The Science Behind Philips UHP Lamps and their unrivaled & proprietary manufacturing process.

The science behind Philips UHP "Ultra High Performance" projection lamps.

Here's a quick little explaination on how Philips lamps work in your digital projection television, be it DLP, or LCD projection. It's not quite magic, but simple science.
UHP Lamps are used widely in DLP and LCD projection displays. The lamps are not extremely complicated
and provide a light source for your television or projector display. Philips lamps have very low failure rate
and are often blamed for another faulty component such as a bad ballast, color wheel, light engine, or
cooling unit.
The lamp itself is encased in an enclosure, meant to hold it in place and connect it to the ballast.
How It Works
The lamp itself typically uses AC current and about 15,000 volts to ignite the lamp's mercury vapor gas. The gases inside the lamp react when electricity charges up the mercury gas creating very bright light. The voltage drops to keep the flow of electricity to the lamp.
The lamp works with the ballast to project light into a light engine that separates the colors of the light, then recombines them with an image.
The image is then reflected on the back of the TV and then onto the screen.
Things to remember
  • If the lamp doesn't work, it may be another bad unit or component in your TV. Samsung and Panasonics are notorious for bad or weak ballasts. RCAs are known for bad color wheels and power supplies, which power your ballast, which powers your lamp.
  • Lamps with malfunctioning or intermittent ballasts will not function properly. Ballasts usually go bad due to overheating, power surges, or normal wear and tear on the unit. The capacitors on the ballasts usually store large amounts of energy to ignite the lamp with about 15,000 volts of electricity. Normal AA batteries are about 1.5 volts, so it'd take 10,000 AA batteries to turn on your lamp.
  • No standard multimeter tool can measure if the lamp is working correctly.
  • Lamps will not pass continuity tests because electricity has to "arc" the electrode gap to turn on the lamp--similar to a spark plug. Multimeters or Volt meters WILL NOT WORK.
  • All of our UHP lamps are OEM PHILIPS. We are one of the largest distributors.
  • Remember that UHP lamps need electricity to arc a gap like a spark plug to ignite. If the ballast is weak, or if there's something else wrong, the lamp will usually not light up. Call us and we'll help troubleshoot!
Stay informed and call us if you have any questions. Don't be fooled or misled by bogus service centers! You have a friend with, a NESDA member. We'll try and help you solve your TV problems the right way, or help you find a qualified NESDA repair technician!


Learn more about Philips UHP Lamps here: