Tip & How-To about Televison & Video

Lamp vs Ballast

This is to help explain the short lives of Lamps.

WARRANTY: If a lamp fails within the first year replace Lamp and Ballast.
If Lamp explodes do not replace Ballast only lamp, but if lamp didn’t explode replace both.

If you experience more than one Lamp failure within one year of use replace the Ballast.

The Panasonic Brand offers a Ballast repair kit (LSUC0022), it only works about 20% of the time.

I would not recommend this replacement kit. It will get you past the 30-45 day warranty period in most cases but it will not be the proper FIX to the customer’s unit and they will only call you back or (most important) call another Service Center.

I have experienced maybe 100 customers that had other Service Companies come out and only replace the Lamp. When the Lamp and Ballast should have been replaced.

I hope this helps the Customers and the Technicians in their judgment.

If I was redundant I apologize, just trying to help.

Good Day, big IRISH

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Replaced lamp broke in Sony KDS-R50XBR1 50" HDTV after 2 minutes

When you say "lamp broke", do you mean the lamp actually physically broke? (as in 'exploded'?)

Was it a Factory replacement bulb, manufactured by Sony? (did it have the Sony logo on the box?) Many "3rd party" lamps are made from inferior materials, made in inferior conditions... and produce inferior results... including what you've mentioned. If this is the case, I suggest getting a replacement, or better a refund, then get a real Sony lamp... personal experience speaking here.

Normal failure mode of the ballast is that it will usually be totally dead, probably 85% of the time. Sometimes you will see one that's struggling to output enough power to maintain proper brightness.

What you describe would be a VERY rare failure, indeed. The ballast can not really burn out the lamp, by design. It's possible the ballast could have been weak, and just now failed... if the lamp still looks to be in good physical condition, this is a possibility, though remote.

BTW... 6 years is pretty good, but it's more about operational hours. I believe those low power lamps should last 5,000 to 8,000 hours, for an original Sony lamp.

Another thing to keep in mind is the lamp cooling. If the fan that cools the lamp has failed, and for some reason the detection circuitry is not realizing that... this could be a problem. These arc lamps operate at about 1200 degrees F (internally), and require a lot of cool air to keep them from literally melting, or exploding.

Nov 06, 2013 | Sony KDS-R50XBR1 50" HDTV

3 Answers

Sony DLP has Dark Screen

Techman007 is correct here. Lamps have "lifetimes" of a certain number of hours. The lamp indicator is there to let you know that the lamp is likely to fail soon as it has reached its expected lifetime. That does not mean that there aren't lamps that will fail sooner. In your case, the lamp is not producing the amount of light required for a good picture. This is normal for lamps as they age. The light output for all lamps decreases with use. Normally this does not occur in such drastic ways however.

Since you are getting light from the lamp, the ballast is working as expected. The ballast is similar in function to the ballast for a flourescent light, it either works or doesn't.

One other thing that can be checked is the fan area and any glass surfaces for dust and dirt. Again this will effect hte overall light output, but not in such a drastic way. When you next change the lamp, carefully clen any glass surfaces as well as the fan area. Please note that any access to the lamp area should be done after the lamp has had time to cool. These lamps are burn hazards.


Apr 30, 2010 | Sony Grand WEGA KDF-42WE655 42" Rear...

1 Answer

projection lamp explodes 3 times in four years would you consider this a defective tv???

No, but the TV has a defective ballast. DLP TV's Lamps should on an average last at least 2 years. Any DLP Lamp that has a short life it is the ballast. Some are easy to replace, some are more difficult. Depening on Brand the cost will vary. I would recommend that you seek an Authorized Service Dealer and make you tell them about the lamp replacement history and of ballast.

I hope this information allows you to resolve this issue.
If I have helped you, please help me, and rate this suggestion the highest FixYa rating. (Two Thumbs Up)
Please Note: If you can not rate this post with the highest rating, then please do not leave any rating. I am doing this for free and I do not think that any rating other that the best is needed.
If you need further assistance please comment to this post and I will try to help you further.

Good Luck, Big Irish.

Nov 23, 2009 | Televison & Video

1 Answer

3rd lamp purchased within 2 yrs

There is a slight chance that you might have an issue with a defective ballast, I mean 3 lamps in 2 years, it's too much. The best way to go here is replacing the ballast, that might solve the issue.

Jul 25, 2009 | Mitsubishi WD-62327 62" Rear Projection...

4 Answers

DLP 5063WX. Sound but no picture. Screen Black. Just replaced Ballast. Problem still there..Flashing green Timer/Lamp..Cycles a few times and turns itself off. Any suggestions?

Is the Lamp ok? Go to the rear of the set and turn on the set with your remote while looking at the vent slats. If you can see a bright light through the vent slats then your Lamp is working. If the lamp is on and you have sound and no pix, then the Digital bd is in what we call "Video Mute" and will have to be replaced. Also make sure that the Lamp Door is installed and the screws are tight.

Jul 14, 2009 | Samsung 50" Slim-Depth DLP HDTV

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