In a difficult economy, every cent matters. As seemingly everyone scrambles to save money, the temptation of sourcing knock-off and counterfeit projectors bulbs (lamps) is, for many dealers, too good to resist. While it might help make the numbers in the short term, however, what are the real costs of copycat lamps?
Image quality is just the start of the risk list, according to Just Lamps president and COO, Eric Lanham. There are also performance and safety concerns, he said.
To raise awareness of knock-off lamps and to educate integrators, the specialty distributor of original manufacturer (OEM) replacement lamps created a new website, Genuine-Lamps.com.
Endorsed by major organizations within the audio-video industry, the website has been established to educate projector users and resellers about the benefits of choosing fully compliant, fully tested, genuine replacement lamps, versus the risks associated with buying untested and unregulated fakes that may void a projector’s warranty.
Lanham noted that while his company doesn’t overplay “safety issues” on its educational website, there are irrefutable concerns related to extremely high temperatures produced by projectors, as well as high voltage and high-pressure quartz and glass components. Some lamps reach temperatures of 8,000 degrees at their center and can melt nearby components; the pressure is nearly 70 times the pressure of car tires. Just Lamps asks: are these risks you want to experiment with in a client’s home, workplace, or classroom?
From its U.S. headquarters in Buffalo, New York, Just Lamps offers industry-standard original manufacturer replacements for every digital projector ever made.
Yes, that’s “every” digital projector ever made. Lanham said that company simplifies sourcing for partners through serious stock investment (more than 7,000-plus projector models) and specialist profiling.
The benefits to Just Lamp partners, Lanham said, are that 90 percent of orders get shipped the same day, integrators can create their own individual lamp websites using Just Lamps data and stock, and use Just Lamps plain-packaging service for next-day direct delivery.
Is there enough market demand, considering the global economic doldrums? Lanham answered that the global market for replacement projector lamps is bigger than one might think.
“It’s independently assessed at nearly four-million units annually,” of which approximately 35 percent are sold in the U.S., he said. The market for replacement front-projection lamps is expected to grow, according to the data, while rear-projection demand is forecast to drop off rapidly.
“It’s a great time for installers to create additional revenue streams by offering support services for replacement lamp needs,” Lanham added.
Perhaps the most significant benefit to dealers who link up with Just Lamps, or visit Genuine-Lamps.com, is the preservation of credibility and trust with their customer. End-users have a reasonable expectation of long-life performance from their projectors, whether viewing a movie, watching a game, or delivering a presentation or training session. Dealers should consider that copy lamps add an unnecessary element of risk.
LED, laser-based engines, and other innovations made news at trade shows like InfoComm and CEDIA EXPO, but Lanham says that the current install base of projectors coupled with ongoing sales of the existing technology is more than enough to keep dealers and installers busy.
The main goal of the new Genuine-Lamps.com initiative is education, Lanham said. “We ultimately are committed to helping dealers and integrators make informed decisions and will be there to support those decisions with original manufacturer replacement lamps and uncompromising levels of service,” he explained.