Projector manufacturers have long sought to develop products that provide the best possible picture on a screen or surface. Lamps – whether large Xenon short-arc lamps or small mercury halide bulbs — have served well and provided the best solution for many years. But they have drawbacks, including: handling safety hazards, high-temperatures, relatively-short lifetimes and difficulty of transportation and disposal.
Theoretically, lasers are superior illumination sources to lamps and bulbs, due to several factors, including:
- Brighter pictures
- Lower power consumption
- Longer life and less-frequent changes
- Lower total cost of ownership
- Fewer heavy metals
- Expanded color gamut
- More flexible systems
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Harnessing these advantages, and bringing them to market, has taken time as solid-state laser development is constantly advancing. Since 2000, (and possibly earlier, depending how its defined) lasers, and the necessary optics, have been steadily-developing specifically for projection applications. Now, products are rapidly coming to many markets for all projector sizes.