recycling centre – all you have to do is pay the shipping – we’ll take care of the rest.

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Projector Lamp Genie Introduce – Exclusive Trade-in offer

In talking to our customers we understand that budgets are tight at present and everyone is looking for ways to make them go that bit further. We’ve thought about what you have been saying and believe we have come up with a unique proposition that might help.

Many organizations have a policy of holding a spare projector lamp, which is fully understandable given the critical nature of many projector applications. The downside of this policy has been that when the projector is upgraded to a new and better model the spare lamp is obsolete and has to be thrown away. This is no longer the case! Projector Lamp Genie is the first international reseller to offer a trade in of 35% of the cost on all unused Manufacturers’ Original lamps returned at the time of purchasing a new lamp – regardless of whether the lamp was originally purchased from Projector Lamp Genie. The only condition is that the lamps must be unused and still in their original packaging, We realize that 35% might seem a bit low, but we have to factor in the costs of putting it into stock and not knowing when we might be able to sell it again – but until now it was probably worth nothing. There are also benefits to the environment, because we are now giving you the ability to recycle something that was previously destined for the trash.

To see how it works please click on the following link: Exclusive Trade-in Offer.

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The value of Free Shipping

Getting the best value when purchasing a lamp online is not always all about the headline price. Many online resellers charge extra to ship the product. A recent survey found that costs for standard overland shipping ranged from $5.99 to $10.20. With the average lamp reselling at about $220 this represents and additional cost of between 2.7% and 4.6%. What’s worse many online resellers hide this shipping cost until it comes to checkout – so you only find out when you come to pay. We at Projector Lamp Genie make it easy – the price we quote is what you pay – ground shipping to mainland USA is completely free. But what if you need your lamp urgently? Again we have researched some of our competitors and discovered that they charge as much as $39.99 for overnight delivery. We believe these charges are excessive and offer our customers in mainland USA 2 business day shipping for $4.00 and overnight next business day shipping for $9.00. So when you are looking for the best value source for front projection and RPTV lamps make sure you take shipping costs into the equation.

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What is the “brandnew100%genuineOEMcopy” lamp?

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.

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Projector Lamp Genie launch “Genie” range of compatible lamps.

It is clear from feedback we have received from customers and potential customers that there is a requirement for Projector Lamp Genie to introduce a range of compatible lamps. Since we started selling front projection and RPTV lamps and bulbs we have concentrated our focus on Manufacturer Original and Genuine (Diamond) lamps. Our competitive pricing and high service levels have resulted in a highly successful start, but it is clear that many purchasers of replacement lamps wish to buy the lower cost compatible version.

Therefore we are delighted to launch the Genie range of lamps covering over 2,400 projector models.

In order to provide our customers with a range of products, which offer the highest specification and quality, we have carefully researched the market and partnered with a manufacturer who we believe offers the finest compatible products on the market today. Our partner is EN ISO 9001:2004 accredited and uses high quality components sourced all over the world.

We would appreciate any feedback you may have – please email info@projectorlampgenie.com

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Installing a bare bulb

Below are general instructions on how to install a bare bulb in a projector.

Note: You should always refer to your User Manual and if in doubt engage the services of a qualified technician or service center.

Important: Projector Lamp Genie does NOT accept responsibility for incorrect installation of a lamp or bare bulb and does not provide any assurances as to the accuracy of these instructions for particular makes/models of projectors or rear-projection TV’s.

Please wear a pair of clean gloves or get a paper towel to handle the new bulb.

1. Unplug the projector.

2. Open the projector lamp housing to gain access to the old bulb.

3. Clean the dust off the socket area and make sure it is free of any debris.

4. Removed the lamp housing from the projector.

5. Unscrew the wires that are connected to your bare projector lamp and connector and remember the wiring of the strings.

6. Remove the retaining clip that is holding your old bare projector lamp in place.

7. Replace the old lamp with the new lamp and fasten the clip and two screws back into place.

Attention

You must do this without touching the bulb with your bare hands.  Any amount of bodily/skin oil will cause performance problems.

First take a first look at your current projector lamp assembled in the plastic housing, so that you can visualize for yourself how easy installation will be.

Additional help can be found here:

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