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Sutter Instrument Company Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Ultra High Speed Switcher

The Lambda DG-4/DG-5 is a complete illumination system offering speed and versatility for experiments requiring rapid wavelength switching.

Sutter Instrument Company Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Ultra High Speed Switcher

The Lambda DG-4/DG-5 is a complete illumination system offering speed and versatility for experiments requiring rapid wavelength switching. The instrument retains all the advantages of interference filter based systems, yet eliminates the temporal constraints imposed by traditional filter changing devices like filter wheels. Switching between any two wavelengths is achieved in less than the 1.2msec vertical retrace period of a video signal, allowing the user to perform real-time video imaging. The high switching speed of the Lambda DG-4/DG-5 facilitates the ability to follow fast changes in ion concentrations in dual wavelength ratio imaging applications and to monitor other concomitant changes in the studied system at additional wavelengths.

Narrow bandpass systems, such as single cavity interference filters, grating monochromators, and A.O. modulators, pass unwanted harmonics of the desired wavelength. Also, with variable wavelength devices, it is not always possible to obtain sufficient blocking of out-of-band wavelengths. Modern interference filters, as used in the Lambda DG-4/DG-5, do not pass harmonics and have integral blocking characteristics 1000 times better than typical monochromator systems. For the same full width at half maximum (FWHM), interference filters have a narrower spectral bandpass due to the absence of the slit function.
The dual galvanometer design of the Lambda DG-4/DG-5 allows tuning of the relative intensities at each wavelength. This adjustment, in variable wavelength devices with a single optical path, is difficult to obtain. Unlike monochromators and other wavelength selective systems, the Lambda DG-4/DG-5 can be used as a source of white light when required.

How it works:
This unique optical design of the Lambda DG-4/DG-5 is based on dual scanning galvanometers utilizing interference filters for wavelength selection. The light from the xenon arc lamp is focused on the first galvanometer mirror which directs it via a parabolic mirror, through one of the interference filter channels. Following the filter, a second parabolic and a second galvanometer mirror collect and redirect the light into the light guide. A cold mirror in the beginning of the light path eliminates the IR radiation, reducing significantly the amount of heat absorbed by the optics and the sample. Cold mirrors modified to pass near-IR to 780 to 880nm are also available.
A built-in shutter function allows reduction of light intesity by six orders of magnitude. For applications requiring mechanical shuttering, like time lapse experiments or very sensitive samples, the SmartShutter™ can be integrated into the device to assure that the light is completely blocked.

The standard system, the Lambda DG-4, holds up to four 25mm interference filters. The Lambda DG-5, a five filter version, accommodates three 18mm and two 25mm filters. While the switching time between any two wavelengths is done in less than 1.2msec, the dwell time at any wavelength is arbitrarily set by the user. In addition to the features of the standard Lambda DG-4/DG-5, the digital technology used in the Lambda DG-4/DG-5 Plus provides 0.5msec switching times between adjacent filter positions and 20% greater light output.



The Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Plus is a complete integrated 175 (or 300) Watt light source and wavelength switching excitation system.
Four or five interference filters can be easily installed in the DG-4 or DG-5 Plus, respectively. An additional standard neutral density filter can be inserted in the common path of the light.
The light guide output from the Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Plus provides uniform spatial illumination, as well as vibration isolation from your microscope.
A cold mirror assembly eliminates IR radiation, extending the lifetime of the optics and the light guide and preventing the exposure of the sample to IR when white light is necessary.


The Lambda DG-4 /DG-5 Plus provides a high speed shutter function with open/close times of 500µs. The shutter function reduces light intensity by 5 to 6 orders of magnitude.
If complete light shuttering is required, a mechanical shutter (i.e. SmartShutter™) can be incorporated into the Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Plus.


Neutral density filtering is achieved by offsetting the output galvanometer such that light is not centered on the liquid light guide. Up to 15 logical filters can be defined with this method. Due to the scrambling effect of the light guide, the output has excellent uniformity.
Direct insertion of neutral density optical filters is also possible in the filter holders at any of the four optical channels. A final neutral density optical filter can be placed in the exiting light path which will reduce the light output from all optical channels.


