Extinguish counterfeit lamps
Paul Lockenwitz warns us not to overlook the danger of buying counterfeit projector lamps, and how best to avoid them.
Extinguish dangerous counterfeit lamps
Sometimes, there is so much going on in business and in life that we want to be able to take the basics for granted. The office hardware is one of those things that we just have to be able to rely on.
Printers and projectors are built for reliability as-well-as performance and are often at the forefront of projecting the professional image of our brands (for example in a pitch situation).
Unfortunately, the rise of counterfeit consumables including ink ribbons and – more critically – projector lamps is leading to rising instances of product malfunction that can also impact business revenues and have potentially serious public health and safety implications.
Rule of thumb for avoiding appliance malfunction
Electrical appliances are all carefully designed to be safe to operate within recommended parameters, for example, none of us would ever consider placing a printer in a full bath tub. Another common sense rule, which has infiltrated the public consciousness, is to maintain electrical goods using components and consumables that are specifically designed for the job.
The business risk of using counterfeit lamps
Take, for example, a replacement projector lamp.
Epson designs highly specialised projectors. Unlike other lamps, Epson lamps are specifically designed to project vibrant images using Epson’s unique 3LCD projection technology. In combination, Epson lamps and projectors provide exceptional colour and brightness alongside a range of other features specifically designed to support businesses, educators, healthcare professionals, and home users with their needs.
Epson projector lamps are the component that most effects the performance of an Epson projector, so replacing one with a non-genuine or counterfeit lamp will almost always reduce the performance of the projector and quality of the image. This will not only have a negative impact on the image you’re projecting, but also potentially the image of your brand or, in another profession, the effectiveness of your teaching.
More seriously, counterfeit lamps are not rigorously tested by the manufacturer and can therefore be dangerous. We have seen numerous incidents of illegal, counterfeit lamps overheating and melting our projectors, and there is a possibility that counterfeit lamps could spark, starting a fire, or explode. Quite apart from the financial cost of replacing your projector (using anything other than a genuine Epson lamp in your projector is not covered by your warranty), this has potentially serious safety implications for your employees.
What we’re doing to help protect you from counterfeit lamps
Epson’s European IP team collaborates with other consumer supplies manufacturers (via the ICCE Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe (icce.net)), policy makers and law enforcement bodies throughout EMEA to identify and restrict counterfeit operations. We also have a specialised team focussed on online infringement.
As a result Epson and our partners have been able to seize a substantial volume of counterfeit goods in recent years. In 2015 alone, this amounted to over 1 million counterfeit goods. This work helps to protect our customers, the performance of our products, and –we hope – your peace of mind.
What you can do to avoid counterfeit lamps
Our advice to professionals and home users taking precautions to avoid counterfeit lamps is to firstly consider the source of your consumable replacements. If in doubt, we recommend that you buy directly from a certified Epson store or our online store.
Secondly, it is also worthwhile to consider the price you are paying for a replacement projector lamp or other component. If the price looks too good to be true, the chances are that it is.
If you ever have the suspicion that you have seen, or been sold a counterfeit imaging product, please report it to the Epson IP department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, you can also help raise public awareness of the issue further by sharing this article, and we can reduce the marketplace for counterfeit manufacturers – together.