I don't buy the cheap CFLs any more. I spend a couple $ more and get Philips or another well known brand, and I find I DO get a decent life out of them. The return on those couple of extra $ is pretty good.
I had a light fixture in a previous house that was on a dimmer that had to be turned down to switch off and switched on to lowest brightness. And the incandescent bulbs lasted as long as I was in that house.
Where I am now, I do have a dimmer, but a separate switch so it is possible to switch them on at full brightness. I have replaced quite a few bulbs so far.
Incandescents will last a loooong time if you turn them on slowly.
I don't want over-regulation, but then I don't want no regulation either. I don't want to live in a police state, but we do need police around.
I agree that the current situation is laughable, in that governments decree that we have to stop using incandescent bulbs, but happily let in cheap crappy Chinese CFLs that may use less energy than incandescents, but do far more damage to the environment.
The first CFLs I used were the old ones with separate (passive) ballast and plug-in tube. Some of them are still working today, and have only needed a few new tubes over the years.
Regarding the concern about inrush current, which did not seem to get much attention: Incandescent lamps have a much higher inrush than most devices, because the resistance is so very nonlinear. Hook a 100 watt 120 volt lamp to a lab power supply and see the amazing amount of current that it draws at 12 and 24 volts. So inrush is one of those non-issues. The other concerns are certainly valid.
The answers are simple: when a new device is much easier to use, or much more practical, than what came before, obviously it will win out. But if the new device is a big improvement that the average joe doesn't fully grasp, then industry by itself is incredibly lazy about going to it.
So let me turn this one back to you. What did it take to make the auto industry get out of the stone age, and go to fuel injection instead of crude carburators? The bean counters couldn't care less, as long as people continued to buy cars. It took the more stringent EPA rules, which required 3-way catalytic converters, which in turn could not survive with prmitive carburators. At long last! And the Detroit bean counters screaming all the way.
What did it take to get HDTV deployed, with receivers available at reasonable price? It wasn't until the FCC's Chairman Michael Powell set a date certain for analog cutoff that things finally got rolling.
What did it take to make people stop blowing smoke in my face, in restaurants, elevators, and on long airplane trips? The so-called "marketplace"?
It seems that CFLs bring out the "libertarian" in a lot of people, even though these davanced lighing technologies are huge improvements over the stone age white hot filament. All laws are not bad.
I do believe that most CFLs are not well designed as they don´t contemplate inrush current, lower input voltage and other abnormalities that make this simple electronics fail under normal use (someone mentioned spikes) they are designed with the $ in mind and not perfomance, to me they are designed to FAIL, so most people will just go out and purchase another part, after a year most pepole forget (no tracking...) and just go out and purchase a new unit, exactly what the desiners wanted.
As for the Al caps, a good hi temp part will do the job, but they are expensive....I agree with all of you and Duane Benson is right, most parts are just poorly designed.
I've had a set 4 of bathroom ceiling mounted CFL's that came with the house in 94 that have never been changed and still work. Only problem is slow turn-on to full brightness compared to incident bulbs.
I also have about 15 ceiling mount mini-flood style bulds that have never been changed since we have had teh house. Maybe we just have good AC service in our area?
Please re-think your last paragraph. How did personal transportation advance i.e., the automobile without banning the horse and buggy? How did cell phones become so ubiquitous without banning the land line? And finally, how did Edison's light bulb succeed without banning candles?
The cost of LEDs used for lighting continues to drop due to market forces. LED lighting is on target to compete favorably in the areas of both cost and reliability with the curly-fry bulbs that some of you seem so fond of. Add the cost of a haz-mat suit needed for disposal of a CFL, LED lighting is probably less expensive now!
Please . . . let's let the market decide which products succeed and which fail without resorting to the temptation to ban things that people use and need every day.
I believe the temperature comment is based on the premise that LED power output are specified at 25° and that unless properly heatsinked, the higher the temperature the less light output with aging and less service life, probably 70° max temp is acceptable, but many work above this limit, so life span is not what is publicized.