These other-worldly cold cathode fluorescent light bulbs are in some ways even better than CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs, because they're easily dimmable and operate at room temperature. They have extremely long life, are wet-rated for outdoor use and can be used as blinking lights in tacky store displays, too. Plus, they save lots of energy because of their lower wattage and nonexistent heat output.
Smart, but the only problem with them so far is that they're not too bright. This cold cathode fluorescent (CCF) technology is excellent for computer case mods and backlights for flat-panel displays, but barely bright enough to use as lamps. For instance, a 5-watt lamp, one of the brightest ones available, can only put out the equivalent of a 20- to 25-watt incandescent bulb. But this nascent technology is destined to improve in short order.
New Cold Cathode Bulbs Can Be Dimmed, Switched [treehugger]