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Ultra High Performance Lamps - UHP - What does this mean?

Posted by Robert Gaul at

The ultra-high-performance lamp is a high-pressure mercury arc lamp (often identified and a Philips lamp with the Philips trademark UHP) was originally known as the ultra-high-pressure lamp,this was because the internal pressure was as much as 200 atmospheres. It was developed by Philips in 1995 for use in commercial projection systems, home theater projectors, rear projection TVs, and video walls.

Unlike other common mercury vapor lamps used in projection systems, it is not a metal halide lamp, it uses only mercury.

Philips claims a lifetime of over 10,000 hours for the lamps, but this varys greatly on the unit it is installed into and how well the manufacturer built the cooling system within the TV, Projector, or Video Wall.

These lamps are highly efficient compared to other projection lamps – for example, a single 132 watt UHP lamp is used by DLP manufacturers such as Samsung and RCA to power their DLP rear-projection TV lines.

While these lamps are typically identified as Philips lamps specifically, this is not the factual case and their are multiple major manufacturers that produce these lamps for the Projector, TV, and Video Wall manufacturers. They are listed below:

Currently known and respected manufacturers of high-pressure discharge lamps (UHP or similar):

  • EYE/Iwasaki (HSCR) (AC only), Japan based. Major Supplier for Sony and other manufactures.
  • Osram/Sylvania (P-VIP / NeoLux) (AC only), Europe based company. Leading Supplier for Mitsubishi, BenQ, Optoma, and many others.
  • Panasonic, Matsushita (HS, UHM) (AC only), Japan based company. Panasonic is one of the only Projector and TV manufacturers that actually manufacture their own lighting. Matsushita is Panasonic lighting division as well as the name of the founder of Panasonic!
  • Philips (UHP) (AC only), Europe based company. Leading supplier for Samsung, Hitachi, Sony TVs, and many more.
  • Phoenix (SHP), Japan based company. Leading supplier of DC lamps for Toshiba, Sharp and many others.
  • Ushio (NSH, UMPRD, NSHA), Japan based company. Leading supplier for NEC, Vivitek, and many others.
  • Epson (E-TORL) (Made by EYE/Iwasaki), Japan based company. Epson is rebranded EYE/Iwasaki product produced for Epson specifically.
  • In the initial UHP lamp development stage, Philips and Osram took a lead, and focused on AC (alternate current) technology and has cross patent sharing with each other. As a result, Japanese companies focuses on DC (direct current) technology to bypass European patents.


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