How new SmartEco projector technology can lower electricity cost as much as 50%
  • BenQ
  • 2023-12-23

Just like LED lighting has lowered power consumption for schools – new LED and laser projectors are now the easiest ways for schools to save power without sacrificing teaching efficiency.

For most school classrooms, projectors are one of the top consumers of electricity in the classroom.  This is a key component in school district operating costs – which typically are the second largest expenditure for midsize and larger districts.  In 2024, new projectors are now available that enable schools to significantly reduce the amount of electricity used to support classroom projectors – without sacrificing on-screen brightness or teaching effectiveness.  Sound too good to be true?  Then read on to learn:

  • How can SmartEco projectors save power without reducing brightness?
  • Why will laser and LED projectors use less power than mercury lamp projectors?
  •  How much power can I save with a SmartEco projector?
  • What are other ways to reduce operating costs on a projector?

How can SmartEco projectors save power without reducing brightness?

Most schools that have projectors use the same technology in 2024 that is essentially unchanged for the last 20 years.  An LCD classroom projector uses a mercury lamp that is run through a series of panels to mix the colors.  Now imagine that the lamp is the “light gas pedal” on a car – and the panels are the “light brakes”.  To make a purple color – you have full gas on all three LCD panels – and but use the brake on the green panel to keep the light from going through.  So – in a sense - a traditional projector uses both the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.  It works – but is inefficient.

The new SmartEco projectors use advanced laser and LED lighting technology that allows the projector to reduce the gas to each individual color on the projector when it’s not needed.  So, in the same example, a SmartEco projector powers the red and blue LED or laser light – but not the green.  This means that without impacting the quality or the brightness of the picture – the projector can use up to 1/3rd less power. 

The SmartEco 2.0 projectors using laser and LED technology have special chips that evaluate the colors needed for each frame – and adjust the power according to the content rather than just reducing the overall brightness like a traditional “eco mode” on a legacy LCD classroom projector.

Why do SmartEco laser and LED projectors use less power than mercury lamp projectors?

The biggest reason that this technology works so well is because LED and laser chips produce colored light that can be independently adjusted compared to a regular mercury lamp that only produces white light.  In a BenQ SmartEco LED projector, there are individual red, blue, and green LED’s that the DLP chip mixes together to produce an image.  These solid-state lighting platforms eliminate a lot of the extra hardware cost – and also enables it to make an amazing image with less power by adjusting the amount of each color used for each frame.  So, while an all-white image on a SmartEco projector will still use full power, a forest scene with lots of green (and not much red and blue) will use a less power without changing the image on the screen. 

How much power can I save with a SmartEco projector?

A lot.  How much will depend on the content you use and what kind of projector you are currently using. For this article, we will look at three popular classroom projectors using both lamps and lasers to see how they compare with a new SmartEco projector, the BenQ LH650.  All of the projectors are in the same brightness class (4000 lumens) and have over 2 million pixels of resolution.

As you can see below, a SmartEco projector can generate similar brightness and save a school up to 50% electricity compared to a legacy LCD projector using a mercury lamp.  By not stepping on the “gas” and “brake” at the same time like a mercury lamp– you automatically save money. You can even save power just by changing the background of a PowerPoint and Google slides to darker colors and using white text.

BenQ LH650

Epson EX9240


Epson L260F


4000 Lumens

4000 Lumens

4200 Lumens

4600 Lumens

Lamp Type





SmartEco Technology





Power Usage -Normal

200 Watts

345 Watts

335 Watts

272 Watts

Average Power Usage – SmartEco

150 Watts




While the individual results will vary by district, a mid-size K-12 district in a larger city with 2000 projectors could save over $100,000 per year in electricity costs every year.  

What other cost savings are there for a SmartEco projector

There are three additional cost savings that schools will see with a BenQ SmartEco projector.

No monthly or annual filter cleaning

Every BenQ SmartEco projector is designed with an advanced sealed engine that eliminates the need for cleaning or changing messy filters every few months to avoid projector overheating.  

No yellowing or convergence adjustments

Every BenQ SmartEco projector uses the same technology used in commercial cinemas and is warrantied against yellowing for 100,000 hours of use.  No more yellowing projectors in the classroom.  In addition, the single chip design eliminates the need for having to adjust the three different panels when they get misaligned.

No expensive replacement lamps

By eliminating mercury lamps, a typical SmartEco projector can last as long as 30,000 hours.  Compare that to a popular LCD lamp projector that has to be completely replaced at only 6000 hours use.


For schools that want to use projectors in their classrooms, SmartEco technology represents an easy way to upgrade a school projector with solid state lighting for a better picture – while reducing the overall power consumption – and cost of ownership.  The best part is that a SmartEco projector doesn’t cost much more than similar lamp projectors and when you add in the power savings, cost of replacement lamps, and the elimination of cost of filter cleaning, it can help schools reduce operating costs – without impacting instructional technology effectiveness.

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