We recently received this tip from a professional electrician who was recently at our home wiring lights and switches.
To extend the life of a CFL bulb, condition the bulb the VERY FIRST TIME YOU USE IT by leaving the bulb on for at least 20 minutes. This allows the ions in the gas to charge fully. This will “set” the bulb to come on at it’s brightest each subsequent time, and it will operate more efficiently each time.
We asked him about the CFL over our kitchen sink as it appears dim when first turned on and has to warm up to it’s brightest. Unfortunately, the bulb cannot be “re-set” now. Now we know!
Photo credit: Clean Wal-Mart