Lamp, LED And Laser Light Source For Projectors
By XGIMI Tech - 2022-01
The Importance Of A Light Source In A Projector
You can say that brightness is perhaps the most vital of features that the best laser projector or a 4K LED projector should possess to permit a great viewing experience on a large screen. You can measure brightness in lumens, which measures the amount of light a light source delivers. This means the more lumens a light source generates, the more brightness delivered from that source. Regarding projectors, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standardizes the lumens to ANSI lumens to measure the brightness of a light source.
The light source in a projector is of three types – Lamp, LED, and Laser. Over the years, lamp makers have adopted new technologies to produce lamps that eliminate heat, last longer, provide more brightness, and faithfully reproduce a wide range of true colors. Read on to learn the different light sources and their features, how each is different from the others, and how they perform when used in projectors.
Metallic Halide And Mercury Vapor Lamp - The Oldest Light Source
The High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp is the oldest of the light sources used in projectors.
The HID lamp is a metal halide lamp invented in the 1960s, using rare earth metal salts combined with mercury vapor to produce brightness. The lamp generates up to 100 lumens per watt of power consumed. This high efficiency comes with a downside in the form of heat, necessitating the use of a fan to cool the lamp while it is running.
The lamp has other undesirable features. These include a slow start (about 1 minute) to reach full brightness and a slow shut down (about 1 minute) due to the heat generated while running. The lamp can also burn out frequently due to faulty cooling.
The mercury used in the metal halide and mercury lamps increases the cost of operation. You need to operate this lamp with extreme care because of the high temperatures and pressures it generates. Since mercury used in the lamp is toxic, spent or burnt-out lamps need to be disposed of appropriately following safety procedures. The lamp also generates ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is harmful to you when exposed to its radiation.
The HID lamp comes with a rated capacity of about 3,000 hours of usage. The lamp’s low capacity is due to the lamp reaching its half-life, which means that its brightness reaches half of what it was when it was new.
In the 1990s, the lamp got a makeover with the introduction of the ultra-high performance (UHP) lamp. The UHP lamp offered a much higher efficiency as compared to the earlier lamp. The UHP lamp starts losing its brightness ever so slightly after each use. The UHP lamp uses only mercury vapor as its light source and not the metal halides.
The More Efficient LED-Based Lamp
Light Emitting Diode (LED) serves as a light source, an alternative to HID and UHP lamps. LED light source uses the properties of semiconductor to emit light when current flows through it. Many LEDs working simultaneously offer a bright white light that a short throw laser projector or an LED home theater projector uses. LED light source creators overcame initial problems of combining blue, green, and red light to produce bright white light. With improvements over time, the LED light source now is reliable, costs very little, needs no maintenance, and is a low-cost alternative to a HID or UHP lamp. The LED light source is long-lasting, providing up to 20,000 hours of usage. The LED light source has major advantages over the lamp as it can switch on and switch off without any delay, generates almost no heat, and is more compact. The other advantage is the absence of mercury, eliminating the health hazard associated with mercury vapor.
The New Standard In Light Source For Projectors - Laser
Laser is short for ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.’ A laser can produce a narrow beam of monochromatic light that can be directed anywhere. Lasers are an excellent light source for projectors. One of the properties is to produce intense light in one color. Those who create the best laser projector light sources use a blue laser to excite a yellow phosphor color wheel. By using filters, they create green and red light. Then, they combine the blue, green, and red light to create white light suitable for use in projectors, including a short throw laser projector.
Makers have innovated with several combinations of lasers to produce light sources for projectors. For instance, one combination uses two blue lasers, one of which, directed at a phosphor color wheel, will produce green and red light while the other will continue to beam blue light. Finally, they combine these primary colors to produce white light. This combination delivers a brighter light.
However, the best combination is the discrete red, blue, and green laser without the use of the phosphor color wheel. This combination offers several benefits, including producing a wide color range and projecting onto a large screen without losing effectiveness. Unfortunately, this combination increases the size of the projector, including the best laser projector to accommodate the three discrete lasers. It also increases the cost of making the projector.
