Introduction: Halogen Work Light Projector Mod V2.0

Picture of Halogen Work Light Projector Mod V2.0

Out Dated Mod:

The projector mods I did are out dated at this time. There are projectors with much better optics, brightness and throw distances. If you looking for a long use projector, with inexpensive bulbs, like I was when doing this mod, I would suggest getting an LED based projector. They provide superior brightness, rich colors, and most of all ridiculous long life spans over using a bulb based projector. Most of all there very inexpensive. Seriously Check out Amazon for LED Projectors. Just remember to find the Native Resolution, Brightness, Inputs and check the user reviews before making your purchase.

Considering what you can get NEW and at a reasonable price, modding is just not worth it.

A Home Theater that won't brake the bank.

Simply use a burnt out projector and a Work Light from Home Depot and bring the theater home!

The OEM replacement bulb for my projector cost $300 (!) , more than what I paid for the projector it self. Also, my power supply that powered the original bulb was almost toast. Using this guide, you can use a Halogen Work Light bulb for about $10 dollars.

If you like this mod please Digg It!

This project is a redo of my Automotive Head Light Projector Mod

WARNING: This mod involves modification of a projector, electrical wires, switches and a high power bulb. If you are not comfortable with modding on this level, DO NOT attempt this mod. The writer is not responsible for any injuries or damages resulting from these instructions.

Step 1: Obtaining the Work Light

Picture of Obtaining the Work Light

'Step 1: Go to HOME DEPOT'
In their Electrical Section you will find a small ~$10 250 Watt Halogen Work Light
Make sure that the bulb is 3.15 inches NOT a 4.69 inch or it may not fit.
You will want to measure the space that you have in your projector before going to the store.

You can get 3.15 inch bulbs that go from 75 to 400 watts in 3.15 inch. However, remember that even though more watts means more lumens, it also means more heat.
(We don't want to melt the projector or start a fire)

Once you have found the bulb that will fit your projector, Buy it and continue to step 2. ------->

Step 2: Taking Things Apart : )

Picture of Taking Things Apart : )

Now that we have the work light take it apart!
The nice thing about the work light is that it contains all the things we need to build this mod. A halogen bulb, a bulb socket, switch, and a power cord. The only thing you need are tools (a screwdriver, pliers, drill & bits) and wire nuts.

Disassembly is easy, as the light comes only partially assembled.
All screws used a Phillips driver, and to remove the clear wire nut crimps just pinch them on the sides with some pliers.

There are four parts we will need. The Halogen Bulb, the Bulb socket, switch, and power cord.

Put the light casing back in the box for your next project.

Step 3: Mounting the Switch

Picture of Mounting the Switch

Drill a hole in your projector where you have room for the switch, wire and nuts underneath.
On my projector about 2 inches from the bulb socket worked well.

Unscrew the red switch and mount it in the casing. (See picture)

Step 4: Add POWER!

Picture of Add POWER!

Drill another hole for the power cord. Push the power cord through the hole and secure it with a zip tie.

Step 5: Wire the Switch and the Bulb Socket.

Picture of Wire the Switch and the Bulb Socket.

Wire the switch, power cord and bulb socket. You should know that in building wiring Black = Hot, White = Neutral, and Green = Ground.

Wire the switch through the hot wire, and the bulb socket white to white and black to the switch. You can ground the Green to the ground on your projector.

If you don't know electrical wiring I suggest getting a friend to help with this project.

Step 6: Insert the Bulb and Reassemble the Projector.

Picture of Insert the Bulb and Reassemble the Projector.

Place the bulb in the bulb socket and place it directly where your original bulb would be or your automotive head light was if you completed my previous mod.

Step 7: It's SHOWTIME!

Picture of It's SHOWTIME!

After checking all your electrical connections, Fire up your projector. Make any adjustments to the bulb placement if needed after the bulb has cooled. I can get a massive 12 Foot screen using this mod. Its much brighter than the automotive light I used last time.

Invite your friends over to the movies and show them the projector you modded.
Pop popcorn and through in one of your favorite movies.

Please check out my other projects:

Automotive Head Light Projector Mod
Upgrade from VISTA to XP

CAUTION : This Halogen bulb is MUCH HOTTER that the automotive headlight that was used last time.
You will need a significant amount of air flow through the bulb chamber to cool the bulb and NOT START A FIRE! Also, keep the bulbs power cord unplugged, you don't want someone turning on the bulb with out the fan. I am not held responsible for damages due to improper use of your projector.

