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You may find that the projectors you are considering buying have three possible light sources: laser, lamp, or light-emitting diode (LED.) However, you probably don’t know the advantages of a laser projector vs. a lamp projector. The traditional lamp-based projector has been around for a long time, and it still remains incredibly popular. However, since the introduction of laser technology in the projection process, laser projectors have steadily increased in popularity, rising to a similar level as lamp-based devices. Read on to find out more about the best projectors.
Many brands offer a wide variety of projector models that include either lamps or lasers as their light source. Lamp-based projectors often don’t last but provide an affordable, familiar option for consumers, but laser models may perform better in brightness and lifespan during projection. Leading laser InFocus projectors do not contain mercury, while lamp models do. Additionally, the technology that uses the lights can play an essential factor in the device’s performance, as well as the throw ratio that you’ll find in many of the top ultra-short-throw projectors. To find out more about these technologies, check out our articles covering DLP vs. LED projectors and Laser vs LED projectors.
Lamp-based projectors often are more affordable than laser projectors, and you can purchase replacement lamps.
Projectors that use lamps typically use ultra-high-performance lamps, which are high-pressure mercury arc lamps. Lamp projectors have to warm up every time you power them up, meaning there is a gap between when you press the power button and when the projector will start projecting. These devices provide good image quality, and you can buy projector lamp replacement bulbs. However, they consume more power than other projectors and do not have the same life expectancy.
Laser projectors utilize laser light to create the projected image, as the name implies. These devices offer long-lasting light sources using a semiconductor laser. The laser passes through the color wheel within the projector and bounces off mirrors inside the device to create the image on the projector screen. Unfortunately, this technology sometimes suffers from the rainbow effect, which occurs due to delayed adjustment of the spinning color wheel. Because of its exceptional brightness, a laser projector should be considered when debating whether you want an outdoor TV vs. a projector.
Laser projectors are larger and noisier, but they provide better image quality and brightness.
Which has the better picture quality?
The picture quality partly depends on the technology used alongside the lighting. Still, laser projection offers brighter pictures and videos with enhanced colors for a longer time than lamp projection does.
How much brightness do you need?
The amount of brightness you need depends on the setting and the ambient light where you are projecting. However, it doesn’t hurt to have higher possible brightness and adjust it to the desired level.
Which starts up quicker?
Laser projectors start up quicker than lamp models because they do not have to warm up their light sources. So if you are looking for a quick turnaround, you should stick with a laser projector.
STAT: LED and laser, or lamp-free projectors, are able to offer instant on/off capabilities. (source)