Automotive Headlight Projector Mod V1.2

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Introduction: Automotive Headlight Projector Mod V1.2

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.


Modding your projector on the cheap!
With the simple use of a 12V Automotive headlight and a power supply.

The OEM replacement bulb for my projector cost ~$300! More than what I paid for the projector it self. And my power supply that powered the original bulb was almost toast. Using this guide you can use an automotive head light bulb for about $15 dollars.

If you like this mod please Digg It!

Please note: This project has been added to please check out my Halogen WORK LIGHT Projector Mod

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

Step 1: Gathering Parts and Supplies

For this mod you will need the head light ($7), power supply (old PC supplies work well $5), and some good gauge wire ($2), thin bare craft wire ($1), pliers and other tools. And oh yeah, one projector with a burned out bulb (E-bay).

Step 2: Finding a Bulb

First begin by estimating the amount of space allotted for the normal bulb. If you have one that takes a bulb cartage youll have to find a bulb that fits into the cartage if possible. The standard size of the auto bulb fits mine well. Now you know about what size bulb you can buy. (I recommend a 9004 XV from Sylvania, others may work as well. Youll want at least a total of 110 Watts).

This mod "should" work on all projectors that can fit a high power headlight bulb in the area that would normally hold the original projector lamp. Most all newer projectors use a lamp cartridge that houses both the bulb and the non conductive reflector. You would have to find a suitable bulb and insert it into the cartridge. Most automotive bulbs are of the size I used in the instructable. Remember you need A LOT of light output, so a wattage of 110+ at 12v is recommended. (Add the high and low wattage values).The nice thing about my projector, the MVP800 is that is has no cartridge. It uses a glass bulb shaped like a rod with a ball in the center. The reflectors and lens are all part of the projector. (The round reflector closes around the bulb witch has been removed from the projector in this picture)

Step 3: Extracting the Bulb!

Next youll mostly likely have to remove the base that holds the actual glass bulb. This is the most difficult part of the mod. Youll want to wear gloves and use lots of patience when extracting the bulb from the base. I broke the prongs out of the bottom of the base then used side cutters to free the bulb from the metal holder toward the top of the base. After it was loose I worked the bulbs thick leads back and forth until I was able to cut them at a reasonable distance. You dont want to break off the power leads to the bulb or you will ruin the bulb.

Step 4: Wiring the Bulb

After it is extracted you need to use butt splice connectors to tightly connect both the standard and high beams together to a +12V and ground lead to be strung out the side of the projector. There will be three or four leads. Look through the glass to find which lead goes where, and activate both the regular and high beams at the same time. I used automotive connectors so I can change the bulb out if needed. To hook the PC power supply to the bulb connect a +12v lead (yellow) and a ground wire (black) to the automotive bulbs contacts. You will need to crimp, solder or use wire nuts because your dealing with a good amount of power. To power the bulb you either need a big 8+ amp 12v supply or use an old PC power supply. If your using a PC supply you will need to manually activate it or hot wire it.
Heres a how to : http://www.techwarelabs.com/guides/misc_mod/psumod/

Step 5: Wiring Some More

Then youll need to use a little bit of thin wire to hold the bulb exactly where you want it to get the best projection. And you'll also need to run the projectors fan to keep the bulb cool.

Optional: You may also want to reset the bulbs timer. The one in this projector counts down from 2000 hours, but is not necessary to operate the projector.

Step 6: Lights, Projector, ACTION!

Close the lid and fire up the power supply. I can get an eight to teen foot screen using this bulb. Add a medium to large stereo system in the front or back of the room for the perfect theater experience. Invite your friends and family to the Movies. Pop popcorn, have some drinks and turn on one of your favorites.

I chose this image to show how light and dark areas will show up with the projector mod. This image displays very well on screen, however is VERY hard to take with a digital camera.

If you like my projector mod please Digg it!

Please note: This project has been added to please check out my Halogen WORK LIGHT Projector Mod

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    116 Discussions

    Hello! Nice mod. I cant get my Toshiba tlp x2500 working continiously, It turns on and beeps once then the halogen light comes on for about 3 seconds and so on. Why? I allready wired up those two wires so it is turning on the halogen and not turning off but its not staying on. Any help? I dont have any original lamp and i want to put a LED in there. But i cant get it staying on. Any ideas? Sorry for my bad English! And thanks for any help :)

    1 reply

    HI this is VIPER! the Projector mods i did are kind of dated. 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. I have an older LG HW301G LED projector it is beautiful.

    Viper, I have an identical projector, a Lightware MVP800, and I am wondering how you reset the bulb timer and or disabled the bulb sensor/power supply

    the computer power supply is 12v and the car one is 14v usually (as high as 16v), this may cause some dimming.... secondly the lamp in the projector i am looking at is 160w-130w (eco). car lamps can be 55w so you might have to get a trio for adequate brightness...

    1 reply

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
    £36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

    Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
    I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
    I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
    But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

    But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
    Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.

    do you think a bulb from an overhead protector would work

    Hey I hope you guys are still up on this topic - because I got questions!

    Something about the power supply worries me quite a bit.

    I don't want to burn my house down by drawing 20A with an ATX power supply. I know Ohm's law shows that that's not much wattage at 12v.... but I want to be absolutely sure I'm not running much risk running a 400W supply at 12v to power this thing. The math of that scares me: 30 A current to the bulb. That might actually blow it too.
    I dunno if my understanding of lightbulbs and current are right....

    ... I guess I am probably just obsessing. I managed to dig up an entire post on just lightbulbs. The last few posts were what I needed to read... but it didn't entirely clear things up.

    http://www.advancedphysics.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-2723.html

    Anyways - I just want to know from somebody whether I'm running the risk of drawing too much current on my house circuit.

    3 replies

    -- it works just fine FYI.... I did it already. However, I find the bulb to be dim.... I think maybe an FXL overhead bulb may be brighter or something.

    Thanks for the information, I’m in the process of learning blog commenting myself. It has been hard work!

    Yeah - I can't use it in the daylight. Maybe it's because my projector is a 3-LCD model. Most people are doing this with DLP projectors.

    HELP!!! S.O.S. well I got a Proxima ultralight ls1 off ebay for $50 but I am currently not able to watch anything because there is a led that appears if the appropriate is NOT in there (or not in at all) and then shuts off is there a bypass of this problem? the place needed to insert bulb is below

    DSCN4595.JPG
    3 replies

    On my projector, I forget which model at the moment, Sanyo brand I believe, I was able to remove the ballast entirely and bridged a 3-wire cable that was plugged into the ballast (Just soldered all 3 together). I got lucky, as I'm none too great with a multimeter, but it effectively disabled the bulb detector.

    On a more personal note I had made the mistake of trying to use an external power source in conjunction with the ballast without properly bridging them..luckily the projector had a 4A fuse in it. Of course I didn't find this out until AFTER I had tossed it in the trash and pulled it out again a few days later. I'm using a Sylvania 9007XV with both filaments and it hardly provides enough light to see the picture. I looked up the spec sheet:

    http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/AutomotiveLighting/HighPerformance/Xtravision/ProductLine/

    Its trying to pull 12-13 amps, so when I get home today I'll be removing the low-beam lead. Hopefully this will improve the brightness for me! :)

    Thanks for this project, and thanks to lumenlabs as well!

    Apparently the PSU I'm using supposedly supports 20A on the +12v...perhaps the 9007XV just doesn't cut it? I can hardly see the menus at ~8 feet with all the lights in the room turned off, at night. Adjusting the bulb position succeeds in removing light spots on the screen, but other than that this seems to be a complete bust...