What is a Projector Lamp?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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A projector lamp is used to transfer an image from a multimedia projector onto a larger screen for an audience to view. The projector lamp has been used in businesses and educational organizations for many years in order to help convey information to an audience. The projector lamp is also used for movie or home theaters, where it sends DVD or film images to a large screen for all to see.

While halogen bulbs were used for many years for projection purposes, halogen produced a yellow tone on the images. A projector lamp relies on an intense light bulb, called a metal halide bulb, to produce a brilliant white light. The light bulb shines onto a number of small mirrors inside the machine and transfers the image through the air and onto the screen.

A projector lamp can be useful for business, personal, or teaching purposes. These machines can project slides, films, or images drawn on a transparent sheet of plastic. There are three main types of projector lamps: overhead projectors, slide projectors, and multimedia projectors.

An overhead projector usually has a flat base located beneath an intense light bulb. The bulb of the projector causes the image to be sent to a special type of mirror, which enlarges and projects the image to a blank screen. This type of overhead projector is often use by educators to demonstrate writing samples for an entire classroom.


Business professionals can also use an overhead projector lamp during business conferences and meetings. Graphs, sales charts, and similar documents can all be shared at once rather than making numerous copies. This allows the machine's user to point out aspects to the group rather than going from person to person to highlight important chart features. An overhead projector is generally the most affordable model, costing between 120 and 200 US dollars (USD).

A slide projector contains a special slot for 35 millimeter slides. The image from each slide is enlarged and projected onto a big screen. Slide shows are great tools for business professionals and teachers who rely on physical camera images to teach or demonstrate the material at hand. Many photographers use 35-millimeter slides for special photography projects. Slides are easy to store and last quite a long time. A slide projector typically costs between 190 and 300 USD.

The most expensive projector lamp is a multimedia projector. This machine transfers images from a videotape, film reel, or DVD and enlarges the image to a movie screen or blank wall. Multimedia projectors cost well over 500 USD, with a good quality multimedia projector costing between 800 and 1300 USD. Multimedia projectors are commonly used at movie theaters and in expensive home movie systems.


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