You can see that laser projectors have a number of distinct advantages over lamp projectors by quickly reviewing their technical specifications. The value of these benefits will fluctuate depending on who you ask.
The impact of laser projectors has been significant. There is a laser projector for almost every situation, and they are becoming more and more affordable for the majority of budgets.
Are laser projectors better? Put simply, laser-based projection offers longer lasting brightness, lower maintenance and improved color and contrast over similar lamp-based models.
Let’s examine what makes each technology distinct and the situations in which you might favor one over the other.
Table of Contents
Laser projectors have similar features to LED projectors, including 20,000 hours of life, virtually maintenance-free operation, lower heat generation, non-standard angle mounting capability, etc. They are arguably one of the professional A/V market segments that are expanding at the fastest rates.
Because laser projectors can be purchased with higher lumen outputs (up to and possibly beyond 30,000 lumens), large venues can now benefit from the solid-state light engines’ long-term lower cost of ownership. This is the main difference between laser and LED technology.
With laser, costs can be reduced without sacrificing brightness, color saturation, or image quality in large churches, theaters, classrooms, outdoor projection mapped exhibits, and other settings that need large-format projection.
Laser Projector Pros and Cons
Above all, compared to lamp-based models, laser projection offers increased brightness, reduced maintenance, and impressive color.
Other important features of laser projection include:
- Rich, vibrant colors and deep blacks are offered by an extremely high contrast ratio.
- Perfect for kicking off a movie right before dusk.
- virtually maintenance-free because a lamp or filter doesn’t need to be changed for up to 30,000 hours.
- It is ideal for special occasions due to its small size, light weight, and quiet operation.
- Setting up the geometric four-corner correction is straightforward.
- A laser projector’s image quality won’t deteriorate over time like lamp projectors do. This is because the optical engine is sealed, dispelling any concern that dust, smoke, or salt air will adversely affect the image over time. For those who host movies near the ocean or on the beach, this feature is ideal.
The higher initial cost of laser projectors is, however, one drawback. For instance, we recognize that in situations where there is a fixed budget, this can be a crucial choice for some organizations.
Fortunately, prices have recently decreased. It’s less expensive and easier than ever to add a laser projector. Businesses, institutions of higher learning, places of entertainment, places of worship, and neighborhood parks have benefited greatly from this upgrade, which has raised the overall standard of their events.
The tried-and-true projection lamp has been in use for years, and it continues to receive new improvements like brighter light and longer life. However, lifespans for the majority of its history were measured in hundreds of hours; it wasn’t until the last 10 years or so that we started to see projection lamps with lifespans of more than 1000 hours.
The development of dual-lamp systems coincided with the evolution of lamps as a result of the need to achieve ever-increasing lumen output. Although the desired outcome was obtained, the cost of ongoing maintenance to keep the unit operational also increased.
More recent projector releases now boast lamp lifespans of 5,000 hours and even a 10,000-hour estimated lifespan if the projector is run in its “Eco” mode, which reduces lamp output for the benefit of longevity. I find it difficult to conclude that lamp-based projection is about to become obsolete given these figures.
So when would a lamp-based solution be preferred over a solid-state one? The simple answer is that lamp projectors are best for those who only occasionally use projection, such as once a month for movie night or a few times a week in a classroom.
One could easily argue that churches, especially small churches with few activities during the week, could still find a useful application for the now more affordable lamp projectors.
What To Consider When Decide Lamp Or Laser?
1. Decide How Much Colour and Contrast You Need
Compared to lamp-based projectors, lasers offer a wider variety of colors and a sharper contrast between hues. This laser light source benefit will be useful if your projector will be used to display complex images or video.
A wider color spectrum will always look more impressive than its smaller counterpart, but if you don’t actually need this benefit in your home theater or office projector, it might be more financially sensible for you to choose a lamp projector with a smaller color spectrum.
A lamp projector might be sufficient for sporadic use when viewing straightforward presentations, documents, and spreadsheets.
2. Work Out How Bright Your Space Is
Since laser projectors are a relatively new invention, they naturally start at the top of the market. This translates to high brightness in projector terms. They frequently provide up to 20,000 lumens or more. This will not typically be required in office settings.
