G4 halogen lamps: features, pros and cons + rating of light bulb manufacturers

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Natalya Listyeva
Last update: May 2019

Modern G4 halogen lamps provide a dense light flow, consume little energy and last several times longer than the usual Illich lamp. You can purchase products in a company store or shopping center.

The consultants will help to make the right choice, but if the client knows in advance what the modules are, then he will need the help of staff at a minimum.

In this material, we will tell you everything about the device of halogen lamps, help to deal with the decoding of their markings and give a rating of the top manufacturers of halogen lamps.

How is the halogen G4?

The halogen type device with G4 cap has a specific design. Inside there is an incandescent element and a buffer gas, or rather, a pair of halogens of iodine or bromine.

Filling such a plan increases the base temperature of the internal spiral and helps to increase the life of the lamp element.

Spectacular halogen lighting in the living room
The presence of bromine and iodine made it possible to almost completely solve such a problem as the darkening of the flask, which negatively affected the quality of the radiation, making it weaker, dimmer and too dispersed

The total operating temperature of the halogen lamp spiral with the G4 cap is about 3000K, and the light output level ranges from 15 to 22 lm / W.

Decoding of lamp marking

The letters are used for the primary designation of the type of lamp base. The letter G marks the pin base, and the digital value indicates the distance between the working contacts, in this case 4 millimeters.

The length of the pins themselves, through which the module receives the necessary energy for operation, does not exceed 0.75 mm, and the diameter cannot be less than 0.65 mm.

Halogen reflex lamp G4
Previously, G-base caps were only equipped with fluorescent tubes.Today, the pin element is used more widely and can stand on both halogen and LED modules

Base type G4 is ceramic, metal and plastic.

The first two types are considered more reliable, easily withstand high temperatures and are not afraid of intense operating loads.

Halogen capsule lamps
The halogen module labeled G4 with a ceramic base lasts significantly longer than the analogue with a metal or plastic connector

When installed in a luminaire, a halogen with a pin base is not screwed in, but is snapped into the lighting device. The pins are included in the design tightly and securely hold the lamp in the workplace.

Sockets marked GY4 and GU4 are an additional modification of the classic version of G4 and have small deviations in the base diameter of the metal contact pins or in the distance between them.

The principle of operation of products G4

Inside the halogen G4 is a tungsten spiral. When the device is connected to the mains, the current passes through the contacts, enters the incandescent element and heats it to a high temperature. At this moment, a glow forms in the lamp.

The high operating temperature forces tungsten atoms to evaporate from the helix. Halogen pairs located in the flask and surrounding the incandescent body combine with tungsten atoms and prevent their condensation on the colder inner surfaces of the flask.

Capsule halogen lamp G4
G4 halogen modules demonstrate equally high-quality operation both on direct and alternating current. When used in the system, the soft start mode is much longer than the manufacturer claims, in some cases up to 8000-12000 hours

The whole process is reversible and is a kind of cycle. The working compound breaks up into constituent substances in the immediate vicinity of the incandescent spiral due to high temperature and the tungsten atoms again return to the same place they were.

This makes it possible to significantly increase the working temperature of the spiral part and to obtain a significantly brighter, more saturated and uniform light flow.

Contacting only with the spiral element, tungsten atoms do not adversely affect the inner surfaces of the bulb itself and the life of the light source is significantly increased.

The same moment helps to reduce the size of the bulb, while maintaining its power in full.

General characteristics of devices

G4 halogen products consume significantly less power than classic incandescent lamps.

Their service life ranges from 2000-4000 hours during normal operation under optimal conditions specified by the manufacturer in the accompanying documents.

Halogen lamps embedded in furniture
Products with a G4 cap turn on and go out almost instantly, losing literally a split second on the primary ignition. The human eye is incapable of catching this and the activation process is completely invisible to the user

The tungsten filament inside the bulb warms up to 3000 ° C during operation. Power of a light stream, depending on a standard design of the module, makes from 200 to 5000 lm. The rated voltage may have different indicators depending on the conditions of use of the light source.

Scope of light sources

Due to their economy and miniature size, G4 bulbs with a power of 5-10 W are excellent for arranging decorative and accent lighting in rooms for various purposes.

These devices are often used by designers to create bright light spots, backlight zones or the effect of a starry sky in a room. Products of greater power are mounted in luminaires for arranging background lighting.

Classification of modules with base G4

This type of halogen is available in two versions: in the form of a small capsule or in the form of a truncated cone with a reflector.Each of the structures is intended for specific purposes and, under suitable conditions, correctly provides the required light output.

Features capsule devices

G4 halogens having an elongated elongated quartz glass flask are called capsule or finger-shaped. The incandescent spiral in them is located longitudinally or transversely and, as a rule, in one layer.

The back wall of the inner space is covered with a special reflective compound. Modules do not need additional external reflectors and protective elements.

