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16 October 2007


Cree and Duke Energy collaborate on LED lighting

LED maker Cree Inc is to collaborate with electricity supplier Duke Energy of Charlotte, NC, USA to evaluate the use of LEDs in widespread commercial applications.

The project has already seen Cree install 19 outdoor LED parking lot lights at its headquarters in Durham, NC, with the aim of demonstrating the technology’s energy efficiency and longevity. As the collaboration develops, the companies say that future projects may include applications such as indoor commercial office lighting and parking deck lighting.

Duke Energy has nearly 37,000MW of electric generating capacity in the US Midwest and the Carolinas, and supplies energy to about 4 million customers in the USA. In addition, the firm has more than 4000MW of electricity generation in Latin America.

“We believe LED technology holds tremendous potential for reducing both energy consumption and equipment maintenance without compromising safety,” says Ted Schultz, Duke’s vice president of energy efficiency. “We believe this collaboration with Cree will further demonstrate LEDs as a viable alternative to existing commercial lighting technology,” he adds.

“LED technology has already been successful in applications including traffic signals, accent lighting, outdoor signs and retail refrigeration equipment,” says Cree’s chairman, president and CEO Charles M. Swoboda. “Working with Duke Energy to evaluate advanced LED lighting technology in outdoor and office lighting is a valuable step in demonstrating the LED’s quality, reliability and energy efficiency.”

To provide a third-party perspective of the technology, also collaborating on the project are the nonprofit organizations Advanced Energy of Raleigh, NC and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which has locations in Palo Alto, CA and Knoxville, TN as well as Charlotte, NC. Their primary role will be to collect data, assure research protocols are observed and report results.

*Cree’s XLamp LED was recently selected as the light source in a new lantern from the MUJI brand of Tokyo-based Ryohin Keikaku Co Ltd, for use as a table light or portable torch.

MUJI assigned the lantern project to Japanese-based original equipment manufacturer G-Com Co Ltd. G-Com’s product design required a bright light source that generates very little heat. The complete lantern design also had to create an aesthetically pleasing product for MUJI’s high-end customer base.

“We first chose Cree XLamp XR-E LEDs for MUJI’s high-power bicycle lights, and then again for the new lanterns,” says G-COM vice president Tohru Chigusa. “We found that Cree XLamp LEDs offer the best brightness and lowest heat emission for packaged LEDs, and Cree’s sales and support people added great value to the product design process,” he adds.

“G-Com’s choice of XLamp LEDs is yet another example of leading portable-lighting manufacturers switching to Cree LEDs,” claims Paul Thieken, Cree’s director of product marketing for lighting LEDs.

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