Simply put, a projector of this quality is not necessary to project a clear image in darker meeting spaces. You typically only need around 5,000 lumens to display a bright image with the best clarity and detail in most meeting rooms or boardrooms.
However, you might need 10,000 lumens or more to achieve the same results if you have a very large screen or you’re in a bigger conference space, auditorium, or lecture theater, and laser might end up being a more economical choice in the long run.
Home theater laser projectors aren’t intended to be extremely bright because it’s assumed that they will be used in living rooms or other designated dark spaces. Brightness is essentially a moot point for home cinema in these rooms because they typically block out a lot of ambient light.
We still advise a full demo of a range of projectors before dismissing laser, though it does offer exceptionally bright whites, high contrast, and obvious benefits on color-brightness that aren’t apparent on the spec sheet.
3. Establish How Often and for How Long You Will Use Your Projector
Answering this question should not be difficult. Unlike their lamp-based counterparts, laser projectors have a much longer lifespan and do not require frequent lamp replacement. The lamp life on a lamp projector can be as low as 2,500 hours; more on the costs of lamp replacement later. Laser projectors typically have a lifespan of 20,000 hours.
If you’ve ever owned a projector, you know that the warranty on the lamp and the warranty on a replacement lamp are separate from the warranty on the projector itself. The 2,500-hour running time is not always guaranteed.
Many laser projectors come with a huge 5-year warranty from the manufacturer, and in some cases, usage-hour guarantees, demonstrating how confident they are in the laser’s long lifespan.
Since we rarely think of time in counts of more than 24, it can be challenging to comprehend just how long a 20,000-hour lifespan actually is. Put another way, it would be equivalent to continuously using the device for two years and four months. The lifespan would still be ten years even if you used the projector eight hours a day, five days a week, all year long.
This lifespan is ideal for industrial projectors that must be durable and last for a long time. However, if your projector serves as more of an incidental tool, essential occasionally but not always, a shorter lifespan may be appropriate.
4. Do You Like to Be Kept Waiting?
It’s likely that you will spend a lot of time turning your projector on and off again if you regularly give lectures or schedule meetings throughout the day. This is a problem with older lamp projectors because the process is frequently delayed by a few seconds or even close to a minute each time the lamp needs to heat up in order to function.
This won’t be a big deal for you if your projector will only be used occasionally or won’t be turned on and off frequently. However, if you frequently stop and start the machine, a laser projector with “instant on” capabilities will be very helpful because it enables you to immediately get the best performance out of your projector.
5. Where is the Projector Installed?
For lamp projectors to continue operating at the required level, regular maintenance is necessary. The projector’s lamps will first need to be replaced, which will add significantly to the projector’s initial cost and be very inconvenient. Regular cleaning is also necessary for the device’s internal filters, which keep dust from obstructing the mechanism.
As they don’t have lamps or filters to worry about, laser projectors are immune to these issues. A lower maintenance laser projector might be a better choice for you in the long run if your projector will be in a hard-to-reach location, especially when you take the cost of AV technicians into account.
6. What’s Your Budget?
If money is not an issue for you, we advise you to choose the best model you can find, which is typically a laser projector. But the vast majority of companies and people will face financial constraints.
To make the best choice, consider your priorities and decide which of the features we’ve already discussed are worth the extra money and which you won’t actually need.
Finally: Why Laser?
In short, laser-based projection offers longer lasting brightness, lower maintenance and improved color and contrast over similar lamp-based models.
Today’s projectors use solid-state lasers, which are incredibly bright, have wider color gamuts, deep black levels, and never need a lamp replacement! Although replacement lamps have become less expensive, there is still labor associated with changing these lamps.
You might need to rent a lift if the projector is located in a high place, like a sanctuary. If you repeat this three or four times, you won’t really save any money.
Additionally, these new laser light source projectors don’t overheat like conventional bulb projectors, making them an excellent choice for heavy use and “all day” applications. And unlike lamp-based projection, their color and white brightness is maintained for a lot longer.
Finally, they provide more installation flexibility because some of them can be mounted anywhere within a 360-degree radius. Want to learn more on laster projector? Read our post on best laser projectors.
Also Read: LSP7T Vs LSP9T