To Laser or Not to Laser – Laser Projectors vs. Traditional Lamp Projectors

MCC Blog - To laser or not to laser

Laser projectors have only been available to the public for around 10 years, and yet they’ve already changed the audiovisual world. Higher quality images, greater efficiency, and more compact designs have made them the new gold standard when it comes to projection technology.

 

Brightness

When you compare a traditional lamp projector to a laser projector side by side in a dark room, it is obvious the laser projector is much brighter.  However, the laser projector can also maintain that brightness over time, whereas the lamp bulb in a tradition projector will begin to dim within even 10 minutes of use. A 5000-lumen laser projector will still produce 5000-lumens after 2 years of use.

(Panasonic DLP laser projector demo inside the MCC technology center.  Projected video footage courtesy of GoPro)

Quality

In addition to a maintained brightness, laser projectors also produce a better quality of light.  Traditional projector bulbs produce a white light which must then be broken down into blue, green, and red light which the projector can then recombine in the projection as white light. It’s terribly inefficient and consumes excess electricity and produces massive amounts of heat which must then be dissipated with fans (consuming more electricity).

Laser projectors create only the colors they need and are therefore more efficient and much brighter.  For example, a 300 watt bulb produces 300 watts of white light which must be broken down to red, green, and blue. Of that 300 watts, how much remains for the red, green, and blue light?  On the other side, a laser projector with 3 100 watt lasers can produce red, green, and blue light at 100 watts each and provide a much brighter image with less waste.

The lasers also give the projector the ability to produce far more colors than lamp projectors. Because lasers can be built to create any wavelength, far wider color ranges are possible with a laser projector than traditional bulbs.

Longevity

Because laser projectors maintain their brightness over time and do not use physical bulbs, the cost of maintenance is lower.  The average laser projectors today offer roughly 20,000 to 30,000 hours of “lamp” life.  The average projector bulb has a rating of 3000 hours.  At $200-$450 a bulb, the savings can add up quickly.

MCC Blog - Laser vs Lamp Projector Infographic

The biggest hesitation point for most businesses when considering an upgrade to laser projection, is cost.  Laser projectors ARE more of an initial upfront cost.  In some cases, much more.  However, it is important to consider the cost of the investment of the lifetime of the projector.

 

The initial cost of a laser projector is higher, however, due to the efficiency of the lasers, the cost of maintaining these systems is much less.  Let’s look at the numbers.  The initial cost of a laser projector with approximately 5000 lumens will be almost double the cost of a LCD lamp projector.  When you compare the “lamp” life-cycle of each system, you find you will be spending an addition $1250  for lamps over the lifetime of the projector (based on $250 a lamp).  So the cost almost equals out. However we can also toss in the cost savings on electricity, maintenance and downtime over those 20,000 hours of use.  When you amortize over time, the cost levels out quite a bit. And if you put a price tag on aggravation (maintenance, downtime for bulb replacement, noise, heat, dimness, etc), and a value on image quality and brightness, well then the laser projector will ultimately seem a good bit cheaper and well worth the cost.

 

If you are interested in taking a look at some of our Panasonic DLP laser projectors, call our AV Sales team at 1-866-805-5893 or request a free consultation online. Let MCC help find the perfect Audio Visual Solution for you!

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