Did your movie look dim? Here’s why. Bulb change pictures from a seasoned Projectionist

An excellent post by Burlip on Reddit:

This is what a bulb looks like after its gone over hours. This one had over 1600 hours on it (different bulb models have different hour capabilities).


See the gnarly metal on the tip of the point on the left? That’s where the arc touches down. The more gnarly it is (it gets like that with use), the less stable the arc is, and the image on screen will flicker. 


All that black soot is what makes the image on screen dim. Acts as a physical barrier to the light trying to get out.


Looks pretty cloudy with the flash on! Hard for light to get out.


This is a nice shiny new bulb. So clear! So pristine! 


This is what bulbs look like fresh out of the box. 0 hours. Ready to go. 


It’s a tight fit! Have to be careful not to ding the reflector. :/


Hope you’ve enjoyed these pictures.

After note: Once a new bulb has been installed, the bulb must be ‘balanced’ the process of making the bulb sit properly to ensure maximum and even light distribution on screen.

WIth digital projectors, this is an automatic process (you go through menue options and select ‘Lamp LOC’). Easy. Old style projectors that run actual fim have knobs on the back the you must physically turn to adjust the bulb’s orientation while looking at naked light on screen! Fun fun. 


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