My next project how to make perfect popcorn!
This popcorn popper makes great popcorn. Legend has it it was discovered abandoned in a work camp on the Alaskan pipeline.


tatay66 (author)2010-01-12

Not to hard to figure out all he did was to replace the standard bulb with a halogen lamp, thats already wired, then he drills a hole in the side of the projector casing instead of trying to wire it up direct to the projector power supply. Then he actually has two seperate switches one for the light and one for the projector. The thing to note is the fact that he cautioned the need to have extra cooling such as a larger fan. Its really all simple reverse engineering and running the existing wires from the halogen light to the original wire as in piggy backed lol. As far as the projector cooling time it should still be automatic he didnt change the circuit all he did was add a stronger light. To be positive on this the bulb doesnt cost an arm and a leg to get and all the wire and circuit you need are already there. BE NICE he did explain you would need to find one that will fit your projector.

flyingpumpkin (author)tatay662012-01-14

most projectors have an auto-shutoff if there is no current running through the bulb. This would have to be bypassed to make it work somehow. There is more to it than just powering the projector and bulb separately. As nearly every other post here points out....

siggibahama (author)2010-04-12

hi,  I am geared up and ready to do this instructable, I am quite exited and cant wait to pop some corn and have a movie night,  I am having a problem though that maybe you can help me with.

I am using an acer pd100 projector, but it does not power up unless there is a working bulb in it, now I have to trick it into thinking that there is a bulb in by using a resistor but i have no clue wich one to use.

I have looked up the bulb  but cant seem to find how much power it uses,  that is if its 12 volt or 220 (I am in europe) 

the bulb:

any ideas as to what strength resistor I should use?

Tkdwn (author)siggibahama2011-05-21

try, tricking it in the sensor circuit, not the actual power circuit for the lamp.
I first removed the HV flyback trafo, and tried that way on my new benq :)
It did not work, and i had the same problem as you do, then I looked at the circuit and saw that there was only the power wires and the sensor wires(the lamp HV pcb is seperate from the rest. the sensor circuit wires had only 1,2 v dc, so i tried to conect them directly guessing that the lamp circuit works as a switch and it works . now i just need to put a stronger bulb in,this one is only 60w and maybe it wil pass in complete darknes. cheers

Tkdwn (author)Tkdwn2011-05-21

This is it at 2x60W , NEED MOOAR!!1!11

matthewkhoury75 (author)2011-04-02

Hello, I was thinking about doing a project like this. I wanted to know if you have ever tried to use a high power LED instead of a halogen light? If I were to attempt this I would most likely use one that is colored bright white:
depending on how many lumens the projector is, I will find one that matches that. Please tell me if you think this will work and feel free to add any suggestions.

kingbowser (author)2010-06-30

Hi, later this summer I'm planning to mod a LCD projector which has no lamp. I come across this producer: It offers high power LEDs (up to 100W), with an high CRI of 90. I'm now asking them where I can find a sample of their HPR40E-19K100NWG/CRI 90. The PSUs are easy to find on the eBay (search "100W led ac driver"). As a collimator I plan to use some short focal length fresnel lenses, which you can find for example here If you couple two or more lenses you'll have an equivalent focal length f/n, where n is the number of lenses you used. So you can have a rather thin, but powerful, lens. Maybe you'll need a tempered glass as those lenses are made of plastics, and too much heat would melt them. The biggest problem is the heat: you have to dissipate a large amount of power, so it will be impossible to fit this setup in a lamp housing, you will need at least a heatsink coming out of the projector, maybe also a fan and/or a peltier cell. But you'll have a great light source: a LED with 90 CRI and 5800lumens. What do you think? [it would be a little pricey though...]

pervy_sage (author)2010-03-03

Viper help! I am at this stage now. but the ceramic holders of my halogen lamp are hitting the cone mirror on the heat shield. Let me guess your ceramic holders just happen to be low profile and you never had this problem.

VIPER2475 (author)pervy_sage2010-03-07

Yes, I thought that the ceramic holders on mine were a standard size. you may have to modify how the cone mirror or reflector is mounted in order to fit everything in.

