After years of only offering name brand, genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) projector replacement lamps, Focused Technology has now added a full line of OEM Equivalent, AKA OEM Compatible projector replacement lamps. We realize that as the economy continues to rebound, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs. Naturally, saving money on a consumable product like a replacement projector bulb is something that our customers should consider. And naturally, there are several questions that come up. The main question being, what’s the difference between the two?
- Physical attributes: OEM equivalent lamps are designed to exactly replicate the original manufacturer’s lamp. Comparing the two side by side, you’d see virtually no difference. Besides being physically identical, the raw bulb (the part of the lamp inside the metal housing), is often times made by the exact same manufacturer used to make the original manufacturer’s lamp. In this case, the only difference is the housing around the lamp and the company that mates the two pieces together.
- Lamp Life: There have been no conclusive studies comparing the lamp life of an OEM lamp to its OEM equivalent. Since there a several different manufacturers of equivalent bulbs, it would be very hard to make a true comparison anyway. However, in general, an OEM lamp is more likely to last longer than it’s OEM equivalent.
- Warranty: While most projector manufacturers warranty the original lamp that comes with your projector for anywhere between 90 days to one year, their “replacement” lamps, or any lamp that is purchased to replace the original, are usually only covered for 30 days. OEM equivalent lamps are covered for at least that long and sometimes longer. When in doubt about the coverage of your OEM lamp, just call us and ask!
- Coverage Against Damage Caused by Lamp Failure: In the rare case that a lamp failure from an OEM equivalent lamp causes damage to a projector that is under warranty, the manufacturer may opt to deny coverage. This type of failure can happen with either OEM or OEM equivalent lamps. While it is rare, it’s worth pointing out.
To put it bluntly, there would be no reason to buy an OEM equivalent if they weren’t cheaper! The manufacturers of the equivalents concentrate their efforts on providing a lamp that is as near to the quality of the original as possible at the lowest possible cost. So why buy the manufacturer’s lamp? When you purchase a genuine OEM lamp, you can think of the extra cost as an insurance policy. You know exactly what you’re getting, you’re assured to get support from the manufacturer in case there are any problems, and you can generally expect it to last longer.
When shopping for your lamp, you may notice some lamps being advertised as the “raw bulb” or “lamp only”. These are lamps that do not come with the metal or plastic housing for the bulb. Very few manufacturers offer their genuine OEM lamps without the housing and it’s for good reason. Detaching your spent bulb and re-inserting the new bulb is a very difficult procedure to do correctly. The chances of early failure and damage to the projector caused by lamp failure are greatly increased by not using a professionally mated bulb and housing in your projector. All OEM Equivalent lamps from Focused Technology come with the housing.
Re-Lamped Projector Lamps can be either a brand new bulb inside a used (recycled) lamp housing or a spent lamp that has been repaired to working condition. Re-using lamp housings or worse, refurbishing spent lamps, only increase the likelihood of getting a lamp that will fail earlier, cause damage from failure, or just plain not work out of the box. All OEM Equivalent lamps from Focused Technology come with brand new bulbs and housings.
If you see a price for a lamp that seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a lamp that is priced $100 or more under the cost of a genuine OEM lamp, you can be reasonably assured it’s either an OEM equivalent, Re-Lamped, or Bulb Only. Any trustworthy dealer should note what type of lamp they’re selling if it’s not OEM. Of course, this isn’t always the case, so don’t be afraid to call the dealer and ask.
If you still have questions about your options, feel free to call one of our projector lamp experts at 1-888-686-0551.
The Epson Home Cinema 6100 and 6500UB are reaching the end of their very successful production life. The Home Cinema 8100 and Home Cinema 8500UB have been tabbed as their replacements. The HC8100 has increased its rated contrast ratio to 36,000:1 and the HC8500UB has increased it’s contrast to an amazing 200,000:1. This will not only give truer, deeper black levels, but better overall black level separation for an image that has the most film-like almost 3-D quality.
The Home Cinema 8100 will be sold at $1,599.00 and it’s expected to come with a $100 mail-in rebate. That’s a fantastic value for projector that’s improving upon a unit that sold for $400 more!.
Pricing and specs have not been officially released on the Home Cinema 8500UB, but it’s expected to sell for under $3,000.00. Along with the latest D7 chip set, this high-quality projector adds Epson’s C2Fine® and UltraBlack™ technology for superb black levels and vivid images. More information to come soon!