I have kicked off the fermentation process of my lagers close to room temps for a day before dropping down to traditonal lager ranges and others straight to it. I have read there is no harm in kicking in at warming temps and so far have to agree. Even with no ill effects, I apply on an as needed basis. To start fermentation at a low temp., a good yeast count is needed. My starters max out at 1liter and have sluggish results after pitching with lagers going straight to a 55 degree fermentation. I then opt to start at the warmer temps to avoid an extended lag time. If I harvest yeast from a previous batch, there is enough yeast to kick in at 55 degrees. I prefer to limit lag time and sort the rest from there.