Projector lamps are in many ways the trickiest part of using vintage film projectors. All vintage projectors are currently out of production. Fortunately, there are a number of companies that still make lamps for 8mm projectors and, if you are lucky, you can even find vintage lamps for a low price (though, be warned, these may burn out quickly due to their age).
You should be aware that lamps do not necessarily match with every model of 8mm projector. To find out what kind of lamp you need, you’ll need a number of pieces of information, most of which is available on your projector. The four pieces of information you are looking for are:
- Wattage: This will be marked with a number, plus the letter “W”.
- Voltage: This will be marked with a number, plus the letter “V”.
- Type: This will normally be marked near the wattage and voltage on your projector.
- Base: This will be near the above information. It will be of the form capital letter-capital letter-number-number-(small letter sometimes).
All of this will be on the specifications panel of your film projector. This can be usually be found between the reels on the side of Bell and Howell projectors, though it is sometimes found on the bottom of other projectors. Kodak Moviedeck projectors sometimes have this panel on the top. These are the only four differences between lamps, so if you have these four pieces of information, you’ll be able to find the kind of projector you are looking for.
If this information is unavailable, with your model number, you should be able to find the kind of lamp that you are looking for. Websites dedicated to the sale of projector lamps will usually be able to provide you with the information that you need, usually by contacting them directly. Of course, don’t forget the easiest shortcut of all. If you’ve got the old bulb, it should have all of this information printed right on it, and if not, it will have a model number of its own. You can use this information to easily find a new lamp.
I hope this information has been helpful. Best of luck finding the bulb that is right for you!