Im verry impressed that you have taken on the project keep going your almost there!


monkeey (author)2010-01-21

i have an optoma ezpro 585 and it seems to be the exact same projector as yours in every way except name . my bulb has maybe another 30 hours on it and i am gearing up to try this mod, i just had a quick question, how did you mount the bulb in the old bulb's place. i am guessing a few squirts from a hot glue gun wont work lol....

VIPER2475 (author)monkeey2010-01-21

I used thin steel wire with no insulation. It worked well. Just make sure it doesn't touch any electrical wires.

monkeey (author)VIPER24752010-03-02

i will try the thin wire if all else fails, i was thinking of using some jb weld to 'weld' the lamp holder in place. i used it on my car engine and its held pretty well and it gets really hot so im sure it would work here. Also i found the same light you got but mine came with a foot long power cable and no switch. i was able find a switch that will work and im adding a longer cord but the thing that worries me is there is a thin piece of glass in front of the bulb that has " uv filter - do not remove" on it. DId yours have this and if so have you had any problems running the projector with out it? i really dont want to get a tan while watching a movie ....

hantly (author)2009-07-30

hi there i am stuck at this stage. i really want to do this project but i am just stuck at this one stage. you see i have an acer PD113. please can you search this projector and tell me where i will have to drill these holes. the bulb is at the bottom but i cant seem to remove the shell. thank you hantly

VIPER2475 (author)hantly2010-03-01

It may still be possible but youll most likely have to find a way to fit the components in. I cant tell you where to mount equipment on every projector I would have to have the projector in front of me in order to help you.  

pervy_sage (author)2010-03-01

Hello Viper it has been two years since you made this mod. I don;t know if you are still there or even reading this. But would like to know the following.

- Is your halogen projector mod still going?
- did you modify the fan in the MVP800 to work on all the time or did you just leave as is?
- did you disconnect the original wires for the light of the projector or did you just take the mounting off?
- does it produce excess heat? how did you manage to solve this problem?


VIPER2475 (author)pervy_sage2010-03-01

Yes I'm still here!  :D
And I'm working on a website dedicated to my projects and the projector mod that stirred up so much excitement. Check back here for a link when the site is ready for public consumption. I will be adding lots of my projects to the site as well as a new detailed look at the projector mod.

Yes the old girl is still going! We have watched many movies on the weekends with it.

The fan always runs when the projector is in standby and should run twice as fast when it is turned on. So you should turn the bulb on after the projector fan is moving. The fan already runs at a good speed and the bulb is about as hot as the original bulb so no modification was necessary.  I removed the original wires and the mounting from the projector as the igniter wasn't working. 

For people wanting EXACT step by step instructions. This is a prof of concept and explanation of how I did the mod on MY projector every projector is going to be different unless you can get a hold of the same or a similar model.  Many of my ideas for other projects come from a brief explanation of how something works or a picture of a similar project. It is up to you to look and think about your idea and solve the problems to make it function. I built the projector mods in about 5 or 6 hours and had to think up almost everything on my own.

If you put you mind to it you can accomplish anything. -Dr. Emit Brown

xeniczone (author)2008-07-01

This is probably a bad idea. I would stick with the Car Headlight bulbs. Those Halogen bulbs are in that yellow case for a reason. The glass on the front of that is made to block out harmful rays that come from the Halogen Bulb. More specifically. The UV rays from the light. These are extremely harmful rays. That can give you sunburn, which can accelerate skin cancer. Like I said this isn't a good idea.

pcfixit (author)xeniczone2009-05-06

Hate to burst your bubble xeniczone, there is an absolutely misicule risk of skin damage because of these halogen lamps. Although it is true that exposure to UV light can accelerate skin cancer and cause damage, due to the tiny amount of UV light emitted by these, only very prolonged exposure to them can cause skin damage. And to add to this most commonly avaliable halogen bulbs, such as the linear sort used in work lights etc, have a UV filter coating on the lamp itself. I know this will seem like I'm having a bit of a pop at you, but its more to clear up any misconceptions people might have about this. Great Instructable by the way VIPER2475, keep up the good work.

xeniczone (author)pcfixit2010-02-07

 Not really the skin you should worry about.  Its your eyes.

