Red flag Descriptions
Watch for these keywords in the description of the projector lamp. They are often used to sell the lamp as genuine but are euphemisms for counterfeit lamps:
- 100% Brand New Equivalent
- OEM Equivalent
- Premier Lamp
- 100% compatible with the factory original
Suspiciously low price
The average price for an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) projector lamp is usually over $100. The lowest price for a genuine lamp will be 20% off the manufacturer’s price. This is an industry standard agreed upon by manufacturers. If you find a projector lamp under this price – some are selling for under $50, it’s a copycat lamp that is not going to last.
Each company has their distinct brand and logo. Many times, the copycat manufacturers will do a poor job of reproducing the label. Watch for poor English, spelling mistakes or labels that look hastily produced. Check underneath any original labels that look suspicious. Often companies will put a knock-off label over top of their own company label.
Naked bulbs, no cage
Counterfeit lamps are often sold with no cage just the light bulb. Phillips has authorized MI Technologies to sell their replacement bulbs since this company also manufactures its own cages.
Inaccurate part numbers
Always compare the part number on the lamp with the manufacturer’s OEM number. Look on your projector’s website and compare the numbers. If they don’t match, don’t buy the lamp. Be aware, that the more sophisticated counterfeit producers will have the accurate number and original codes.
Original lamps are stamped with a code identifying each company.
You can also check the authenticity seals (Certificate of Authenticity – COA) on any Philips packaging.
Wondering why you need to invest in genuine OEM lamps? Read more:
- Your eyesight at risk
- Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals
- Damage to your projector from knock-off lamps
- damage the projector’s sophisticated optics
- a shorter life means more frequent replacements
- prone to explosions
- exposes you to toxic materials