G9 halogen bulbs are light bulbs that have looped metal prongs instead of screw-in bases. They come in a variety of sizes and wattage ratings and can be used in many different settings, but are often most popular in desk lamps, accent lights, and small appliances. These sorts of bulbs tend to be very efficient and can be quite long lasting, but they can also get very hot very quickly. Users normally have to be careful when touching them, and they shouldn’t be used in close proximity to paper, fabric, or upholstery because of the heightened risk of fire.
How They Look
The easiest way for a person to identify a G9 halogen bulb is by looking at its base. Most standard bulbs for lamps and home fixtures have what is known as an “Edison” screw socket, which is a round, ridged metal pin or protrusion that physically screws into a base. Halogen lamps in the G9 series don’t have this. Instead, they have two looped prongs of thin metal that sometimes look like stiff wires. These prongs connect and click into halogen fixtures.
The bulbs themselves can come in a variety of different sizes and styles, though most tend to be long and somewhat thin. They are often available in either a clear or frosted finish. In most cases they’re pretty small, too; with the exception of some bulbs intended for industrial use, most will fit comfortably in the palm of the hand.
How They Work
G9 bulbs operate in the same way as almost all other halogen bulbs. These typically feature a tungsten filament and a fill gas that contains traces of iodine or another halogen. The tungsten filaments last longer than they do in incandescent bulbs because of the “halogen cycle.” When the metal evaporates from the heat within the bulb, the halogen causes it to redeposit on the filament. Halogen bulbs must reach external temperatures of at least 250°F (121°C) for the halogen cycle to take place.
It is because of the halogen cycle that the average halogen bulb lasts several times longer than an incandescent bulb. Although they usually burn hotter than incandescent lights, they are also more efficient. G9 bulbs are usually designed to last for anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 hours of active use.
Halogen bulbs with this type of base are designed to operate under 120-130 volts of electricity, and they are usually available in a wide wattage rage. A higher wattage is equal to a higher initial lumen output. The average 20-watt G9 bulb provides a 170 initial lumen output, while 40-watt bulbs offer about a 600 initial lumen output, and 60-watt bulbs provide an 830 initial lumen output. A 75-watt G9 bulb is capable of producing about a 1,400 initial lumen output. This is about the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb of the same wattage.
Halogen lights can be used in many practical applications, and the G9 halogen bulb system is often ideal for desk pendant lighting and accent lighting. It is also often used in desk lamps and under-cabinet illumination, as well as in small consumer appliances like book lights and makeup mirrors.
One of the reasons halogen bulbs illuminate so brightly is because they operate at extremely high temperatures. Consumers should avoid touching these sorts of bulbs directly with their bare skin to avoid potentially serious burns. Also, the oils on skin can penetrate the semi-permeable glass of these bulbs, which can compromise their effectiveness over time. Any grease or oils transferred to the surface of a halogen bulb can be removed with alcohol that has been slightly diluted in water.
There is also an increased risk of fire. People are usually advised to keep their G9 halogen lamps away from papers or other dry materials, and bulbs that are mounted underneath counters should be monitored to ensure both that they are properly installed and that there is enough clearance between their surface and the surface of cabinets or counter tops to avoid the risk of combustion. The bulbs get hot enough that they can ignite things around them, which can be very serious and even deadly.