Julian Richer Sound AdviceJulian Richer Sound Advice

Projector Maintenance

Taking care of yours

How we can help

You’ve researched your model, made your purchase, considered the placement, installed your exciting new piece of kit and now you’re ready for endless movie nights on a massive screen, recreating the magic of cinema at home. Or perhaps you’ve invested in a state-of-the-art presentation suite at your place of work, ready to impress colleagues and potential business partners.

But that’s not the end of it. Here at Richer Sounds, we’re here for you for the long term.

If you have any questions about how to use your projector, or if you think something’s not quite right, then your local store will be more than happy to help you out.

We also offer Health Checks. For a nominal fee, we’ll come to you and give your equipment a thorough going-over to make sure it’s all working optimally. Again, your local store can arrange this for you.

And ideally you’ll have the peace of mind that our 6 Year Guarantees provide, free to our VIPs with the vast majority of TVs, projectors and wireless multiroom systems.

Our 6 Year Guarantees don’t cover commercial use of products, however, our Business to Business department are on hand with their range of chargeable commercial guarantees.

How you can help

With a little care, projectors can be very long-lived items. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you look after yours so that hopefully you won’t have any problems.


Keep it to hand

Your manual contains all kinds of useful information. It’s a good idea to read it thoroughly and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. We have downloadable manuals on our website – simply search for your product and look under ‘Specifications’. Or you should be able to find a copy on the manufacturer’s site too.


Keep it cool

Although LED and laser projectors run cooler than older incandescent bulb ones, they still generate heat that needs dissipating. Beyond regular maintenance, the single most important thing that you can do is to always use your projector’s power button, either on the projector itself or on the remote control. Never use a “hard” on / off switch, switch off at the mains socket or just unplug from the wall.

This is because once you turn off your projector, it is still working hard to keep things cool for a while afterwards.

If you’re planning a double bill or an extended viewing session, we recommend a maximum of 5 hours’ constant viewing. After that, we recommend you turn it off for about 30 minutes so the bulb and electronics can cool down properly, and then heat up again consistently when restarting.


Keep it clean

To clean the lens, wash your hands first and use a clean microfibre cloth to avoid leaving any residue that might cause damage. You will need to make sure the air filters are free of dust and debris so that the cooling system works efficiently, ideally at least every 6 months and in line with the manufacturer’s advice. Also, don’t use compressed air or spray liquids.

All change

Whereas all projectors once used incandescent bulbs, improved technology and environmental legislation means that most projectors have now switched to LED or laser lighting. The sale of mercury-based bulbs is set to be banned by 2026, meaning that all projectors will use an alternative lighting source by then. In the meantime, if you still have an incandescent bulb projector, here are some important maintenance tips.

Most traditional bulb projectors have a feature that allows you to track bulb usage or estimated lifespan as, eventually, your light source will fail and this is sadly why we are unable to include cover for them in our 6 Year Guarantees. It’s simple wear and tear.

It’s worth noting that an incandescent bulb only lasts for around 1500 - 2000 hours. This compares with around 20,000 hours for a laser-based projector and up to 60,000 hours for an LED one. To put this into context, if you watched a 2-hour movie every night then an incandescent lamp would last for between 2-3 years, while an LED one could theoretically last for over 80 years!

If you have an incandescent bulb-based projector and need to change the bulb, you should first refer to the manual for proper instructions. We would always advise using parts from the original manufacturer to ensure compatibility and quality, thereby optimising performance.

We would also suggest changing the entire bulb assembly, rather than just the bulb, as bulb failure could cause damage inside your projector.

Make sure that you don’t touch the actual bulb in the process as this might leave a residue that can adversely affect how it heats up and its lifespan. Gloves can be useful.


Some projector bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury gas, so you need to use care when replacing / handling these bulbs.

The vast majority of the time, bulbs will fail naturally and safely, but, in very rare instances, they have been known to break due to their high pressure and heat.

Taking good care of your projector should minimise the already low risk of this happening.

In the unlikely event that your bulb breaks, you will need to be careful, not to cut yourself on the broken glass and if your bulb contains mercury, avoid any of its potentially harmful effects.

Mercury can be absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and by direct contact so please take care and follow the below tips.

We’ve compiled a handy guide for how to deal with a shattered bulb containing mercury (remember most bulbs do not contain mercury so please check your manual). There is only a tiny amount of mercury in bulbs so it’s extremely unlikely to be harmful if the situation is handled wisely.


  1. If you come into direct contact with mercury, immediately wash the affected area with lukewarm water for at least 10-15 minutes. If it gets in your eyes, any contact lenses should be removed before washing.
  2. Evacuate the room straight away for 20 minutes, avoiding the breakage area.
  3. Ventilate the room well by opening windows and doors.
  4. Use thick rubber or plastic gloves and change into old clothing before cleaning up. Wear eye and face protection, such as a visor and a mask.
  5. Carefully collect the glass shards. Use special care when inspecting or removing the projector if it has been installed upside down.
  6. Place contaminated items into a plastic bag (including your clothes, face protection, gloves, cleaning cloths and broken glass), tie securely and then place inside another tightly tied bag.
  7. Store in a secure, well-ventilated area, preferably outside.
  8. Contact your local council to find out how to dispose of hazardous waste.

If you have inhaled the gas directly from the bulb or been in physical contact and feel unwell, please contact a medical professional.