Counterfeit Projector Lamps
Lots of distributors that claim to sell OEM bulbs in 3rd party housing may actually (knowingly or unknowingly), be selling counterfeit OEM projector lamps.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is supposed to mean the lamp that was originally in the projector when it was new. Companies like Sanyo, Mitsubishi, Samsung and the like do not make bulbs. Instead they contract with major bulb manufacturers to make the bulbs for them. These are the OEM manufacturers that lamp distributors refer to.
You should be able to determine the manufacture of the projector bulb by looking at the back of the reflector. If it said VIP, it was Osram; UHP is Philips and USH is Ushio. Not true anymore. Now it seems that some of these reflectors are being reused by replacing the arc tube with a substandard version. The reflector is the same, the arc tube is not. These are fit into compatible housings and marketed as OEM bulbs. You see the familiar VIP, UHP and USH on the back of the bulb and you assume you are getting the OEM version. Many times you are not.
How can you tell the difference? The performance will be one way to tell. How long does your lamp work, before you see a significant lumen drop off? This is a tell tale sign of a counterfeit lamp. Another is price. If someone claims to be selling an OEM lamp and they are cheaper than everyone else online. They are cutting corners somewhere. Does your lamp have one of the OEM brand labels on the outside of the box? What if my supplier offers me a long warranty period? These lamps do not have to be extinguished to be of little value. It’s like the old LED emergency lights. They still work but they are so dim, they have lost their usefulness.