Miniature halogen lamps
The small dimensions of the flask allow you to create a higher pressure inside. This reduces the rate of evaporation of tungsten atoms and increases the working life of the bulb

The compactness of products allows them to be used to illuminate furniture sets, ceiling spaces, shop windows and shopping facilities. In everyday life, decorative sconces, chandeliers and lamps of the most unexpected shapes and configurations complete small sources of light.

Being low-voltage light sources, for a correct connection to a 220 W network, they need a transformer that lowers the base voltage.

Capsule-type devices basically have a warm gamut of working light flux. However, in comparison with classical incandescent lamps, their spectrum in tone is much closer to the natural white glow characteristic of the natural environment.

G4 halogens even at low power have good brightness and practically without distortion convey the complexion of the people in the room, and interior elements and furniture are highlighted with a pleasant neutral warm light.

Accent lighting in the kitchen
Halogen models with a g4 base perform well in devices designed to create accent lighting in a room, demonstrate high-level color rendering and last twice as long as classic Illich bulbs

On illuminated surfaces, capsule devices create an attractive gloss effect, while preserving the natural tonality that was originally characteristic of objects.

This lighting option allows you to convey the overall color orientation of the interior, emphasizing its most catchy and original elements.

Distinctive features of models with a reflector

Halogen devices G4 with a reflector have a specific shape resembling a truncated cone and are called reflex. They provide directional light flow at various angles.

Inside the flask of such devices there is a special element that reflects the light and distributes it more clearly and evenly.

Reflector is usually of two types:

  • interference;
  • aluminum.

The first type has a translucent texture and actively removes the generated heat back, which significantly enhances the basic intensity of the light, but makes its flux diffused and wide.

The second option redirects the generated heat forward and creates a narrower, brighter and more concentrated beam of light.

The design of the bulbs also has some differences. Different manufacturers produce modules with a G4 base both with a protective glass cover and without it. Product configuration is determined by the intended use.

Halogen lighting in a children's room
Halogens with reflectors can be used without fear in children's rooms. In the presence of this type of lighting, the child will be able to read, draw or do any other things for a long time without straining his eyes and without feeling any fatigue

The scattering angle of the reflective bulbs of the halogen type G4 ranges from 8 to 60 degrees. This quality allows you to mount light sources with reflectors in devices that provide directional illumination of goods and exhibits.

Modules with external damage protection are suitable for use in open luminaires of any configuration. Halogens without a cover are mounted only in closed fixtures, where there is no direct access to the surface of the bulb.

Advantages and disadvantages of light bulbs

Like any other devices designed to create modern, practical and comfortable lighting systems for household, decorative and other purposes, halogen bulbs equipped with a G4 base have certain advantages and disadvantages.

Halogen chandelier
Due to their small dimensions, G4 type halogens are ideal for installation in crystal chandeliers or a sconce of the original design. The light coming from the lamps shimmers beautifully in the pendants and gives the lighting device a spectacular, rich and catchy look

The first category includes such parameters as:

  • more economical consumption of electric energy compared to classic incandescent lamps;
  • optimal brightness of the light flux, which contributes to increased concentration of attention, but does not cause additional eye strain in both adults and children;
  • good light density and almost complete absence of distortion of the natural color scheme of human faces, furniture, interior and decorative elements located in the illuminated room;
  • almost 100% stability of the light flux transmitted by the lamp throughout the entire operational period declared by the manufacturer;
  • 30% more supplied light at equal power with the Edison lamp;
  • compact sizes, due to which the products can be used in open and closed lighting fixtures of various sizes, designed for the organization of point, zone or background lighting;
  • increased strength of the outer quartz flask;
  • prolonged service life - from 2,000 hours, subject to the basic rules of operation, and up to 12,000 hours when organized in a soft start system;
  • the presence in this segment of a large number of offers from recognized, reputable brands that have proven themselves in the market of lighting equipment and related items.

All these criteria attract the attention of customers and place them at the time of purchase to give preference to halogen modules.

Halogen capsule lamps
Low-voltage capsule lamps have a power of 10 W, 20 W and 35 W. It is not possible to produce products of this configuration, but with brighter light flux on the G4 base. If amplified radiation is required, reflex modules g4 should be used. They will give a glow of 20 W, 35 W and 50 W

But, despite the large number of positive qualities and progressive characteristics, halogen-type products also have their own negative features. They are slightly less than positive, but not taking them into account when organizing the lighting system is simply unreasonable.

Among the minuses, the following are most often mentioned:

  • not too high level of efficiency, amounting to only 50-80%; such indicators are due to the expenditure of a large amount of energy on the basic heating of the product;
  • insufficient strength of the instrument shell, vulnerable to mechanical damage;
  • health hazard - in case of violation of the integrity of the design of the flask, gas escapes into the atmosphere, which has a negative effect on humans and provokes migraines and severe headaches;
  • high moisture susceptibility - limits the area of ​​use of halogens and does not make it possible to use them in the bathroom due to frequent changes in temperature and the presence of constant condensation.

Unused modules should not be thrown into a regular bin. Having broken, they emit fumes harmful to humans and the atmosphere.

