How to Change the Bulb in Sawyer Slide Projectors

By Cassandra Tribe

Sawyer projectors were common in academic environments.
i projector ready for presentation image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from

Manual slide projectors, such as the Sawyer Rotomatic Series, were popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and many remain in use. Unlike a modern projection show, Sawyer projectors are dependent on bulbs. A burnt-out bulb can bring a presentation to a halt. The ease of changing the bulb in a Sawyer slide projector is one of the reasons the brand became so popular.

Turn off the slide projector and let the machine and bulb cool down.

Stand behind the slide projector and grasp the top left and right edge of the cover. Press in on the fixed sides of the cover, just below the seam where the top part fits over the sides, and pry up on the top part to remove the cover from the machine. Sawyer slide projectors does not use clips or screws to hold the top cover in place.

Pull the old bulb out of the machine by grabbing it with a clean cloth and tugging upward. Hold the body of the machine steady while doing this, to prevent the slide projector from lifting.

Insert the new bulb into the slide projector. Line up the narrow, rectangular base of the bulb with the bulb slot behind the lens, and push down on the bulb to make the connection.

Put the cover back over the top of the machine and press down around the edge to fit it back over the sides.