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Ann Arbor Embraces LED Technology

Cree, Inc. Press Release - 10/19/2007

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City to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights, joining Raleigh and Toronto in growing LED City community

The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the newest LED City™, expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month.

The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the newest LED City™, expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month.

ANN ARBOR, Mi. - Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a leader in LED solid-state lighting components, and the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, today announced that Ann Arbor will join Raleigh, N.C. and Toronto, in the growing LED City™ initiative. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, Ann Arbor plans to become the first U.S. city to convert 100 percent of its downtown streetlights to LED technology.

Ann Arbor expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month. The City anticipates a 3.8-year payback on its initial investment. The LED lights typically burn five times longer than the bulbs they replace and require less than half the energy. Each fixture draws 56 watts and is projected to last 10 years, replacing fixtures with bulbs that use more than 120 watts and last only two years.

Full implementation of LEDs is projected to cut Ann Arbor’s public lighting energy use in half and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,425 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road for a year. Detroit Edison, Ann Arbor’s local utility provider, will meter the new LED streetlights with the intent to gather sufficient information to develop new LED-based tariffs.

“This decision is based on three years of extensive research on the energy and maintenance savings associated with LED lighting, citizen surveys and a very successful pilot of 25 LED lights spanning an entire city block,” said Mayor John Hieftje. As a result, the City received a $630,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to fund retrofits for the downtown lights. “This initial installation should save the City more than $100,000 per year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 294 tons of CO2. Our plan is to retrofit all downtown lights with LED alternatives over the next two years.”

“We applaud the tremendous efforts by Ann Arbor’s civic leaders to make energy efficiency a priority for the City,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “We are especially pleased that Ann Arbor is joining the LED City program to share the results of their product testing and surveys with other municipalities to help accelerate the adoption of LED lighting worldwide.”

The LED streetlights currently installed in Ann Arbor are based on the New Westminster Series made by Lumec, Inc., which contain LED light engines from Relume Technologies, Inc. The light engines are based on the performance-leading Cree XLamp® LED.

For additional information on the LED version of Lumec’s New Westminster Series streetlight, please call (248) 476-7676. For additional information on Relume LED light engines and fixtures, please call (877) 564-3133 or visit For additional information on Cree XLamp power LEDs, please call (919) 313-5300 or visit

About LED City

The LED City is an expanding community of government and industry parties working to evaluate, deploy and promote LED lighting technology across the full range of municipal infrastructure to:

  • Save energy
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Provide better light quality for improved visibility and safety

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 22 percent of electricity used in the U.S. powers lighting. In a world with soaring energy prices based on the availability and control of fossil fuels, and with growing concern about sustainability of the environment, a revolution in lighting is long overdue.

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