What are the Risks

Counterfeit lamps will generally use low quality materials and manufacturing practices with lower levels of quality control, therefore companies who trade in counterfeit lamps are exposing projector users to a range of risks:-

Low Image Brightness – Inferior bulb quality will result in a duller image and uneven brightness across the screen with darker corners.

Poor Image Quality – Poor assembly with mis-aligned burners and the use of cheap lenses and light filters can result in washed out colour or colour imbalance across the image.

Shortened Lamp Life – Low quality bulbs and the use of the wrong specification bulbs with poor ventilation will lower the life of the lamp and maybe damage the projector.

User Safety - The goods may be poor quality and even dangerous. For example, although the bulb may be from a genuine source, the cage may not have been so rigorously designed. There have been instances of cages overheating, melting and projectors catching fire.

Recognising the Brand – Genuine manufacturers go to great lengths to make a quality projector backed up by a comprehensive warranty. Using a counterfeit lamp cheats the brand out of their return on investment and may invalidate the projector warranty..

Keep Genuine Traders in Business – Companies who sell counterfeit goods undercut the legitimate channel price. This means businesses that make or sell genuine goods can't compete with the price.

Help Reduce Organised Crime - Sales of counterfeit goods often have origins that form part of large scale, organised crime.

Legal Position

Knowingly or unknowingly importing and selling counterfeit product is illegal under EU law as is the buying counterfeit product by a consumer. Although prosecutions are rare for buying product all acts involving the sale of counterfeit goods commit a criminal offence where prosecution can be brought about by the state rather than an individual, fines are significant and imprisonment possible.


In the UK, selling counterfeit goods is a breach of the terms of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and is a potential criminal offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Trade Marks Act 2004. Offences can be reported directly to the police.

The main UK body responsible for preventing counterfeit trading is Trading Standards http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/, however each region of the UK has its own department who work independently. By their own advice, your first step should be to contact The Citizens Advice Bureau to get guidance on how to work with Trading Standards. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/counterfeit_goods.htm They have an online form which can be submitted with details of your transaction https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=citacomplainform&to=flare.fromforms