When your projector bulb burns out, you need to find a replacement, and often fairly quickly. Much like traditional lightbulbs, there are a number of different types of projector bulbs out there. Not all bulbs will work for all projectors. When you shop, you want to make sure you're getting the right bulb for your specific brand and type of projector.
Remove Your Old Bulb
The easiest way to shop for a new projector bulb is to take a look at the bulb already in your projector. Remove your old bulb from your projector and take a look at the writing printed on it. If it's not worn down, you should be able to tell the brand of bulb you're currently using as well as some key features of the bulb that will help you find its replacement. If your bulb has just burned out, make sure you give it time to cool down before reaching in your projector to pull it out. Projector bulbs can get exceptionally hot.
Once you're done reading your bulb, make sure you dispose of it properly. Projector bulbs are considered hazardous waste and can't just be thrown away with your other garbage.
Get the Right Kind
There are three different kinds of projector bulbs: DLP, LCoS and LCD. DLP stands for digital light processing, LCD is a liquid crystal display, and LCoS is liquid crystal on silicone, a hybrid of the two technologies. You should be able to tell from your previous bulb what kind it is. If you can't tell, consult the manual for your particular projector to determine what kind of bulb it takes. Some projectors also have this information printed on a sticker either on the bottom of the device or near where the bulb is installed. The wrong type of bulb won't work in your projector, so make sure you get this part right.
Get the Right Wattage
Just like the lights in your home, you'll want to make sure you get the appropriate watt bulb for your particular projector. If you purchase a bulb with too low of a wattage your projector might not be bright enough. If you purchase a bulb with too high a wattage you run the risk of damaging your projector or causing a fire.
When you find the right projector bulb, it's always a good idea to go ahead and purchase two bulbs rather than one. An extra bulb can come in handy should your current one accidentally break or burn out right before a big presentation. Having a new bulb on hand will also make it a lot easier to buy a replacement in the future, since the writing on the bulb itself will definitely not be faded or hard to read due to age.