VIPER2475 (author)xeniczone2009-05-08

Seriously I have not experienced any sun burn, tanning or other ill effects with this bulb. It would be easy to use the glass included as a filter. So far I have to agree with pcfixit. And yes these are the same type used in lamps and they have a tiny filter over them. I think its mostly there to reduce the risk of fires.

macrumpton (author)xeniczone2009-05-05

Are you sure about that? These bulbs look just like the ones that are in the cheap torchiere type lamps that you can get at any department store, and those don't have any warnings or elaborate UV shielding.

btop (author)xeniczone2008-09-23

So this projector will now give people who watch a film on it cancer? I wouldn't be surprised, everything seems to cause cancer nowadays...

xeniczone (author)btop2008-09-25

not specifically cancer, more like sun burn, or can hurt your eyes because of the amount of IR coming from it. it would be possible to put an ir filter inside the projector...

TheBestJohn (author)xeniczone2009-03-16

Just buy a UV lens filter for digital cameras for 15 smackers at any photography store... that should work

btop (author)xeniczone2008-09-27

This instructable should be renamed "Mod your projector into a tanning booth"

Tomcat94 (author)2010-02-05

Now, if there was a mod for the EyeClops mini projector to make it project REALLY well, that would be AMAZING. :) Make it happen, instructables!

flyingpumpkin (author)2010-01-03

Nice idea, but this instructable is no where detailed enough for me to repeat.  There are more pictures of the switch you put in then exactly how you bypassed the projector's auto-shutoff function.  I  can tell what you've done there. It would be nice to have something step-by-step before, pointing to the wires you are targeting, showing one-by-one which you have modified.  You've only photographed it after completed and not how you did it.  An instructable should, well be instructions that will allow it to be repeated by users rather than just some pictures of your neat setup.  Perhaps more of the photos of the Mod and less of the popcorn maker...

Too bad really.  There are some good french websites on modding your projector:
unfortunately they are in french.

I have a 3M mp8755 that I would like to mod this way.  Unfortunately it isn't possible from these instructions.

Congrats on getting this to work.

Corndog1337 (author)2009-11-09

Hey guys I got the lightware vp800 model and didnt know if anyone knew about retrofitting with an small lcd monitor to give it better resoultion. Anyone got a tutorial or know how to start this project?

hantly (author)2009-07-29

hi i live in the uk i was just wondering do you think anything very similar will do the same job. but i really like the idea and i am going to try it just need to know tht question thank you hantly

MillenniumMan (author)2009-06-19

Had to replace the entire balast in my old projector (chinese made of course) I used a similar method, but not a halogen worklight. Suffice it to say, I'm going to (re)mod my older work and use this method since the replacement 150 watt incandescent bulb and flexible auto mirror method I used probably isn't as bright as this (1600 lumens) But it'll mean a faster and longer running cooling fan.

BobS (author)2009-04-08

I have heard (but not tried) that water with a little (only slightly bluish) copper sulfate dissolved in it blocks IR. That would make a great coolant to put in between glass plates just before of the LCD screen. It would accumulate the heat, so it should be pumped into a mini radiator, perhaps a part from a fridge radiator??

ericlorda (author)2009-02-28

I already did this work at the overhead projector .It works and save money just a few modification on the wiring and the mounting of the bulb.

cat3rn (author)2009-02-03

I do like this mod very much but I have just a couple of questions. Why have 2 power cords coming out? Why not just wire the original power cord that powers the projector to also power the light that way when you shut the projector off the fans keep going for a few minutes to cool down the lamp?

VIPER2475 (author)cat3rn2009-02-22

Yes, you could clean it up very neatly. I just used two power cables to do the mod faster & easier. On my projector wiring into the power supply area would have been much more difficult.

bad_german (author)2009-01-23

so it heats up... perfect for making popcorn eh? just attach a pot over the bulb, add butter and corn and wait...

lowflyingdutchman (author)2008-12-16

Noobie here with a question. Despite the cancer causing effects of this mod ;) I would like to try it. I have an old 3M projector and after the bulb busted and I found the replacement bulb would set me back some 200, this is one elegant solution. So after opening it up, I found the leftovers of what suspiciously looks like a halogen worklightbulb in the first place!. not to mention the fact that it has apparently been chewing up 400 watts! Now for my question.. Is it reasonable to assume that since the original bulb (that is rated for 400 watt) can be replaced with a halogen bulb of the same wattage? would it generate pretty much the same amount of heat? I can see where the swap would be childishly simple because, like I said, the bulbseat pretty much already looks like what one would find in a worklight. Would appreciate any reply!