Now that you have understood the features of different types of light sources for projectors, we recommend the following two XGIMI projectors for your home to enjoy the movies on a large screen.
The second projector is the LED-based XGIMI HORIZON Pro, which is as versatile as they come. Its features are truly amazing, and they include:
• Android TV™ with more than 5000 apps like Disney+, HULU, and YouTube
• 4K 3840*2160, 8.3M pixels resolution
• Bright light source delivering 2200 ANSI lumens
• Long throw projection by placing 13 feet from any wall and projecting a 150” razor-sharp theater screen
• Long throw projection by placing 10.5 feet from any wall and projecting a 120” razor-sharp theater screen
• Projects onto a 200-inch screen with resolution up to 3840x2160p
• Intelligent screen adaption technology permits super-fast start-up, automatic focus and keystone correction, and new AI object detection
• X-VUE 2.0 image engine providing good colors
• Provides vivid pictures in both HDR and 10-bit color
• Automatic keystone correction technology aligns picture vertically and horizontally to custom fit your walls or screen to a perfect aspect ratio
• State-of-the-art intelligent screen detection matches your screen size with the size of the projected image automatically
• Automatic focus function keeps images vivid and clear even at the maximum screen size of 200 inches
• MEMC frame interpolation technology delivers a super low latency with minimal image blur
• XGIMI’s 60Hz motion compensation technology prevents image flutter and tailing when projecting dynamic images
• Its compact size belies its capability to bring you the highest 4K image quality onto a large screen of size up to 200 inches
• Ultra-efficient LED light source gives perfectly crisp, clear images for a lifespan of up to 17 years (30,000 hours) when used for 4 hours daily
• Consistent brightness over long years of usage
Ease of Operation:
• Boots straight into Android TV™
Safety and other features:
• Safe viewing experience with low blue light design prompting TÜV Rheinland certification, reducing strain on eyes
• All-in-one smart 4K LED projector
• Powerful imaging features combined with a built-in AI optical sensor offers faster and more automatic consistency and quality
• Super-fast start-up
• AI object detection very useful in gaming applications
• Design blends aesthetically with the decor of your home
The first projector is the laser-based XGIMI AURA, a leading 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector, packed with amazing features that include:
• Android TV™ with 5000+ apps such as Disney+, HULU, and YouTube
• 4K UHD resolution
• UST projection 11.7” from any wall to project a 120” screen with razor-sharp images
• UST projection 4.3” from any wall to project a 80” screen with razor-sharp images
• Very bright light source delivering 2400 ANSI lumens, similar to a TV
• True 4K UHD with 8.3M individual pixels onscreen
• The laser-based light source and the Advanced Laser Phosphor Display (ALPD) technology that provides consistent brightness, brilliant color display, and razor-sharp picture quality even in diffused lighting
• High-Dynamic Range (HDR10) technology, incorporating an Ultra HD Blu-Ray media format offering streaming services through software that enables media playing and color grading
• X-VUE 2.0 image engine
• UST technology that allows projection onto a 120-inch screen by placing the short throw laser projector just 11.7 inches away from the projection screen or wall
• 20,000-hour lifespan of laser light source with consistent brightness over long years of usage
Ease of Operation:
• Picture size and picture quality is adjustable at will
Safety and other features:
• Eliminates harmful blue light effects
• Minimum strain on eyes
• State-of-the-art IR sensors power automatic dimming feature to protect eyes from harmful radiation
• Futuristic design blends aesthetically with the decor of your home
The Future Is Laser-based Projectors
The performance characteristics of projector light sources have undergone vast improvements in terms of brightness, efficiency, durability, safety, and features. While the HID and UHP lamps are facing obsolescence, the LED-based projectors and laser-based projectors are stamping their class and proving their utility. Each of these light sources has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, in the light of technological advancements, it appears that customers would choose a laser-based light source for their projectors followed closely by a LED-based projector such as a LED home theater projector.
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