They are recommended to be sent to special containers intended for the processing of chemical waste or to be delivered to an enterprise engaged in the disposal of devices containing aggressive substances.

Halogen lighting in the interior
G4 compact pin halogens are perfect for creating decorative lighting systems in residential and sanitary facilities, shops, advertising and exhibition halls

Of course, all these points are not fatal and are not worth it to completely abandon the operation of halogens.Just before buying, you should carefully consider all the pros and cons in order to understand how to properly use the positive qualities of G4 lamps, and reduce the negative effects to a minimum.

Top manufacturers rating

There is fierce competition in the market of lighting equipment and related products. Recognized old-timers who have been producing quality products for decades, are fighting for the client with active and promising newcomers who have seriously decided to redraw the territory for themselves.

In pursuit of the buyer, brands are introducing innovative technologies into production, trying to make lamps more reliable and operationally stable.

There are no clear winners in this fight yet, but Philips, Osram, Navigator and Era are confidently holding the top four. Users buy products of these firms most often and leave the best reviews about it.

More details about the features of the choice of halogen light sources can be found in this stuff.

Philips products

The Philips brand launches the Capsuleline, a progressive line of halogen capsule modules equipped with the G4 base.

An external bulb with UV protection and filling with low pressure halides opens up the possibility of using lamps without a glass shade.

Philips halogen products
Philips compact halogen products last for a long time and maintain a clear, saturated light level in a soft white tint throughout the entire life cycle.

The advantages include good brightness, excellent color rendering without distortion, equal to 100%, the ability to connect lamps to the network directly without using a transformer, and instant activation without delay on ignition.

The Brilliantline series is a G4 reflex halogen with a dichroic reflective coating and xenon gas filling. Perfectly conveys all color shades and provides a beam of light of high intensity.

The angle of illumination of the products is 10-60 degrees. The radiation is cold because the main heat is removed through the rear window.

What does Osram offer?

Osram's G4 halogen series is represented by three diverse progressive lines. The first - DO low-voltage 6V - includes capsule modules with a power of 10 to 35 watts.

Products marked with HLX letters do not have krypton but xenon content. Due to this, the flow of their light is 10% more intense than that of “classmates”.

Reflex modules from Osram
Osram reflector modules are equipped with a glass reflector with an interference coating. It transmits infrared radiation well and produces a directed beam of light of a cold white tint, as close as possible to natural glow

G4 halogens with a reflector from the DECOSTAR 35 series produce bright light at 10, 20 and 35 W and have a luminosity angle of 10 and 36 degrees.

Designed for installation in systems with high requirements for heat dissipation. Perfectly show themselves in ceiling and spotlights.

DECOSTAR 35 TITAN have an extended service life and function quite well for 4000 hours. The reflector is coated to provide a stable light intensity throughout the entire operational period.

Era Brand Assortment

The Russian company Era offers users both capsule and reflex halogen lamps with a G4 cap at a reasonable price. Products are included in the category of budget and, due to this, are in steady demand among consumers.

Low-voltage halogen lamp G4 Era
The halogen from the manufacturer Era is distinguished by a bright, saturated color flow, decent build quality and attractive price. Among the minuses are the fragility of a transparent bulb and a high level of demand for a transformer. If this item turns out to be of poor quality, the lamp starts to flicker

The entire product range meets international standards and has the proper certification certificates confirming its quality.

Brand Products Navigator

The Russian manufacturer Navigator is highly active in the market and is trying not to be inferior to foreign competitors in anything.

The brand's reflex products with a G4 cap are part of the NH series and for proper operation they urgently need a step-down transformer.

G4 halogen lamp with reflector
The Navigator reflective modules use a dichroic coating, and the outer surface of the flask made of quartz glass is equipped with a protective cover. This configuration allows the use of products in open fixtures

NH-JC capsule modules are exceptionally compact in size, but still exhibit good light output.

You can even mount them in very compact desktop devices that provide high-quality lighting for a workplace for an adult or a child.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Overview of a halogen bulb with a base element G4, manufactured by the German company Osram. A detailed description of the marking on the package, inspection of the product and verification measurement for compliance with the stated figures in the video:

Discussion of all the nuances of the device and the principles of operation of halogen reflex lamps. Video tips regarding the use of modules in interiors of different styles:

The process of burning a capsule halogen from start to finish. What does the lamp look like when it ceases to give light flow and finally burns out:

User opinion on the quality of halogen devices, type G4, purchased abroad. Pros and cons of products. Recommendations regarding the purchase:

Halogen type bulbs with g4 base give a pleasant, light-tiring light flow, do not flicker and do not fade during operation. And to extend their service life, you can use a special transformer for halogen lamps. The loyal price makes them not only attractive, but also a reasonable purchase, with which you can qualitatively illuminate a house or apartment, and at the same time save electricity.

You can ask a question about the topic of the article, take part in the discussion or share the experience of using halogen lamps in the block below.

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