Projector Showdown: Laser vs. Bulb vs. LED

Projector Showdown: Laser vs. Bulb vs. LED

CASIRIS A6 Ultra Short Throw Projector

But which kind of projector is best? Will it be done with a laser projector, LED, or lamp?

Are you considering purchasing a projector? Provided that this is true, one of the principal questions you really want to ask is, “what projector light source is awesome and why”?

There are currently three primary choices available. Lamp-based designs, which have been used ever since projection began, were the first and are still the most common. However, as the solid-state newcomers LED and Laser begin to rapidly take over, this is rapidly changing.

So which is ideal, Light, Drove or Laser Projector and which of these advancements are an ideal choice for yourself as well as your projection needs? Let’s investigate!

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Technology

Lamp Based Projection


True and discrete RGB primary colored light source diodes Capability of wider color gamuts from DCI-P3 to BT.2020 without color filters required Lower heat generation leading to less cooling and increased life of components Near instant on/off times Smaller form factor possible, making it more portable, if needed Can deliver 20,000 or more hours in their lifetime, without a light source replacement required Essentially maintenance-free operation Can be mounted in

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The First Bulb Projectors

Sony VPL-XW5000ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with Native 4K SXRD Panel, Black
Sony VPL-XW5000ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with Native 4K SXRD Panel, Black

Starting from the main beginning of a projector, despite involving a flame before a mirror many a long time back, it utilized some type of a glowing light. Since then, the only real changes have been in how bright they can be, what their spectral color is, and how long they can last. Before all else lights were exceptionally low brilliance, fortunate to move two or three hundred lumens, and they didn’t endure in excess several hundred hours assuming you were fortunate. This technology didn’t really advance to the point where it could achieve a brightness of more than 1,000 lumens and a lamp life of more than 1,000 hours until the turn of the 21st century.

Projector Lamp Bulb During this time, they experimented with a variety of technologies to boost brightness, including developing designs for dual and even quad lamps. They’ve used UHP (Metal Halide), Halogen, Mercury, and Xenon lamp technologies over its lifespan.

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Present day Bulb Projectors

best laser projector for conference room
best laser projector for conference room

Present day light based computerized projectors either utilize a variety wheel or a progression of dichromic mirrors to isolate the white light from the bulb into the tones you see on screen.

LCD projector with a bulb The most recent models of projector now have a lifespan of 5,000 to 10,000 hours, usually when Eco lamp mode is used. In exchange for increased lamp longevity, this mode reduces lamp output power. Since getting to this degree of execution and light life, we don’t imagine light based projection will be gone at any point in the near future, yet with natural worries being extremely popular thinking about what these lights are made from, their days are unquestionably numbered. Also related:   CASIRIS A6 Ultra Short Throw Projector  . Read more on BenQ HT3550i 4K projector review

Why Purchase a Projector With A Lamp?

Hence, why would I select a lamp-based projector over a laser or solid-state LED model? Typically, the easiest response would be the initial cost of entry. Lamp-based light engines are still used in the majority of budget projectors, like the Epson 4010. Another response could be that light projectors are in some cases best for the people who are just utilizing their projector rarely for motion several times each month, or for a homeroom with it being two or three times each week. Houses of worship, which may only use the projector once per week, would be the obvious choice because they would benefit from cheaper lamp projectors.

Naturally, periodic lamp replacement is something that must be taken into consideration. Depending on the model, these lamps can be quite pricey, particularly Xenon, which is mostly used in commercial cinema applications. Additionally, you should always have a spare lamp on hand in case your projector lamp blows, which is almost certainly going to happen at some point in your ownership of a projector. Then in a couple of years not too far off, what will the accessibility be of a substitution light for your careful model? However, a lamp-based projector may still be a viable and cost-effective option overall and in many instances.

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The Ultimate: Plasma Screens!

Indeed, not exactly Dr. Evil! Laser projection is available in three primary variations. Blue Laser Phosphor, Full Discrete RGB (Red, Green, Blue), and RB (Red, Blue) Laser do not make use of the screen’s native “laser beams.”

