24 May 2010


Durham becomes third city in North Carolina to join Cree’s LED City initiative

Following Raleigh and Chapel Hill , the City of Durham has become the third city in North Carolina to join the LED City initiative, an international community of government and industry parties initiated by Durham-based LED chip, lamp and lighting fixture maker Cree Inc in December 2006 to evaluate, deploy and promote LED lighting across municipal infrastructure, with the aim of to saving energy, protecting the environment, reducing maintenance costs, and providing better light quality for improved visibility and safety.

LED lighting was selected as part of the city’s overall effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We identified several City projects where we could incorporate LED lighting technologies into the building upgrades, and we felt these parking garages were a perfect fit,” says Joel Reitzer, director of the city’s Department of General Services. “Using LED lighting is not only going to save us in operating costs, but it’s also going to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from power generation, getting us closer to meeting our 50% reduction goal by 2030.”

“Durham has been Cree’s home for more than 20 years, and we’re thrilled our hometown is joining municipalities around the world in achieving significant energy and maintenance cost savings through the use of energy-efficient LED lighting,” says Cree LED Lighting's president Neal Hunter, who co-founded Cree in 1987 as a spin-off from North Carolina State University.

Durham is currently retrofitting three City-owned parking garages by this fall with 573 new LED lighting fixtures incorporating Cree products worth nearly $1m.

The Corcoran Parking Garage Repairs Project (which began last September and should be completed this June) is using 2005 bond funds to address deferred maintenance repairs as well as upgrades that include an LED lighting retrofit involving changing about 200 metal halide fixtures with LED fixtures that will use one-fifth of the energy. The repairs budget of $2.5m includes about $160,000 allocated for the LED fixtures.

A second project (with a budget of $8.8m from 2005 bond funds and installment sales) involves the renovation of Centre Garage and includes about $259,000 for buying and installing 373 new LED lighting fixtures to retrofit all original metal halide fixtures. Due to be completed this June, the project stems from a public/private partnership agreement between the City of Durham and Craig Davis Properties.

Thirdly, the Church Street Parking Garage Lighting LED Upgrade Project is being implemented as part of the Energy-Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), which was submitted by the Durham City-County Sustainability Office and uses funds provided by the federal government as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The $508,000 project includes the design (currently ongoing, and to be completed this fall) and installation of an LED lighting system that improves lighting while reducing energy costs.

Bremen becomes Germany's first LED City

Also, on 27 April, Bremen became the first German city to join the LED City program. The second largest city in Northern Germany has systematically introduced energy-saving technologies during the past four years and has significantly reduced energy consumption in public lighting.

Recently, Bremen started a pilot project to explore the opportunities and examine the benefits of LED lighting. The Indal LED streetlights, featuring Cree XLamp LEDs, light up a busy stretch of road in the city center. The test is aimed to allow Bremen to gather experience of the operation, energy-saving benefits and operating costs of switching to LED lighting.

“On our test road we replaced the existing compact fluorescent lights with LED fixtures,” says Holger Janssen, division manager at swb Beleuchtung GmbH. “Although we can expect savings of 34% from current LED technology, in this project we are really interested in the color and quality of the LED lights and look forward to the feedback from citizens.”

“With the LED City program we provide cities and municipalities with a platform where they can share insights and learn from each other’s experience, so that they don’t all have to start from scratch when looking for ways to save energy and protect the environment,” says Deb Lovig, Cree’s LED programs manager.

Durham and Bremen join existing program members Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC; Ann Arbor, MI; Austin and Fairview, TX; Anchorage and Valdez, AK; Indian Wells, CA; Danville, VI; and Boston, MA in the USA; Toronto and Welland in Canada; Tianjin and Huizhou in China; Gwangju in South Korea; and Torraca and Apecchio in Italy.

See related items:

Cree celebrates 3rd anniversary of Raleigh becoming first LED City

Chapel Hill joins Cree LED City program

Cree and Raleigh launch ‘LED City’ municipal lighting initiative

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