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How to change the lamp in a DLP projection TV

Most DLP projection TVs will lose their lamps in about 6 years. Perhaps in as little as 3 years if used like a conventional direct view TV and run for very long hours. Sometimes it is easy to know that is the problem, other times it isn't.

Generally, when the lamp light flashes, most units are telling you it is time to replace the lamp. Some units have a maximum number of hours, usually 8,000 to 10,000, when the bulb should be replaced. If you are not sure how many hours are on your unit you can also tell when to change the lamp by removing the lamp and inspecting it. If the inside, on the relector and faceplate, has any cloudyness or smoky look, you should definitely replace the lamp.

If you do not replace the lamp when prompted by your unit you run the risk of damaging more components and risking a fire. Lamps sometimes explode when not replaced and this causes a power surge which can damage additional components in the power supply or destroy the lamp ballast adding additional expense to the repair.

The best place I have found to purchase lamps is http://www.encompass.com . Others I trust are http://www.shopjimmy.com or http://www.mcmelectronics.com . Encompass usually has what you need, they have a great search engine, research help is available and the prices are good.

Purchase the entire lamp assembly even though it will cost a little more. If you do not and purchase only the lamp you will have to remove the old lamp from it's housing and install the new lamp before you can install the assembly. This can be a complicated procedure, which is different for each lamp assembly, but if you are mechanically inclined and feel confident that you can accomplish this procedure, it could save you almost 30 percent of the cost depending on the lamp.

Changing the bulb in the housing usually entails removing a cover assembly by taking out a few screws. Studying your unit should reveal the process. Wear safety goggles when working on the lamp assembly. Before touching any lamp, put on a pair of cotton gloves. If you do not and get oil from your hands on the lamp it could shorten it's life. In addition the lamp could explode. There should be two wires which will need changed to the new lamp. They are almost always held on with small nuts and sometimes have washers. Do them one at a time to keep from mixing them up. If you work slowly and concienciously you should have no trouble changing the lamp which could save you up to 30%.

Most TV owners manuals explain in detail how to change the bulb. If yours doesn't or you have lost the manual, you can download a copy of your manual at http://www.retrevo.com . If retrevo does not have your manual you should be able to purchase one at http://www.servicemanuals.net . Most can be downloaded in pdf format for about $16.00 US.

Now I will go over the basics of lamp replacement.

All units are a little different as to where the lamp access is. Somewhere on the unit, usually one side or the other or the front or back there will be a small door with one or two screws. On Sony it is usually under a removable panel on the front under the screen, Samsungs and Hitachis are on the right side looking from the rear. Mitsubishis can be on the back or the left side (looking from the rear). The location should be clear in the owners manual.

When you find the door remove the door to expose the lamp. Usually the door is attached with one or perhaps two screws and has tabs on the opposite side to align it. The lamp is usually held in with a screw. Remove the screw and extract the lamp by unpluging it from the socket. Some lamps may be a little difficult to remove and may require some tugging. If the lamp does not come out easily reinspect it to make sure that all screws have been removed and nothing is jamming it.

Once the lamp module is removed and when handling the new unit wear a pair of thin cotton or latex gloves. If you do not and you get oil on the lamp, from your skin, you could have the lamp fail in short order. Usually the new lamps come with a pair of gloves, but not always. Read any special instructions included with the new lamp assembly.

Slide in the new lamp paying attention to getting it to seat properly and close up the unit. Be careful not to damage the interlock switch on the door.The switch should be on one side and must be held in the proper position or the TV will not turn on. Most people that have problems after replacing the lamp have somehow moved the switch and created a fault in the safety circuit. This would have to be corrected before the unit will function. I have a tip at http://www.fixya.com/support/r5207658-dlp_tv_run_after_replacing_lamp which explains what to do if this happens.

On rare occasions I have had units which lost protective resistors and or diodes when the lamp blew. Additionally I have had units which also took out the lamp ballast. If this is your case you may need a tech to fix that. If only the lamp blew, your unit should be as good as new.

Also some units need the elapsed time meter reset after lamp replacement. I have tips for most units: Panasonic - http://www.fixya.com/support/r8036688-lamp_reset_procedure_panasonic_tvs
Toshiba - http://www.fixya.com/support/r8036750-lamp_reset_procedures_toshiba_tvs
Samsung - http://www.fixya.com/support/r8036627-lamp_reset_procedure_samsung
LG and Zenith - http://www.fixya.com/support/r8036496-lamp_reset_procedure_lg_zenith

This should complete your lamp change. Enjoy your set and be ready to repeat the procedure in 3 to 6 years.

Thanks for using FixYa


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1 Answer

will not stay up and running

what brand and model number if DLP TV # BAD LAMP IF LAMP IT'S 3 YEARS OR MORE #2 BAN LAMP FAN # 3 BAD BALLAST (power supply to lamp) # bad color wheel lose connector

Apr 03, 2014 | Televison & Video

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while tv is on, at times screen just blacks out ...then comes on again.....audio remains but picture fades in and out....often

Replace lamp in tv because symptom shows lamp is near to end of its working hours life and causing that problem.
If lamp has not been replaced in tv in last 2-3 years, its time to replace it to solve the issue.
Lamp replacement procedure is easy and written in user manual.

Aug 29, 2010 | Sony KDF-E60A20 60 in. LCD HDTV

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I have a 57" DLP and have replaced the bulb 3 times in 2&1/2 years. I'm not possitive but I think I have 6-800 hrs on it total. Mitsubishi claims it a part they expect to go out, but the told me they typically last about ten yrs. If you have proof of purchase they will send you a new one for free, otherwise it'll cost you about $150 on ebay.

May 29, 2009 | Mitsubishi WD-73827 73" HDTV DLP TV

1 Answer

TV shuts off every few minutes

The problem lies not with the manufacturer but with the technology. While DLP is one of the clearer, crisper rear projection technologies, it is still rear projection, and therefore the most unreliable of the TV technologies, LCDs being the most reliable and the least expensive to fix (relatively speaking). Projection TVs require that the lamp be changed every 2 years (with about 6 hours a day of use) but this can be as often as 6 months to a year for households that use the TV all day long. Lamps cost 150 to 200 dollars in most cases. Beside the lamp, the other parts in the TV can go as you have learned and they are not cheap to repair. I would recommend an LCD tv as they usually manifest problems in the first year (under warranty) if they are going to have any at all. No man-made technology is 100 percent, but I have to say that Samsung is an excellent brand, very high quality, and more features than the competitors. I own one myself (LCD) and have had it for over a year with not a single problem and it gets heavy use as I use it for HD cable, PC monitor, blu-ray, and Xbox 360.

To wrap things up, let me just say that were this problem to be fixed, being a projection TV you might run into these issues in another couple of years again. I would cut my losses and try an LCD (current generation plasmas are also good but they are super expensive to fix if they do break).

Mar 06, 2009 | Samsung 61" Slim-Depth DLP HDTV

1 Answer


No, your DLP does not need the annual cleaning as your old projection tv did. The rear projection used high voltage, 35kv, which attracted dust and smog. I would recommend to have your DLP cleaned when your LAMP goes out. Your lamp should last 2-3 years, then I would call a factory authorized service dealer to replace your DLP's lamp and have them do the cleaning at that time. I do it everyday as a in-home service tech.I hope this help.

Jun 11, 2008 | Televison & Video

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