The use of lasers as the primary light source is the most recent and fastest-growing segment in the projection industry. When we refer to “Lasers,” we are referring to systems that produce light by using banks of Laser Diodes. These systems are capable of producing light output levels of up to or even exceeding 50,000 lumens .

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The first laser projectors

There was a device that was known as a “Grating Light Valve,” or GLV. These basically utilized the genuine laser radiates, examined onto the screen like how the old CRT innovation functioned, which filtered their electron radiates onto a phosphor covered screen intended to enlighten when struck by the electrons and energized. However, there is a reason that major manufacturers do not produce GLV projectors, just like CRT televisions.

Single-Laser Projectors and Modern Laser Projectors

The first and cheapest modern laser projector technology makes use of blue laser diodes shone onto yellow (and occasionally green) phosphor, typically a wheel or a rod or tube.

When the blue laser light hits the yellow phosphor, it gets excited and turns on, releasing a bright yellow light. After that, the two primary colors that make up this yellow light—red and green—are separated. In the case of single-chip DLP, these red and green colors are then combined with either a portion of the blue laser that passed through a clear segment of the yellow phosphor wheel or with a second blue laser in the 3LCD and DiLA blue laser phosphor designs, respectively. In order for the projector to display an image on the screen, these methods are required.

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Two laser projectors

The second is equipped with RB or RBB lasers, which are discrete red and blue lasers that typically consist of two blue lasers and one red laser.

Similar to the previous method, one of the blue lasers is shined onto a green phosphor, which, when excited, produces the green light required for RGB projection. In order to produce a full-color image on the screen, this green light is combined with the other blue laser, the red laser, and so on. The LG HU85LA is one kind of RBB laser projector.

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Triple Laser Projectors

what most everybody considers the zenith of projection innovation today is the utilization of isolated and discrete Red, Green and Blue lasers, known as RGB Laser. The primary colors that are utilized in projection to produce full-color images are these laser colors. This procedure is like the old CRT “3 weapon” tube projectors which had one every red, green and blue high power CRT tubes, physically combined and displayed on screen.

RGB Triple Laser Projector The distinction lies in the fact that normal lasers, like those found in laser pointers, produce what is known as “coherent” light. This means that they are extremely concentrated, comprised of the same wavelengths of that particular color so that they do not conflict with one another, and they have a bandwidth that is extremely narrow. Because of this, the kind of laser that can light up a projection screen must be “incoherent” light that has been diffused or the beam has been expanded.

Non-Shaft Extended

Shaft Extended

non-extended beam       laser-shaft extended

Reasonable light result

High energy thickness

Extended light shaft

Low energy thickness

The other contrast to the old CRT projectors is that the three essential tones are met inside the projector by the production line prior to leaving the single focal point onto the screen.

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Why Get a Laser Projector?

Laser projectors, like the LEDs listed below, can run for at least 20,000 hours without needing to replace the light source. In addition, the laser’s ability to support a color gamut exceeding the BT.2020 color gamut with RGB lasers is made possible by the laser’s extremely pure, concentrated, and narrow bandwidth.

They operate virtually without need for maintenance, produce less heat than their lamp counterparts, necessitate less cooling, and prolong the life of the components because they don’t get nearly as hot. These can likewise be mounted in a lot a greater number of points than ones with lights.

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The minor league player: LED Projection

LED projectors have the potential to become a minor league player, but they are just not there yet.

In the start of Driven light-obtained projectors, they didn’t give what might be viewed as extraordinary numbers for fair projection. They used separate red, green, and blue LEDs, just like they do now, but their lumen output was very low—usually less than 800 lumens. This, in addition to designs of subpar quality, produced undesirable imagery in comparison to designs based on lamps. At first, a lot of it came from overseas, mostly from Asian off-brand manufacturers selling cheap, subpar goods to the global market. LED technology is used in the majority of Amazon’s cheap projectors. For good reasons, this new LED technology did not impress a lot of the industry or customers.