Synaptyc (author)2008-08-29

Can anyone who has had success (or not) with this please add their results to this post. I really want to try this, but I would like to know if it actually works well, or if it is better to stick with OEM parts. Screen shots would help so many people with this project. You know... fan attachments, running shots, side-by-side shots of the OEM light bulb and the modded light source.
It feels like this mod is 90% complete, and leaves the experimenter hanging with a few steps to complete.
ANY info would be great. Even successful mods on any other retail projectors. Inquiring minds want to know!

xeniczone (author)Synaptyc2008-09-14

A picture would be useless because a picture quality will only reflect the quality of the camera. It would not show a true brightness or a true color contrast.

eduardo1979 (author)2008-07-30

How long does the light (250 watt halogen) will last? because proyector lights last more less 3000-4000 hours great article

VIPER2475 (author)eduardo19792008-07-30

Most bulbs are rated between 1000-2000 Hours at the price to replace one and considering that I will go through a bulb at about 1 per year and a half I think its all good.

justinrlee (author)2008-06-01

does anyone have an idea how to make this work with LED lights? They last longer and don't put out the heat. You can find some thousand lumen LEDs, but I dont know how it would work as far as quality.

slimguy379 (author)justinrlee2008-06-09

they sell leds in replacement of a socket type bulb google it or you can make a led panel with a pcb and white leds.

slimguy379 (author)2008-05-18

you really should show us how to insert a fan to keep it cool!! I would think that if I do this mod that I would end up using an old ps2 fan because they're thin and run on 3v - 10v (if that makes a difference) but its an idea and i have one left over so I'll let you guys know what happens!!!

slimguy379 (author)2008-05-17

PLEAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! post a picture of the new bulb to compare w/ automotive light tutorial pictures and to to see what the picture looks like in general!!! I know that this is an older post but please update some new pictures ( and please don't give me bad news bull that tells me that you upgraded or such!!!)

hermit_penguin (author)2008-04-19

Dude, this makes me want to go buy a 20$ broken projector from E-bay, then fix it! You have an amazing mind. Keep it up =)

fighterace26 (author)2008-04-19

Just curious, I have the vp800 plus projector, and it works great I have a few extra bulbs, however I am wondering if this makes a better picture than the stock one? I get a decent pic now but I would like it to be brighter. Nice job by the way, I bought my projector when it was new for $1800 and its virtually the same as yours.

VIPER2475 (author)fighterace262008-04-19

No, I don't think the image is better than the stock bulb. My MVP 800 gets darker when using the VGA input. And you cant adjust the brightness. When using the Yellow video input (Composite Video) I can adjust the brightness and I can get a good looking image. If you decide to do a similar mod please post pictures Id like to see how you put yours together. But I would not mod it unless your bulbs are all burnt out.

VIPER2475 (author)2008-04-18

eric734195 sent me this message Original Message Sent Fri, 18 Apr 2008 at 10:17 AM by eric734195 Hey man i really like you mod. I tried it but I can not get it to work. There is a small light on the top of the projector that says lamp under it. When I turn the projector on it flashes green for a minute and the turns to red and stays on. It is the same thing it did when the original bulb was in it. So I am guessing that it saying that the bulb is burnt out. Any way I can not get a picture. I don't think that it is completely turning on because of the bulb. Do you know a way around this or have any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. VIPER2475 Apr 18, 2008. 5:58 PM subject: re: Projector mod This is difficult you have one of two problems A) The projector senses the bulb is burnt out and shuts off (Most likely) Or B) The projector is malfunctioning. Your going to have to find out how the projector detects that the bulb is there and is operational and fool it to think everything is working. Or bypass that subsystem completely and activate the LCD portion of the projector. On some unites this may not be possible. Your going to have to do some research and perhaps find a verry tech savvy friend to help. This my be a project to submit to an Electrical Engineer or EE department if it proves to complicated. Remember your working with high voltages here be careful! And if your not sure its safe get advice.

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-03-22

But can you pop popcorn with the projector?

I was referring to the picture of the Popcorn popper on step 7

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