Dark Spot on Projector Image (Causes & Solutions)

Using a projector comes with its downsides; there are times when you will realize that when you turn on your projector, the projected image has some dark spots. It could be just a spot or multiple spots.

The color of the spots can differ; some can be brown, yellow, or black. However, people often complain about seeing dark spots. These dark spots can range from a minor issue to something more technical that would require the attention of a technician.

 Dark spots on your projector’s image can be caused by a dirty projector LCD or lens, overheating, a faulty DMD chip, burnt internal components, and an aging lamp. Possible ways to fix the dark spots on the projector image are cleaning the projector lens, replacing the damaged DMD chip, replacing burnt or overheating components, and cleaning the inside of the projector.

Having dark spots on projected images may not be something you must be bothered about so much. Sometimes the dark spots could result from a dirty lens that will require cleaning. A more complicated issue, like damaged internal components, would need a technician to replace them. Here is a detailed guide to knowing the causes of a dark spot on the projector image and how to fix it.

Dark Spot on Projector Image

Why is there a Dark Spot on My Projector Image?

Sometimes you could see more than one spot on the projector, while sometimes, it can be just one. The sizes, too, can vary, but they all come down to the exact possible causes. You are seeing dark spots on your projector because of the following:

  • Dirty projector LCD or lens
  • Overheating
  • Faulty DMD chip
  • Burnt internal components
  • An aging lamp

A Dirty Projector Lens or LCD

A dirty projector lens is usually the main cause of dark spots on your projector image due to the accumulation of dust on the lens’ outer part or at the LCD’s interior. If you keep your projector in a dusty environment, it becomes easy for dust to accumulate in those areas.


Overheating does not directly cause dark spots on the projector image. Instead, when the projector heats to a certain point, it can cause some internal components to burn. Projectors come with a fan inside that cools the device down when it is turned on.

If you do not place the projector in a well-ventilated place, it will most likely overheat to the extent that you will not be able to touch it. Most modern projectors come with an internal thermometer that triggers the device to go off when the internal temperature reaches a certain point.

In some projectors, the fan meant to cool the device down is placed beneath it. Hence when you are using it and do not extend the projector’s stand, the heat is trapped inside, causing overheating.

The fans can sometimes accumulate so much dust that it interferes with functioning.

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Faulty DMD Chip

Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) is a silicon mirror chip that spins to receive an image from the LCD onto the lens to project to your screen. This DMD chip is an essential internal component that helps in light blending and color splitting. When the chip becomes faulty, it will likely stop spinning. When the chip stops working, it will not be able to reflect all the light or image it receives; hence, the places where there is no light appears like dark spots or dead spots.

Overheating can cause the DMD chip to be damaged. Also, when the chip gets weary, it can start to malfunction. 

If you suspect the chip is faulty, you will need a technician to diagnose the device.

Burnt Internal Components

Internal components, such as the polarizing film glass, can get burnt due to overheating. When these components get burnt, the burnt spots are most likely visible in the projected image. Troubleshooting this issue requires technical skill and a technician’s assistance.

An aged projector lamp

Ideally, when your lamp is aging or starts showing signs of needing to be replaced, it will usually show a reduced brightness in the projected light. However, some lamps will show dark spots while showing reduced brightness. Seeking the assistance of a technician may not be necessary, but if you want to be careful in replacing the bulb, you can contact a technician.

How do I Fix the Dark Spot on Projector Image?

The fixes for dark spots on your projector image can be a simple task depending on what is causing your projector to show images with dark spots. Therefore, you must troubleshoot the issue of why your projector is showing dark mages before you attempt a fix. Some of the solutions will require the assistance of a technician:

  • Clean the projector’s lens
  • Clean or replace the projector fan
  • Replace burnt components
  • Replace faulty DMD chip
  • Replace old projector lamps

Clean the projector’s lens

When dust accumulates on the projector’s lens, it will project images with dark spots due to the dust. It would help if you cleaned the lens and LCD regularly. You do not have to be in a dusty environment before you clean the lens. If you want the projector to work efficiently for you, clean the lens and the internal part to get rid of dust. Dust accumulation can cause overheating.

