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16 December 2009


US National Air and Space Museum exhibit lit by Cree LED fixtures

LED chip, lamp and lighting fixture maker Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA says that its LR24 recessed LED luminaires have been installed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Designed for the new ‘Moving Beyond Earth’ exhibit (which includes a 12-foot tall space shuttle model, parts of the Hubble Space Telescope, and a model of the Ares launch vehicle), the LED lights replace high intensity discharge work lights, offering the high lumen output and efficacy required for people to work in the gallery.

Work lights, on for about eight hours per day, allow museum staff to clean the gallery and perform other maintenance during non-exhibit hours. Replacing the mercury vapor work lights with LR24s can reduce maintenance costs and save energy, says Cree.

The LED lights deliver uniform and bright light and weigh less than other fixtures, helping to reduce strain on the 20-foot high ceilings of the exhibit (which covers 5000 square feet of space). The LR24s are also designed to produce little heat (aiding stable temperature and humidity levels, and saving on air-conditioning needs and related costs) and emit virtually no ultraviolet rays (which can help protect the many historical artifacts featured in the exhibit).

Cree says that the LR24 luminaires underwent an extensive life-cycle-cost business-case analysis that demonstrated estimated energy savings of 80% over the incumbent mercury vapor fixtures. Other evaluation criteria included maintenance costs, thermal/HVAC impact and ultraviolet emissions (which can degrade artifacts).

“The Air and Space Museum installation shows the versatility of our lighting products as well as the cost and environmental benefits associated with LEDs,” says Gary Trott, Cree’s VP of market development.

The ‘Moving Beyond Earth’ exhibition explores the achievements and challenges of human spaceflight in the USA during the space-shuttle and space-station era through artifacts, immersive experiences and interactive computer stations. “It’s a natural fit for American innovation to be behind the scenes of an exhibit that proudly displays American history.”

Cree Cup in China selects 50 designs for final round of LED Lighting Design Contest

Jointly organized by Cree and the Beijing-based China Association of Lighting Industry (CALI), the first Cree Cup - Creative LED Lighting Design Contest for China university students has completed its preliminary round which, lasting three months, produced more than 100 designs from nearly 1000 students representing about 100 universities in China.

The contest review committee (consisting of LED industry experts, academic scholars and industrial design/lighting application experts) examined the submitted designs based on creativity, practicality and marketability. Following this evaluation, 50 designs were selected to continue to compete in the contest's final stage: physical production.

“Registration for the contest shows the great enthusiasm of our university students for LED lighting,” says professor Zhan Qingxuan, a PhD supervisor at the School of Architecture in Tsinghua University and chairman of the contest review committee.

However, LED lighting courses have yet to be widely adopted in universities, explaining why some designs lack practicality despite featuring novel designs, says the committee. “As the government increases requirements for energy-saving and environmental protection, we believe that LED lighting will achieve greater popularity,” says Zhan. “As university students at large have an opportunity to take part in such high-level contests, it will further promote knowledge of LED lighting and help to train a new generation of innovative talents,” he believes.

As well as developing new lighting sources, the core objective of the contest is to discover and motivate high-caliber LED design talent to support China as an LED manufacturing and innovation center. “We look forward to seeing fine physical implementations during the final round,” says Tang Guoqing, general manager for Cree China Sales and secretary-general of the contest’s organizing committee.

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