Let's compare the difference between cheap generic lamps and OEM Original projection lamps.

Who makes television lamps?

There are only handful of genuine lamp manufacturers in the market such as Philips, Ushio, Pheonix, Osram, Matsushita, with Philips being the leader in the industry. There is the common misconception among customers that television manufacturers manufacture their own lamps but its not correct. For example, all Sony televisions come with a Philips lamp. In fact around 9 out of 10 televisions in the market come with a Philips lamp.

What is the difference between OEM/Genuine vs OEM Compatible lamps?

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) lamps have been assembled by the same manufacturer as the original brand of your television. On the other hand, OEM Compatible lamps are replicas of the same lamp but manufactured by a different company. The design and specifications of the bulb are said to be the same as the OEM lamp on paper (i.e. they have the same wattage and arc type).

Why genuine lamps?

- Brightness (Luminosity)
Lamp is an integral part to bring outstanding brightness and color to your projected video display. Every component from the lamp, through the optics, power supply, electronics and including all processing algorithms are harmonized to give an optimum image.

- Color
Rich colors matter, but so does color uniformity. A genuine lamp guarantees the exact chemical mix and optical alignment to give vibrant and consistent color across the whole image.

- Safety
Lamps operates at extremely high temperatures, this high voltage, high pressure quartz and glass component is safe to be handled and fitted by the customer, due to the scrupulous manufacturing and testing processes employed. For peace of mind, install
only genuine parts in your television..

- Lamp Life (Durability)
With a genuine lamp you can enjoy a full lamp lifespan from your television replacement lamp. Uniquely engineered to operate with the television's electrical components, only genuine lamps can assure you full life performance and keep the television warranty valid. For example Sony, Samsung, and other major television manufacturers will VOID your warranty for using counterfeit lamps. You don’t have to take our word; you can call yourmanufacturer to confirm! The lamp is similar to the spark plug on your vehicle: the better the quality and smoother the sparking, the longer your vehicle's motor and start (or in this case your "Light Engine and Ballast") will last. Lamp durability and quality is directly related to the life of the other internal components of your television set.

Why we recommend mostly Philips Lamps?

The AC based high pressured lamps pressure mercury lamp for projection is a patented invention of Philips. The lamps are manufactured using high quality standards and technology. The usual life span on these television lamps are much higher than any other lamp in the market, so per the cost benefit analysis you'd be better off purchasing the Philips lamp. Here is a graph provided by a 3rd Part research company for reference: 

What is Generic and why should I avoid it?

Generic lamps are built using the substandard components and build techniques that will result in a shorter life of the lamp or may even represent a safety issue. The main component of a lamp is the burner inside, and manufacturing of that is a complex task and requires high quality components. Burner in generic lamps are often made out of substandard components and does not match the required engineering capabilities, which results into less compelling colors and low lifespan. The following wordage are indicators of a Generic lamp:

OEM Compatible
OEM Replacement
Genuine Compatible
AL Lamp

The above wordage is generally used to confuse consumers into thinking that they are buying something other than a Generic (Non-OEM) lamp. Other leading indicator of generic lamps are:

  • Price - If it seems like the price is too cheap, so is the quality
  • Websites that do not disclose a brand of the bulb that is used inside the housing or cartridge
    • If the seller is selling a Philips lamp, he will proudly let the customer know on his or her website

What is Generic?

Generic lamps are compatible or copy lamps not manufactured by the OEM lamp manufacturing company. A generic lamp will usually cost significantly less than an OEM product because of:

  • Inferior workmanship quality
  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • Poor and inconsistent product lifespan

If you’re buying a generic high performance lamp, be prepared to eat the cost of its usage. An OEM product may last 3 times as long for only a few extra dollars. There is risk of premature explosion and loss of lumens associated with purchasing an off-brand, or generic lamp product.

For example: If you buy an OEM Philips for your television, it may cost about $90, but last you 3 years. If you purchase an off-brand, compatible product for $60, you will have save $30, but the lamp may only last about 6 months to 1 year. The cost-benefit analysis maintains you’d be better off purchasing the OEM Philips lamp.


Digital projection lamp: Original Philips vs. Imitation / Compatible. Source: Philips Lighting

The Philips conducted an independent study, undertaken by KEMA, into the quality of a range of copy lamps versus genuine lamps. The study concluded that the poor component selection and build quality, on average, reduced the brightness of the projection by over 30% to 50%. Click here to view the KEMA report!

Why do we sell OEM Compatible lamps?

The answer is simple, to serve the need of these lamps in the market. These lamps carry less warranty and we do not guarantee the same picture quality. We encourage all of our customers to purchase the OEM lamp, whether it be Philips, Osram, or Phoenix (for Toshiba Televisions). We believe that purchasing from us will help keep the industry and market honest. We are the only vendor on the internet that will provide honest information about the different lamp brands that exist within the market. We provide this information in good faith to allow each customer to make an educated deciscion on which product is the right choice for their particular situation; regardless of our profit margin.

Other sellers are selling the same lamp cheaper?

We are one of the biggest distributors of RPTV lamps in the world. We sell our lamps at very competitive prices and if you find any lamp at lower price, we will match those prices. Please read our Price Matching Policy for more information.