A 4 bit TTL signal transmits the current optical channel (filter) position.
A digital-to-analog converter (DAC) output produces a voltage showing which filter is in use.


The turbo blanking feature is designed for situations when the switching is done between non-adjacent filter positions. When the instrument is in this mode, the input and output galvanometer mirrors move out of sync, thus preventing the sample from being exposed to light of unwanted wavelength during switching and shuttering.


Computer control of the instrument is possible via parallel or serial port.



Lamp Type 175 or 300 Watt pre-aligned, ozone free xenon arc bulb (Full spectrum available upon request)
Output Range 330nm to 700nm - Ozone free
  300nm to 700nm - Full spectrum
Lamp Lifetime Expected lifetime 1,000 hours (All bulbs have a prorated warranty for 500 hours)
Power Consumption 350 Watts
Filter Diameter DG-4: Four, 25mm (1inch)
  DG-5: Two, 25mm (1inch) and Three 18mm
Dimensions 10in x 10in x 19in
  25cm x 25cm x 48cm
Light Guide 2 meters long, 3mm diameter
Weight 45lbs 20kg
Electrical 115/230 Volts 50/60 Hertz power line
RoHS Compliant

Ordering Information


Lambda DG-4 / DG-5 Plus  
DG-4/OF Includes Lambda DG-4 unit, pre-aligned 175 Watt ozone free xenon arc bulb, 4 slide-in filter holders, 1 neutral density filter holder, power cord, serial and parallel cables, liquid light guide, spanner wrench, and manual.
DG-4/OF30 Same as the DG-4/OF, but with 300W bulb
DG-4PLUS/OF30 The DG-4 Plus with ozone free 300W bulb
DG-4/FS* Same as DG-4, but with full spectrum 175W bulb
DG-4/FS30* Same as DG-4/FS, but with 300W bulb
DG-4/T DG-4 with tungsten bulb
DG-5/OF Same as DG-4/OF, but with 5 filters. (three18mm and two 25mm filters) and additional 18mm spanner wrench.
DG-5/OF30 Same as DG-5/OF, but with 300W bulb
DG-5PLUS/OF30 The DG-5 Plus with ozone free 300W bulb
DG-5/FS* Same as DG-4/FS, but with 5 filter holders, (three 18mm and two 24mm) and additional 18mm spanner wrench
DG-5/FS30* Same as DG-5/FS, but with 300W bulb
Microscope Adapters Availble for the following:  
IQ25-DG 25mm SmartShutter™ with housing to fit Lambda DG-4/DG-5
LB-SC Includes one Lamda SC control unit, USB cable, power cord and manual
Other SmartShutter™ controller options available. See SmartShutter™ product page for more details.  
O661176 Ozone free 175 Watt xenon bulb (See lamp output range)
O661175* Full spectrum 175 Watt xenon bulb (See lamp output range)
O661301 Ozone free 300 Watt xenon bulb (attenuated output below 340nm)
O661300* Full spectrum 300 Watt xenon bulb
O661115 Housing and heat sink for bulb (bulb will be installed when ordered at the same time as housing)
DG-IF Interference filter holder (25mm)
DG-IF/18 Interference filter holder (18mm)
DG-ND Neutral density filter holder
X100118 18mm filter cup
X100120 25mm filter cup
X100148 18mm filter spacer
X100150 25mm filter spacer
X100158 18mm retaining ring
X100160 25mm retaining ring
X664162 25mm neutral density cup
CMAC Serial cable for Macintosh
Mounting adapters for Nikon, Zeiss, Leica and Olympus microscopes are available. Please see the Microscope Adapters page or contact us for pricing and further information.
Please note that the above bulbs do not include the outer blue housing. If you need or want an extra housing, please contact us.
* WARNING: Full spectrum Xenon arc bulbs produce ozone, which is toxic and has to be eliminated. Systems containing full spectrum bulbs have to be connected to an ozone removing device or system. Please contact Sutter Instrument for more information.