A fairly recent innovation in compact fluorescent technology has been the cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). It has been able to solve many of the issues cited with standard compact fluorescent lamps. Cold cathode bulbs could very well be what will convince people who have stayed with incandescent bulbs to make the switch.
A common annoyance cited with CFLs is the ramp-up time required for full light output. You flick the switch and the light is instantly on, but at a much reduced rate compared to its maximum output. The time it takes to reach full capacity varies with bulbs, but it is a pet peeve for a lot of people. Cold cathode lamps do not have this ramp-up time. As soon as you turn on the light, it is blasting its full lumen count everywhere.
Another downfall of CFLs that cold cathode lamps have solved is cold weather use. Regular compact fluorescent light bulbs cannot start if the temperature is too low, but cold cathode bulbs are engineered to be able to start in weather as low as -10 degrees F. I will be purchasing some of these cold cathode lamps for my doorstep and garage lights, seeing as the Minnesota winter can produce just such marvelously cold weather. I have personally seen regular CFLs fail to start during the frigid tundra that is a Minnesota winter.
The solutions of cold cathode CFLs don’t seem to end! Coupled with the previous advances I mentioned, consider also that unlike regular CFLs, cold cathode bulbs are compatible with light timers, photocells (day-night sensors), and light fixture dimmers. That is a huge thing for many people; I don’t have any such needs, but friends of mine have dimmers and the like and have always resisted switching to CFL because of the incompatibility with these devices. Now perhaps I can convince them!
I hope cold cathode screw base compact fluorescent light bulbs will help CFL technology gain a larger foothold. With their instant-on quality, they’re great for rooms where lights are turned on and off fairly frequently for relatively short periods of time, such as a bathroom or closet. The energy efficiency and money saved with these types of bulbs should not be ignored; I certainly don’t!