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LED / Laser Projectors vs. Lamp Projectors: Which is a Smarter Investment?

  • BenQ
  • 2024-03-20
LED / Laser Projectors vs. Lamp Projectors: Which is a Smarter Investment


For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and other organizations, deciding to make their office eco-friendly isn't always straightforward. Besides environmental concerns, cost plays a significant role in the decision-making process. While some focus on the initial investment, others consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) over time.


When it comes to choosing a projector for the office, decision-makers often weigh the options between a traditional lamp projector and a solid-state illumination (SSI) projector. This article aims to assist decision-makers by outlining the cost factors and environmental impacts associated with each type of projector. Additionally, it introduces BenQ's total cost calculator tool, which helps in estimating the TCO for different projector types, enabling a smarter workplace approach to decision-making.

The Initial Costs for LED/Laser Projectors and Lamp Projectors

When considering eco-friendly options, decision-makers often focus on upfront costs—the purchase price. Lamp projectors, utilizing traditional high-pressure mercury bulbs, are familiar and affordable due to years of development. In contrast, LED and laser projectors, newer to the market, carry higher initial costs.


Lamp projectors are the projectors most are accustomed to because their technology, which revolves around traditional high-pressure mercury bulbs as their source of light, has been around for decades. It is also precisely because of this reason that lamp projectors tend to be cheaper, as their lower prices are a result of the accumulated cost-cutting effects of the years of research and development put into such a traditional technology as well as the economies of scale that occurs for popular products. LED and laser projectors, on the other hand, because of their rather new technology and only recent foray into the mainstream market, tend to feature higher upfront costs.


But that’s not to say that the only difference between lamp and SSI projectors are their price points. Putting aside the question of which projector is more ecofriendly, SSI projectors also have edges in performance over lamp projectors that can account for their cost differences. LED and laser projectors are able to produce lusher colors with greater saturation and contrast levels due to light sources with wider color ranges that are able to yield deeper blacks. Thus, for commercial enterprises or customers with more exacting standards, SSI projectors tend to be the better choice when compared to lamp projectors, regardless of price and/or environmental impact. 

The Long-term Costs for SSI Projectors v.s. Lamp Projectors

The discussion above centered around the initial costs (read “price”) related to each type of projector, but as any decision maker knows, costs do not just end once the purchase is made. A true accounting of costs also involves calculating the long-term costs associated with a product’s subsequent usage, which is another facet in which the contrasts between lamp projectors and LED/laser projectors are sharp. In terms of how a projector type affects its long-term cost calculation, it does so in three different facets: overall energy consumption, replacement costs, and maintenance effort.


Energy Efficiency

If you're familiar with household bulbs, you know traditional incandescent bulbs consume more energy than LED bulbs. The same goes for projector light sources. LEDs and lasers are much more energy-efficient than bulbs in lamp projectors. Additionally, SSI projectors, with their solid-state light sources, instantly turn on/off, further enhancing energy efficiency compared to lamp projectors. For details on SSI projectors' instant on/off capabilities.

Bulb Replacement

As lamp projector users know, constant use of this type of projector – as is the case in an office setting – requires periodic replacement of the projector bulb, parts which are by no means cheap. Bulb replacement is then a concrete expenditure that must be penciled into the total cost of ownership when choosing a lamp projector. By contrast, the light sources for SSI projectors, whether LED or laser, feature drastically longer lifespans which in certain instances do not even require replacement during its use within an organization.



Related to the discussion above, beyond the high sticker price of replacement bulbs themselves, organizations need to also factor into their cost equation the time and effort needed for their staff to perform bulb replacements throughout the lifetime of their projector. Furthermore, the designs of some lamp projectors require outside service technicians to perform the replacement, which then acts as another charge above and beyond the price of the replacement bulb.

The Need to Account for Total Cost of Ownership

how BenQ SmartEco assists businesses in conserving energy and saving money


When choosing an eco-friendly projector, SMBs and IT professionals need to look past the immediacy of the sticker price and take a more comprehensive view of costs that a total cost of ownership approach offers. Once they take on this longer-term perspective, they will begin to see the advantages that an LED or laser projector inherently offers over that of a traditional lamp projector, especially when coupled with specially designed features such as BenQ’s SmartEco power modes, contributing to a smarter workplace.


To understand how BenQ SmartEco assists businesses in conserving energy and saving money, resulting in lower operational costs and reduced environmental impact.