The laser projector and the lamp projector make up the two types of projectors that you can find on the market today.

The lamp projector, however, is on the downslope and will eventually fade into obscurity as the laser projector outperforms the lamp projector in almost every way.

But does this also mean that a laser projector won’t dim over time?

Do Laser Projectors Dim Over Time?

Laser projectors do not dim over time. They emit a brighter light than traditional bulb projectors and they maintain that brightness throughout their lifetime, unlike bulb projectors, which usually lose their color and luminosity within 125 days of run time. A laser projector will continue to produce out-of-the-box brightness for two to three years of run time.

But laser projectors do have a limitation in that they are rated for anything between 20,000 and 30,000 hours. Once the hour is reached that equals the end of the laser’s lifespan, you may notice what appears to be a dimming but it’s not really a dimming. The thing is, it’s not dimming because the laser is degrading, at least not in the sense that a bulb degrades. 

When a laser projector reaches the end of its lifespan, the lasers simply need more power, rather than the laser’s ability to maintain brightness receding. When you think about it, 20,000 hours is quite a long time, and it’s doubtful that you would even use a laser projector at the level needed to ever see it go out.

Even on the low end of the expected lifespan of a laser projector—20,000 hours—will run for well over 12 years if you use it for 8 straight hours, every day, excluding the weekends. 

That’s a lot of running time and there are not a lot of professions, if any, that are going to use a laser projector that much.

Laser projectors don’t dim over time. But that doesn’t mean that they will work indefinitely, as there is a limitation on their longevity. Laser projectors will last, undimmed, for somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 hours before a replacement is required. 

They don’t dim over time because their design doesn’t include a bulb.

The only thing that you need to be concerned about with a laser projector is the fact that eventually, it will stop working.

However, you’re looking at many years down the road before that will happen.

Are Lasers in Laser Projectors Replaceable?

There are two types of laser technologies that go into laser projectors. The first is phosphor technology which uses a yellow “phosphor” wheel that passes over a single, red or blue laser (most often blue).

The second technology is a direct coupling of RGB lasers and phosphor lasers. 

Neither of these two technologies is replaceable.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the life of the projector is going to last so long that it may not even be the technology of choice by the time its life reaches its end. 

In other words, once the laser is done, so is your time with the projector but your time with the projector is going to be very long.

There are a lot of reasons why laser projectors last as long as they do.

  • Laser projects are not resource-hungry and require very little energy to operate
  • Since there is no bulb, laser projectors don’t generate heat and remain cool
  • Laser projectors don’t require a fan to keep the light source cool
  • Requires little to no maintenance

Running a traditional lamp projector requires the use of replaceable bulbs, something that you don’t need to worry about in laser projectors.

The bulbs, however, heat up very fast, which requires the use of a fan to keep the heat down and the projector cool.

Running the fan not only creates an annoying noise with the projector but also requires that much more energy to run.

The laser projector neither gets hot nor does it require an additional fan to keep it cool, which cuts down on not only energy use but the kind of energy use that degrades the overall lifespan of the projector. 

Lastly, laser projectors require little to zero maintenance, so you won’t be taking them apart and putting them back together frequently over their lifespan, which is also good for durability and longevity.

Related Article: Will A Projector Work On A Colored Wall? (All You Need To Know)

How Long Do Laser Projectors Last?

This will largely depend on the laser projector you purchase, however, the general time frame is 20,000 to 30,000 hours, which equates to between 2.28 years and 3.42 years of run time.

If you go with the most premium option(s) available, you can figure that the amount of time it lasts will be closer to or greater than 30,000 hours, rather than just 20,000 hours. 

For the reasons listed above, laser projectors can last a very long time.

The only problem with laser projectors over the inferior lamp projector is that the laser projectors can be quite expensive.

So much so that some simply won’t be able to afford them.

Thankfully, time has a way of reducing costs, as the technology ages and settles in for the long run. In the future, you will probably be able to find better deals on laser projectors. For now, the cheapest that you are likely to find is going to be around $1,000.

And that is if you are rooting around in the absolute bottom of the barrel.

That’s not to say that the cheapest laser projectors are going to be bad or not worth your time, only that you will probably get the lowest amount of hours, in terms of longevity, and it may end up having other issues, unrelated to the laser. 

It also depends on which of the above mentioned technologies you prefer to go with, whether it’s direct-coupled RGB lasers or phosphor lasers.

How To Improve Your Laser Projector’s Longevity?

Outside of keeping your laser projector nice and clean, there isn’t much that you need to do to expand the longevity of the projector.

Since there is no fan, you don’t have to worry about dust and debris making their way inside, possibly damaging components, and wreaking havoc on your hardware. 

However, you still want to keep the thing from getting too dusty and the best way to handle that is to keep it clean by wiping it down periodically. Use a dry, clean, lint-free cloth and avoid the use of any kind of harsh chemicals, alcohol, or bleach.

The laser(s) inside don’t require any kind of preventative maintenance and if something is wrong with them, you should contact customer service for the brand in question and have it looked over by a technician.

Depending on the laser projector, the warranties that come with them are pretty generous. 

The only other thing that you will need to stay on top of is the remote control batteries and change them out when the battery power gets too low.

Advantages of a Laser Projector

First and foremost, the greatest advantage of a laser projector is its longevity. A laser projector requires a substantial, upfront investment that is made up for in the long term.

Lamp projectors are cheap upfront, however, as time goes on, you will spend hundreds of dollars on bulb replacements. 

  • Longevity
  • More power-efficient
  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Does not get hot
  • Much higher image quality

The color retention, brightness, and low input lag are second to none on good laser projectors like the Optoma HZ39HDR

Since laser projectors don’t require the kind of cooling process that bulb projectors do, you don’t have to worry about excess heat and you don’t have to worry about energy inefficiency, especially since lasers operate at a lower power level than bulbs.

There is hardly any maintenance that needs to be done on a laser projector, outside of the occasional cleaning. Anything that goes wrong with one would have to be handled by an expert, in most circumstances. 

Lasers create only the colors necessary and the light necessary to produce an image. 

This makes laser projectors the pinnacle of high-quality imagery. The deep blacks are nearly as good as what you would find on a premium TV set and the colors are far more vivid than what a lamp projector can produce.

Are Laser Projectors Reliable?

For the most part, laser projectors do much better, in terms of overall reliability, than competing projectors using different tech.

The projector market is dominated by laser projectors and a large part of that is because of their level of reliability. 

That level of reliability applies to all of the various components that go into the laser projector.

You won’t find yourself having to buy a new projector because the lasers failed at some point long before they were supposed to.

The brightness levels don’t diminish over time, and you won’t notice a change in your laser projector’s ability to display a bright, clear image until it has reached the end of its lifespan, thousands of hours after its purchase. 

Since laser projectors are far more efficient than their bulb counterparts, that level of efficiency contributes to the overall reliability of the device.

With a laser projector, you will get more reliability on average, than any other type of projector.

All Things Considered

Laser projectors don’t experience a dimming effect over time so much as they simply wear out after 20,000 to 30,000 hours of use have passed.

Lasers are far more efficient than bulbs and they light up immediately, providing a bright, clear, and high-definition picture that will not degrade until the life of the device is finished.