Cleaning the projector’s lens is not as easy as it seems. You have to be extra careful when removing it to clean it. You will need a clean and dry cotton swab to clean the lens. Follow the below steps to clean your projector’s lens:

  1. For best results, you can leave the projector on.
  2. Turn it upside down to get access to the bottom.
  3. Locate the projector’s product label and remove it. It will reveal a tiny gate.
  4. Unscrew the screw holding the tiny gate to the projector.
  5. Once you open the gate, cover the reflected light with your hand or avoid your eyes getting into contact with the light to prevent eye damage.
  6. Slip the cotton swab through the gate and clean the lens and LCD.
  7. You can show the projected image to a screen to locate the spots and clean them.
  8. When you are done, close the gate and screw it back. Make sure to stick the brand label back.

Replace or Clean the Projector’s Fan

The fan in projectors is there to help cool it down. If dust accumulates around it, it can interfere with its efficiency and can consequently cause overheating. The best way is to clean the fan. If the fan is still underperforming after cleaning, try replacing it with a new one.

Replace the Damaged DMD Chip

When your DMD chip is damaged, you will realize that there will be dead spots in the projector image. If you suspect that the DMD chip has been damaged or have tried cleaning the lens and LCD and you still see the dark spots, take the projector to the technician. Replacing a damaged DMD chip can be very expensive. If your warranty duration has not expired, you can return it to the manufacturer for servicing.

Replace Burnt Components

Overheating can cause some of the internal components of the projector to get burnt. As a result, spots of the burnt component can interfere with the projection light. Hence, the shadow of the spots will be cast on your image.

In this case, you need to clean the interior of the projector and take it to the technician or manufacturer to replace the burnt components. Failing to replace the burnt components can make your projector malfunction.

Replace Old Projector Lamp

When your projector lamp shows reduced brightness, you must replace it for the best results. Failure to do so can result in the lamp not turning on or spots appearing on your image.

How Do I Prevent a Dark Spot on My Projector Image?

It is always a good idea to prevent yourself from something rather than allow it to happen before finding solutions to it. The best way to prevent dark spots from appearing on your projector image is to avoid overheating and keep the projector in a dust-free place or clean the inside, the lens, and the LCD of the projector regularly.

Most of the causes of a dark spot on your projector image result from overheating and dust accumulation. If you keep your device in a well-ventilated place, the projector’s fan can eliminate the hot air within the projector. Make sure to extend the stands of the projector. This will ensure space between the surface of what you have mounted the device and the bottom of the projector.

Regularly clean your projector’s lens and the internal part to reduce dust accumulation.

Why Does My Projector Image have Brown Spots?

Brown spots on your projector image result from overheating the circuit’s LED light. It can also happen as a result of improper cooling. This happens when your projector’s fan is defective or has stopped working.

Get your fan replaced and keep your device in well-ventilated surroundings to keep it cool.

Can You Fix the Projector Burn-in?

Burn-ins can happen to almost every electronic device, and unfortunately, when it happens, you have to replace the projector or get a new one.

Why is My Projector Discolored?

Discoloration can result from the accumulation of dust, dirt, or smoke in your projector. The projector’s fan may sometimes draw impurities into the projector that can smudge the lens or LCD. This smear can cause discoloration of the projected image.

Open the projector and clean the inside part of the projector. Clean the LCD and lens to get rid of dust, dirt, and smoke,

Final Thoughts

Having dark spots on your projector image can be frustrating as it gets in the way of you using your device efficiently. When you can troubleshoot why the dark spots are there, you must apply its corresponding solution to fix the issue. Waiting or deciding to overlook it can cause a more serious problem.

If the solution is out of your hands, contact a technician or manufacturer to service your device. It is always best to contact your manufacturer for servicing if you still have your warranty active.


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