The projector has 87% bulb life left, however it is so dim that you can barely read the screen. The various brightness sections in the projector menu don't make a big enough differance. Another projector with the same usage is signifcantly brighter.
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Yes, as bulbs age they will begin losing brightness. Most projectors have a bulb life hour clock, that measures the number of hours a bulb has been used. Usually you can pull that up within the menu of the projector. Also that particular model has what is called "Eco-Mode" and when engaged dims the bulb by 25% to cut down on power consumption.
Typical life for a lamp in that projector is:
3000 hours on Normal mode 6000 hours on Eco mode
You can expect a brightness loss of 50% when you are approaching end of a lamps life.
If I remember correctly, you hold down either the power or the menu button for 30 seconds... I believe it is the power button, and it will briefly display it on the screen, but this assumes it was reset at the time the lamp was installed. The counter counts up on this model, and the lamp replace light will come on at 3000 hours. I have 2 of these units, and I have gotten at least 5000 hours out of each lamp. Toward the end of the lamp life, it may start getting dim and/or have difficulty starting, but I probably wouldn't replace it until you either notice the dimming or the lamp fails, although I've heard some say they can damage the projector when they fail, I have not had any problems.
I have changed the bulb on my LG projector recently. I found the rotating colour wheel to be full of dust. Upon opening the cavity where the light is redirected and reflected onto the imager, I saw all mirrors also had a layer of dust. I don't think it was so dirty that it affected the brightness of the image, but I cleaned it anyway using an earbud. I cleaned both sides of the color wheel as well. You need to be careful in working with the optics of the projector!
All fillament based lights will dim as they age. Some of the newer/better types it will be unnoticible. If you are losing image quality or brightness you may have a bulb that is nearing the end of it's life cycle. A glance at you owners manual or the manufactor's website should give you an indication of the expected life of your bulb. Also most of the projector made in the past few years have a counter that tallies the amount of hours your bulb has been on. A more likely culprit is probably dust accumilation somewhere inside your projector. Most projectors have filters these days and need to cleaned at certain intervals and in certains ways. Not cleaning these filters can cause heat build up that can increase operating temps and shorten the life of your bulb and or projector. Or sometimes jsut fail and cause a dramatic decrease in image quality. Again these things are vendor/model specific so you will want to check with them about your particular model. Hope this helps.
There could be several reasons for this problem.
1. New lamp needed.
2. New lamp did not fix? Could be mirror tunnel behind the color wheel than can collapse causing "dim" light source or dark lines.
3. All items "greyed" out caused when the unit does not sense a source input, ie computer or tv tuner. After connecting to a source, you should be able to go and adjust contrast and/or brightness settings