Projector Lamp Advice


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Jul 2, 2006
Glastonbury, CT
I need to replace my Epson 5020UB Projector lamp (ELP-LP69). I have looked on here and I understand thee is quite a difference between bulbs from the original manufacture and off brands. However, in my research I noticed that several suppliers are $100 or less than Epson and states that the bulb is a genuine OEM bulb inside. Would it be okay then to order it to save $100 + ? Thanks in advance!
OK, here is what I discovered. The claim that a cheap bulb claiming to be the original OEM bulb means 1 of 3 things. First, you may find you only receive the raw bulb without the housing. Second, you may receive the original bulb in a reproduction housing. Finally, you might receive an original bulb in a recycled original housing.

The raw bulb requires an advanced level of skill to get right. If you get any contamination on the bulb it will likely explode. Also, any resistance in the connection will cause overheating and shortened life.
The reproduction housings are often a poor fit and I have seen some that were made with a lesser plastic that softens when heated. Either case makes the bulb extremely difficult to replace the next time.
The reused housings have a different issue. They have already gone through a long cycle and in my experience are more brittle. I have had one shatter when I tried to get it seated.

None of these caveats are absolute, and I have worked with folks who have used all three successfully.

If you go with the original Epson part, it pays to shop around. I have purchased bulbs for $70-100 below the Epson MSRP.

Best of luck with your quest.
The OEM bulb claims are only part of the deal. Many lamps come in housings that may vary widely in quality. Look for lamps that use Sylvania Osram P-VIP bulbs.

I have a 2006 JVC RPTV. I've purchase the bottom-end lamps and the next step up (the one I'm burning now) and both work but the upper tier is a little brighter. In terms of longevity my bulbs (both the original and the cheap replacement) both lasted about 5 years before they started looking dingy. The bottom end lamp (complete with housing) for my TV was $21 last time I checked. The brighter replacement was about $90.

Now that you know how long the lamp might last (versus the Epson estimated 4000/5000 eco mode hours), you can figure the cost/year. At some point, Epson will discontinue the factory lamp (upon which the price jumps up) and you're left with aftermarket anyway but at that point you may be jonesing for a UHD projector.
Amazon is a good place to find lamps and reviews. Search for "5020ub lamp".

Most of the reviews that have a significant number of respondents aren't particularly kind.
Thank You everyone for the quick replies and advice. After taking a day to research and read online reviews, I determined it wasn't best to chance it. The good news is I was able to save $50 by purchasing the bulb from B&H as opposed to Epson. Thanks again!
Let me see now, why should I think Gregg might know something about this topic?

Hmmm. There must be some reason.

OH! Maybe because he’s an expert in this area, and makes a living in the field?

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I didn't say that he didn't know what he was talking about. I only asked for a deeper dive into why he made the very broad statement.
I commented earlier in this thread, but I will repeat. I have also replaced numerous bulbs over the years. Putting in a projector bulb is much more than the bulb itself. The quality of the labor that installed the bulb in the housing, the construction of the housing itself, and use of new vs used materials all factor into what you can expect..
AVS forums is filled with anecdotes about new bulbs shattering on first turn on due to contaminated installation. Cheap plastic causing housings to deform and even melt in place are a noted issue. I have had personal experience with a replacement that reused a housing, shatter when I attempted to install it in a Toshiba RPTV.
You can find the original factory replacements at enough of a discount, that I simply wouldn't chance it.
Greg has no axe to grind here. He does calibrations not equipment sales and has seen it all.
Anecdotal evidence: My TV's original bulb lasted 66 months. At the time that I replaced it, JVC wanted $309 for a lamp. I bought one for under $30 and it lasted for 66 months. My shadetree calibration results were the same as when the TV was new.

Most recently, I couldn't find a new-in-box factory lamp (TS-CL110U) for price comparison. I found quite a few that claimed various levels of "factory" or "OEM" lineage, but they all looked fishy in the fine print. In an age of outsourcing and subcontracting, I wonder what "factory" or "manufacturer" really means.

My results may not be representative but I expect that as long as you get a lamp with an appropriate Osram bulb and you keep your sweaty mitts off of it, it will probably do fine.

At the same time, if there's a real hazard in using will-fits, I think people should know about it.
Oh, that part number sounds familiar. I hope it’s not the one for my RPTV. I only have one spare. Which I THINK is good.

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A bargain priced lamp is only a bargain if it doesn't blow up / crack / destroy your PJ, and at the same time will void your PJ's warranty. Buyer beware.
harshness, I’m holding you PERSONALLY responsible!


My bulb in my 61” JVC RPTV blew tonight. You cursed it.

I found the spare and will install tomorrow. Seems this one did not last very long. I’ll check the count tomorrow.

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