||The platform of the electronic ballast in a modern CFL lamp is a remarkably flexible device which, with only minor additions, is capable of doing much more than just driving the low pressure mercury discharge tube. In the Asian market numerous other devices have been sold on the back of a CFL - most notably being air ionisers, time delay switches that remember to turn the lamp off, daylight sensors for automatic switching and so on.
The lamp here is a hybrid source with one common power supply to drive either the internal discharge tube, or a semiconductor LED source. When the mains electricity supply is energised, the fluorescent source will strike and operate as normal. Switching the supply off and back on again causes the changeover, and the LED alone will then illuminate. The lamp thus has applications where a continuous very low level of illumination might be required, such as for example in childrens' bedrooms, hospital corridors, above stairs etc. It suitably performs the function of the neon glow GLS style lamps that used to be popular in some countries many years ago, which were frequently employed as nightlights on account of their negligible power consumption and exceptionally long lifetime.
The LED takes the form of a 5mm Aluminium Indium Gallium Phosphide device, emitting amber light around 585nm. The rest of the lamp is built in precisely the same fashion as the Ambiance series of GLS-shaped compact fluorescent lamps from Philips. The lamp was placed first on the Dutch market in mid 2003 and has since been extended to other European countries, however the number of applications is rather limited, reflected in the high sale price.