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|08. Managing Lamp Life|
by Jane Stonecipher
As the price points for projectors continue to drop, the cost of replacement lamps becomes a more significant piece of the AV investment puzzle. While some lamps are below $300, many are in the $350-$400 range- in some cases, 50% of the original cost of the projector! More importantly, when a projector stops working unexpectedly due to a failed lamp, it can result in a critical loss of productivity in the office or classroom. So how to extend lamp life and avoid unexpected downtime?
Spinoza Navigator includes several practical features to help you manage lamp life. Its web-client architecture enables easy remote access to all connected devices in the enterprise, allowing for centralized monitoring, control and reporting. Some specific examples include:
Remote power management
When and how your projector turns off is obviously a huge factor in extending lamp hours. Projectors should always be powered off remotely before disconnecting the power source- this helps to avoid uneven cooling of the lamp, one of the leading sources for early lamp failure.
Then there’s the basic premise of turning off a device when it’s not in use. Imagine a classroom projector used 6 hours a day is accidentally left on overnight- that’s 18 unproductive hours! Over the course of months, even occasional occurrences can add up- shortening lamp life by up to 50%. To check the power status manually would involve physically visiting each conference room or classroom - not a task most AV technicians want to add to their already busy days.
Instead, Navigator’s web-based architecture allows you to remotely power off a single device, groups of devices or all devices- from anywhere on the network. The Status and Control page shows the power state of each device, either individually or in locations defined by the User. With a few mouseclicks at the end of each day, the AV technician can check the status and power down all connected AV devices in the enterprise.
Routine Maintenance Notification
Another common cause of lamp problems is dirty air filters. Just like filters in an automobile or clothes dryer, blocked projector filters make the lamp run hot and fail earlier than normal. Filters should be cleaned quarterly (monthly in dusty environments) with compressed air or a soft brush.
The notify rules page of Navigator allow you to set up scheduled email reminders for filter cleaning. Simply define the notification address, which projectors to include and the preferred maintenance interval.
Lamp Life Reporting
A key feature of Spinoza Navigator is systematic reporting of lamp usage and remaining hours. You can produce a simple report once a quarter or as needed to monitor replacement lamp inventory. The Export buttons allow the user to download the contents of the report formatted as an XML file, a CSV file (ready for import to Microsoft Excel) or as an HTML page.
Consider grouping replacement lamps with other consumables like toner for efficient supplies management. Buy only what you need when you need it.
Other Simple Tips
And a few other ideas from our projector experts:
Always wear gloves or use a cloth when touching the glass components of a projector. Residue from fingerprints and lead to temperature "hot spots" resulting in uneven heating of the bulb.
Make sure you have proper ventilation. All of the heat of the lamp will exit from the exhaust fan, so ensure that there is adequate clearance from a wall or other solid objects.
Let the unit cool completely before moving.
Ensuring the life of your projector lamp makes sense both in terms of dollars and productivity for your organization. The task is made simple with tools like power management, maintenance notifications and lamp hour reporting- all found in Spinoza Navigator.