Replace a Projector Bulb with an LED Lamp

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Updated December 8, 2022

Even if you have the best projector, you may want to make some modifications. While it isn’t common, some people take older projector models and update them with an LED bulb. Others may opt to update their old slide projector with LED projector bulbs to increase their unit’s light output. So, if you’d like to replace a projector bulb with LED lamps, read on to see what’s involved and whether it’s worth it.


  • You can replace a traditional projector bulb with an LED, but the process is complicated.
  • If you aren’t comfortable with electrical work, converting an older projector to an LED is dangerous.
  • Make sure your projector doesn’t produce too much heat for an LED light.

Can I Replace My Projector Lamp with LED Lights?

You can install LED in a traditional bulb projector, but the process requires some technical know-how, which it’s why it’s important to know how your projector works. You don’t want to zap yourself.

Even a standard bulb replacement with incandescent bulbs takes effort and some specialized tools. In addition, you’ll want to know how to dispose of projector lamps safely. Finally, to find the correct replacement LED, you’ll want to know the wattage of your old projector bulb.

Insider Tip

Keep your bulb assembly during an LED bulb replacement. You may need to do some light metalwork to fit your LED bulb in your projector.

Why Use LED projector units?

While not as good as laser projectors, a LED projector lamp will have a high-lumen output, meaning better image quality and bright light. Traditional projectors use a high-watt bulb, which is excellent while it lasts. All light sources eventually wear out, but an LED will far outlast a standard projector lamp, and it will deliver more vibrant color fidelity.

Things to Consider Before Replacing a Projector Bulb with LED Lights

The entire process of converting to an LED lamp is complex and technically advanced, making it beyond the scope of this article. Still, there are a few basic considerations that go into LED projector bulb replacement that we can touch on. The first is that it’s essential to know how many watts a projector uses so you can avoid getting shocked by the electrical current.

You also will want to know your new, high-powered LED lamp’s lumen rating. Next, you need to understand how hot your projector gets during operation because excessive heat can kill your new LEDs. Lastly, make sure your projector is compatible with LED. If not, you will need to modify the lamp assembly before installing the LED, which requires specialized knowledge.

Is Updating the Original Bulbs to LED Worth it?

Possibly, but the list of possible modifications required to switch your projector bulb to LED is extensive. For example, you may have to install a heat sink to protect the LED from overheating. In addition, some modifications call for soldering parts in place and bypassing areas of the motherboard.


If you have an old slide projector, converting it to an LED projector bulb will involve extensive work. Contact a local repair service if you are at all unsure about performing any electrical modification.


Can you use any bulb in a projector?

No, you cannot replace your projector bulb with any bulb. Each model projector uses a different bulb assembly that will call for a different model bulb. In addition, the replacement bulb you pick should match the lumen output of the original projector bulb.

Can I put a lower watt light bulb in a higher watt fixture?

Yes, as long as your new projector lamp uses less wattage than the fixture itself. So, even if your old fixture had a 40W limit, it is likely possible to use a 100W-equivalent LED bulb because it will only use 17W of power.

Why is my LED light bulb smoking?

If your LED projector bulb is smoking, your unit is incompatible with the LED light. You should unplug your projector immediately and take it to a repair shop. Smoke is a sign of a severe electrical issue.

STAT: 4K and UHD movie projectors sales increased by 50 percent from 2018 to 2019. (source)

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