For Electric Customers
The cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) is a newer form of CFL. CCFLs were initially used for document scanners, back-lighting LCD displays and later manufactured for use as lamps. The benefits of a cold cathode fluorescent lamp are a long life, instant-on, the ability to operate in very cold weather, full dimming capability and the ability to allow you to turn the lamp on and off very rapidly. Another big advantage of CCFLs is they are fully dimmable and "on/off" cycles do not shorten their life. This means they can be used with motion detectors and standard incandescent dimmers. CCFLs are an effective and efficient replacement for lighting that is turned on and off frequently with little extended uses such as in a bathroom or closet.
Be aware that when purchasing a CCFL, the light lumens are less, compared to the same wattage of a regular CFL. This means a 13-watt CCFL produces fewer lumens than a 13-watt CFL. When choosing a CCF, look at the lumens output - not the wattage of the bulb. The low wattages currently found in the cold cathode light give a lower level of light than what is needed for general illumination.
Since the cold cathode is still a fluorescent lamp, it contains mercury vapor and should be discarded in the same manner you would a regular CFL. The bulbs contain half the mercury of conventional hot cathode fluorescents and have a thinner tube diameter, which allows them to run cooler, and last up to four times as long (a lifespan of 25,000 hours). The mercury is reduced by 85% over the life of a cold cathode bulb as a regular CFL would have to be replaced three times during that period.
When choosing a dimmable CFL, be sure the bulbs are ENERGY STAR® certified and the word "dimmable" is on the packaging. Your local home improvement store may not stock a wide variety of dimmable CFLs. If you need help finding a dimmable CFL, visit the ENERGY STAR's CFL Advanced Search site
The link provided below goes to a web page with a video mainly produced by third parties to educate a public audience.