BLOG: Projection Light Sources - from lamp to laser and back again!

Projection Light Sources from lamp to laser and back again! - a blog from Paul Wilson, Epson Business Manager

The King is dead. Long live the King! What was once accepted as standard can become yesterday’s news overnight. Lamps are out, and lasers are in. Well, sort of… There’s a lot of buzz about laser projectors. The benefits are clear.

• Long, reliable lifespans.

• Bright, consistent performance.

• Often backed by superior warranties.

• No lamp changes. No hidden running costs.

• No intervention.

• No worries.

First it was LED-laser hybrids. Now laser-phosphor is on the rise, with ever increasing light levels. A new era beckons. So you might expect the market data to show a massive shift. And yet, right now in 2018, laser projectors account for just 7% of the total market. Lamps remain dominant – representing 89% of sales year-to-date in the UK and Ireland – and showing little sign of decline just yet. It’s clear that it’ll be a while longer before we see the seismic shift that everyone is anticipating.

What is slowing the adoption of laser then? Certainly price points play their part. Laser is very much a premium product right now. With volumes yet to peak, production costs are inevitably higher. The phrase ‘limited budget’ is only too common – our cash-strapped schools and public services are often held back by what is affordable, rather than what is best. A recent school I visited had projectors a decade old – and just £300 per classrooms to spend on upgrades. In such cases, lamps will reign supreme for a good while longer.

Epson’s education and business projector ranges have long-lasting lamps with replacement costs well below customer expectations – many around the £50 mark. From a TCO perspective, it’s not yet financially justifiable to go the laser route in such circumstances.

Laser projection is therefore a value-added sale. A catalogue listing won’t do the job – it may take a knowledgeable AV company or salesperson to get across the longer term benefits to an end user, or to arrange a demo or trial. Seeing is believing after all. At Epson we are always keen to get our products in front of the final customer – and let the product do the rest.

It’s also about ranging. The majority of manufacturers, Epson included, have initially focused on higher brightness requirements. Projectors in lecture theatres, halls and auditoriums can often be difficult to reach – and so benefit very clearly from the low-intervention appeal of laser. However, that technical know-how is starting to move through product line-ups. Epson now boast a market-leading range of ultra-short-throw and interactive projectors equipped with laser – setting a new standard for classrooms and meeting rooms.

More products are due into our range in the coming months.So for now it’s about choice. For everyday, affordable display solutions, Epson’s lamp-based projectors provide unbeatable value-for-money. For those mission-critical, intensive usage or hard to reach locations, laser can provide a superior platform. So perhaps the King isn’t dead quite yet. But there’s certainly a new kid on the block.

Paul Wilson Business Manager (Projectors), Epson UK

Contact our Projection Specialist, Peter Vernon on 020 8319 7739 or email

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Published by Adam Kingshott on 02 July 2018