Cold Cathode Compact Fluorescents (CCFs)

by Justin Thomas •

Cold Cathode Fluorescent lights draw very little power for the
light they deliver. CCFs produce up to 80 lumens per watt. Halogen lights typically
produce 15-18 lumens per watt, and the most efficient white LEDs on the market
produce 23 lumens per watt.

CCF lights provide up to 25,000 hours of service life and unlimited
starts. The CCFs are similar in construction to neon lights, and because of
this you receive the long-life you would expect with this light source. The
CCFs are rated at 25,000 hours of life, which translates into less time, expense,
and hassle associated with changing bulbs.

The CCFs are very durable due to their tube and ballast construction,
and hold up under shock and vibration typically experienced in the commercial
and recreational marine, RV, and truck markets. These components are also built
to operate under varying degrees of electrical power, and endure voltage spikes
and drops without any damage.

Energy saving dimming capability is incorporated into the CCF
Lights. Dimming is rare if not impossible with typical hot-cathode fluorescent
lights, as this substantially erodes the thin wire filament and degrades the
tube even further (the life-time is already significantly reduced under conditions
of shock and vibration). Not only is this possible with CCFs, you actually
reduce power consumption and thus draw on the batteries when you dim the lights.
Using a proprietary pulse group modulation, you can control light output and
reduce current draw proportionately, thus dim efficiently. This benefit is
especially useful at night, when a low light level maybe desired without drawing
down your battery capacity.

It is also degraded by the very act of simply turning on the
light due to higher starting currents. This repeated degradation results in
a limited number of starts after which the wire filament fails. CCF tubes withstand
shock and vibration and produce long operating life. In contrast to the filaments
in traditional lighting, the cold cathode electrodes operate at a significantly
lower temperature of 65°C + 20°C.

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