Last updated on July 1st, 2021
Projectors are such good innovations, giving families the ability to have the magic of going to the movies in their own living room. They allow people to watch their favorite shows on massive screens but at a fraction of the cost of buying a supersized television.
Most of the time it’ll be smooth sailing using your projector again and again, but you may encounter some hiccups at least once during your time using one. One of these hiccups can be dark or black spots appearing on the projected screen and can sometimes be confusing if you don’t know what’s causing them.
Luckily, we’ve been through it all when it comes to projectors and found out the best ways to troubleshoot these dark spots and we’ll be sharing them with you today.
Why does my projector have a dark spot?
So let’s get down to what is causing your projector to form dark spots. One simple cause of these dark spots is that the lens on the exterior of the projector or the LCD element inside the projector is dusty and they are then being projected onto the screen and wall and made to look bigger than they are.
However, the problem could be more complex than a little bit of dust and it could require some technical ability to fix the problem or a trip to the repair center. Keep reading below and we’ll go more in-depth about the different issues that may be causing dark spots on your projector.
What is causing these dark spots?
Don’t panic if you suddenly notice some dark spots appear on your projector screen, half of the time this is down to smudges or dusty on the projector which can easily be fixed with a clean so make sure you rule out all the simple problems before packing it into your car and taking it to the repair shop straight away.
Dusty/Dirty LCD & Lens
If there are small black spots on the screen when your projector is on and playing something, then this is probably being caused by dust or dirt on the external lens of the projector or inside on the LCD projector.
However, if these dark spots are different sizes and considerably large, maybe taking out large sections of the projected image then this is a more serious problem. This could be due to malfunctioning or broken DMD chips inside the projector which we’ll touch on more in detail further down.
How To Fix It
You’ll want to attempt to clean the exterior of your lens first of all before attempting to take apart and clean inside the projector. Turn your unit off and wait for it to cool down fully and use a dry, clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any dust, dirt, or smudges off the lens.
Do not use any glass cleaner or harsh chemicals to clean the lens as this may damage it and cause further problems.
You should regularly try to clean your lens and store it in a dust-free zone when it’s not being used, this will help you eliminate dirt or dust as one of the problems of dark spots.
If your dark spots are still on the projected image, then it’s time to open up the projector and clean the inside. Make sure to use latex gloves to avoid smudging or dust from your hands from getting into the interior of the projector.
There should be a small door on the bottom of the projector that can be opened to give you access to the internal LCD. You’ll also want to keep your projector on for this troubleshooting stage as you want to see when or if the black spots have been removed from the projected image.
Sharpen the image on the screen as much as possible so you can see the dark spots, when working in and around the projector, avoid looking into the bright light coming from it as it can damage your eyes.
With a dry cotton swab, gently wipe and dust the lens and keep watching the projected image whilst doing so until all the black spots have disappeared.
If this fixes the problem, you can put your projector back together.
Malfunctioning DMD Chip
The DMD (digital micromirror device) in your projector is a component that has a mirror that spins that allows light to pass through and reduces light to create black and white projectors, dividing color by light bouncing off it.
Chips spin very fast but sometimes something can interfere with the spinning which will cause black spots to appear as there is a dead spot where light cannot be reflected to project the images.
This is normally caused by excess heat or use that has worn down the components or if a part has become faulty and interfered with the DMD.
How To Fix It
Unless you’re experienced with tech like this, then we wouldn’t recommend trying to fix the problem yourself as it could cause further damage to the parts and completely void your warranty.
You should take it to a specialist who will be able to advise you whether it’s more cost-effective to replace it entirely (if it’s not under warranty) or if they can fix it for a reasonable price.
One major problem with projectors is that they are prone to overheating. Overheating can cause internal components to become faulty or even melt which will then project black spots onto your screen.
If your projector is struggling to cool down then you’ll be able to hear its fan in overdrive, so try to turn it off or ventilate it as much as possible. Modern projectors will automatically shut off when the internal thermometer has reached a maximum temperature to protect the internal components.
How To Fix It
If your projector has overheated and burned out some of the components then you may have to replace them and pay someone else to do it. This can often cost more than the projector itself so it may be worth just replacing it with a new one.
The key is to prevent overheating from occurring. Make sure the fans on the projector are not covered so it can ventilate properly and try not to use the projector for hours on end.