But things changed about five years ago when Hitachi introduced a 3,500-lumen LED projector. This appeared to be a turning point in the development of full RGB LED projectors by other manufacturers. The BenQ HT9050 and its successor, the HT9060, were two such examples. These projectors utilized Philips-branded “ColorSpark” LEDs to provide full DCI-P3 Color Gamut coverage and high brightness (for home theater) of 2,200 lumens.

Similar to laser projection light engines, these expensive LED models have a lifespan of more than 20,000 hours and require virtually no upkeep. However, some of them still have air filters near the fans, which need to be cleaned and eventually replaced at predetermined intervals. The installation of these LED projectors in difficult-to-reach areas and for users who use them for a lot of time—perhaps a few or more hours per day—and would otherwise run out of lamps offers the greatest advantage. In situations like this one, a higher long-term cost value typically results from the high rate of use.

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Benefits of LED

One of the main benefits of LED projectors is that each LED can be controlled independently. This lets you adjust the brightness of each primary color separately to match the brightness of the scene. This can possibly prompt higher difference, for example, while utilizing an iris with a light based projector. Because these LEDs can be turned on and off almost immediately, there is no need to wait for the lamp to warm up or cool down.

Since the Red, Green, and Blue LEDs would natively replace the color wheel’s colored filter segments and typically do so with a much wider color gamut to boot, going from HD’s Rec.709 color up to UHD’s newest DCI-P3 gamut and beyond, closer to full BT.2020, DLPs probably benefit the most from solid state light sources like LED because they can completely replace the color wheel system on a single chip DLP design.

The fact that using a solid-state light source, particularly an LED, produces less heat than using lamps is another attractive selling point. When the projector is mounted in non-standard orientations or angles in places like museums, art galleries, or video mapping scenarios, such as onto buildings or other objects, this has a significant impact.

You won’t be able to use LEDs on extremely large screens or in environments with a lot of ambient light because they are still unable to produce extremely bright lumens. To achieve high lumens, you would still need a projector based on a lamp, though there are now some laser-based models as well.

Overall, LEDs simply cannot compete with the performance and value of laser or bulb-based projectors, unless you’re looking for a cheap projector.

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Laser and LED Hybrid Projectors

Although we haven’t mentioned it yet, there are hybrid projectors that use two different kinds of lamps as their light source. Most of the time, these are sources that combine laser and LED light. A green-colored light beam is typically produced by passing a blue laser through a green phosphor tube in this hybrid projector. High-power Red and Blue LEDs produce the colors red and blue. DiLA, DLP, or LCD are all options for the imaging chips.

The main advantage of these hybrid projectors is that they are less expensive than full, discrete RGB Laser Projectors. However, the brightness of these projectors can be increased by boosting the power of the green color produced by the laser phosphor. This works because green LEDs aren’t as bright as red and blue LEDs, so a laser source can make a laser/LED hybrid projector much brighter by producing green.

This strategy has the same benefits and drawbacks as using LEDs and lasers on their own.

The best hybrid projector for home theaters is the LG HU710P.

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What projection technology would be best for you?

Most people would say that it comes down to how much time you spend using the projection system and how much money you have available now and in the future. In spite of the fact that, in the event that you require the utilization of your projector for a long time a day or it will be introduced in challenging to get to areas, then, at that point, laser, Drove or a half and half of both might be the better decision. With laser projectors being the most ideal decision. The only thing that may still be required of you is to periodically clean or replace the filter.


When making a major purchase like a projector for your home or business, research and due diligence are ultimately the most important factors. The resolution required for the content you are displaying (PC graphics, text, still images, movies, or a combination of all of these) and the screen material that is currently being used with the projector or will be acquired for use with the projector are also important considerations when making your decision.

Another thing to think about right now is figuring out what your projection needs might be and how they might change in the future. While a lamp might work for you, your needs, and your budget right now, is LED or laser more cost- and labor-efficient in the long run? Alternately, you might decide to purchase a less expensive lamp projector as a last resort so that you can use it for a few years before upgrading to a more advanced laser model that will be available in a few years.

Before making a purchase decision for a projector, you must answer these kinds of questions to ensure that you don’t make a mistake or lose money. Until the next best projection comes along, you want to make sure that the choice you make today will make you happy for years to come!

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