It’s not like we are all just now catching on to the Green thing, but for a long time there was seemingly little discourse about greenifying projectors. However, with all the “green” stimulus money in the news, there is more talk than ever about going green. So, in order to allow our readers to be a part of the greenversation, we wanted to offer up some reminders for more eco-conscious projection.
Use Only What You Need
Believe it or not, this mantra of less consumption can also be applied to projection habits. How so? Well it essentially comes down to power consumption. The more lumens you project, the more energy you use. So how can you reduce power usage? Two ways : Use Economy Modes and Shop Smart.
Economy Modes Good for Your Economy
If you’ve been shopping around for a projector, you have probably come across some products that feature “economy modes.” This feature was initially billed as a way to extend a projectors lamp life (and it can nearly double it), but busting from the fine print to the headline is the fact that Economy Modes also lower your projector’s power consumption.
Projectors don’t typically lose a lot of brightness in Economy Mode – usually only a 25-30% of their total lumen output – but they can significantly reduce energy consumption. For example, our featured projector the NEC NP901W drops from 310W usage to 260W in economy mode. So, when it’s an overcast day in the boardroom, economy mode is – as the name implies – more economical.
Quick Tip : If you want to be the greenest of the green, it might be worth considering lights-off projecting when the situation permits. Lights-off-projection has two benefits. First, fewer lumens are required to create a big and bright image in a dark room. And second, you’re not using any energy to light up the room.
When it’s time to purchase a new projector there are a few eco-friendly factors to consider. The most significant decision in terms of energy usage is in the projectors energy consumption.
Unfortunately there are not “Energy Star” ratings for projectors just yet. But most manufacturers list the power usage in their complete specifications, so they are easy to compare. In general, brighter projectors use more energy than lower lumen products – although some of the micro-portable projectors may pull a little more juice to cool the projector. So, should you just buy the projector with the lowest energy consumption? Not exactly. The trick is to buy “only the brightness you need.”
How Many Lumens Do I Need?
If you already know how many lumens you need, then you can compare energy use by model. If a projector has an ecomony mode, you may see two values for lumen ratings. Pick a projector that gets most of what you need done in the eco mode. You’ll have a longer lamp life (reducing waste) and leave a little leeway if you need more brightness from time-to-time.
If you don’t know how many lumens you need, we have a team of seasoned Projector Experts who can help you determine with unusual accuracy the right lumens required for just about any application. So if you need to fill up the side of your house for an evening movie, they can tell you what you need. If you need to project to six people in a dark room, they can tell you the magic lumen number. So, if you need help deciding how many lumens you need, just give us a call at 888-248-0675.
Quick Tip : In your zeal to become green, don’t unplug your projector too quickly! You still need to give most projectors a minute or so to completely cool down before unplugging and storing them. You will know it’s ok to unplug them when you hear the fan stop turning. If you unplug your projector before it’s been properly cooled down, you may do damage to the lamp, shortening its life span and causing unnecessary waste.
Disposing of Unwanted Projectors and Electronics
Did you know that most electronics can be recycled? Odds are you did. But, what most of people don’t know is where to take their out-dated electronics. The EPA.gov website has information on how to dispose of most kinds of electronics. Both the electronics inside of the projector and the lamp module are recyclable. In fact, many projector lamps have some mercury in them, which means you are required to dispose of them properly. So when you remove that old lamp, be sure to follow the EPA recommended steps for proper disposal.
Some projector manufacturers have “trade-up” programs (like NEC’s Eco-Care), where you can send in your old projector for a discount on a new one. Some programs will take any old projector, while others only take trade-ins for their brand equipment. These programs are a wonderful idea, but don’t expect an enormous discount for your donation. The biggest benefit is that the manufacturers will be sure to properly dispose of your old equipment with less hassle for you.
Now Go Be Green!
These are just a few very basic things that can be done to make your AV greener. There are more ways to make your AV greener, particularly if you have a network that you can integrate your AV into. There are also some manufacturers that say they use greener production methods when building their projectors. But these are all topics for another newsletter. Stay tuned!
Quick Tip : When I was a kid, those crazy grown-ups used to say that it took more energy to turn a light off and back on again than it does to just keep it running. As it turns out, that isn’t exactly true. Mary Beth Gotti, manager of the GE Lighting and Electrical Institute in Cleveland, says that for all practical purposes, “it almost always makes sense to turn the lights off.” She continues, “From an environmental standpoint, the best way to save energy is to turn off the things that you’re not using.” (source Scientific American)