Be very wary about buying any extra bulbs to have in storage. Dell will not honour the warranty on the bulb 91 days after purchase....even though the bulb is pro-rated to 2000 hours. So....if you leave the bulb on your shelf (in its original packing) for 90 days....and then plug it in on day 91....and it doesn't work....well, you've just lost $550. This is what I was told by Dell representatives.
I just had a similar problem with my 3200mp bulb. I bought the projector in September so the 90 day warranty is over. Over the past month, there is an annoying flickering of the image that has appeared, and the flickering is getting progressively worse. The filament of the bulb is vibrating under the intense heat (or that is all I can figure it is) and distorting the image. The bulb is 257 hours old. The bulb is defective. When I purchased the projector, I was told that the bulbs are pro-rated to 2000 hours. They even advertise on the web site, "This durable bulb will give you approximately 2000 hours of excellent, crisp and clear brightness." 257 hours seems neither durable, approximate to 2000 hours, excellent, nor crisp to me. I am being told by Dell that I have to buy a new bulb at full cost. This is unacceptable but, nevertheless, what I have to deal with.
I use the projector as a teaching tool in a school. There are hundreds upon hundreds of students who see the Dell name on such a poor product everyday. I've had students complaining about how the image on the screen drives them nuts. I simply tell them that Dell made a poor product and they won't do anything to solve the problem. They surmise to not purchase anything from Dell on their own volition.
Dell is really shooting themselves in the foot. These students are going home and telling their parents how poor Dell is. These hundreds of parents decide to not buy through Dell...and they tell their friends that they've heard that Dell doesn't create quality products. Word spreads quickly.
The best thing you can do is to buy a different projector. Don't be lured in by low prices....lower prices = lower quality. I've learned my lesson. I won't buy Dell again.