LED Projectors: The Good and the Bad

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Runco’s Q-750i LED projector

A breakdown of what's great and not so great about LED projectors.


Nov. 09, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

LED (light-emitting diode) light engine technology is gaining momentum as a viable home theater projector technology.

What makes it different than the current crop of the more common DLP and LCD projectors? Helen Anne Travis from projectorpeople.com provides the low-down.

LED Advantages

  • Better for the environment. The light source (light emitting diodes) used in LED projectors last longer and don’t contain toxic mercury like other types of projectors.
  • Easier to Use. LED projectors can power off and on almost instantly. Plus, they don’t require a fan to control their operating temperature.
  • Lower Cost of Ownership. Traditional mercury lamps last about 4,000 hours and cost around $400 to replace. LED light sources last more than 10 times longer.
  • Lack of Dimming and/or Burnout Over Time. Mercury lamps can grow dimmer over time, losing as much as 50 percent of their brightness after 10,000 hours of use. LEDs don’t suffer from this problem.

LED Disadvantages

  • Pricey. Home theater LED projectors cost significantly more than their traditional mercury lamp counterparts, upwards of $15,000. Less expensive LED data projectors are available, but are intended for use in conference rooms. Samsung hopes to drive down the cost, however. Its F10M is the first full-size LED projector that’s bright enough to be used in a home theater setting and sets the bar at $1,099.
  • Few Choices. There are more hitting the market for home theater, but most LED projectors are designed for data and business use.



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