Raleigh and Cree build LED City to evaluate LED lighting

The city of Raleigh, North Carolina has teamed with Cree to launch the LED City, and will evaluate multiple types of LED lighting fixtures and installations.

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The City of Raleigh, North Carolina, has teamed with Cree, an LED maker based in nearby Durham, NC, and have announced a joint, city-wide initiative to test, deploy and promote LED technology focused on a variety of general lighting applications.

The "LED City" initiative is designed to create a "living laboratory" that will evaluate the use of LED lighting and build a business case that will eventually enable Raleigh to deliver the economic, environmental and usage benefits of LED lighting to its residents.

Over the next 18 months, Raleigh plans to deploy LED lighting to serve a number of lighting applications, including garage and parking lot lights, street lights, architectural and accent lighting, portable lighting and pedestrian and walkway lighting. Cree expects that multiple LED lighting manufacturers will be eager to participate in the initiative.

In the first installation of the LED City initiative, LED-based lighting fixtures, provided by Lighting Science Group Inc. of Dallas, TX, were installed by Amtech Lighting Services in the Raleigh Municipal Building parking deck in December 2006.

Progress Energy, Raleigh’s primary electric utility provider, says the floor equipped with LED lights uses over 40 percent less energy than the standard lighting system. Plus, according to Progress Energy’s research, the quality of light in the garage is greatly improved.

Both Cree and Raleigh public officials expect the initiative to serve as a model for other cities that are considering implementing energy-efficient infrastructures.

"The economic benefits for municipalities to invest in LEDs are clear - they save energy, reduce environmental impact and improve the quality of light. As leaders in one of America’s fastest growing cities, it’s our civic responsibility to invest in the future and ensure the highest possible quality of life and safety for our citizens in generations to come," stated Charles Meeker, Raleigh mayor. "We believe that the cost savings and benefits of LED lighting are real and achievable today."

"Today's announcement represents a milestone toward large-scale adoption of clean, energy-efficient technologies," commented Kateri Callahan, president of the Washington, DC-based Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). "Raleigh's progressive commitment to becoming the first 'LED City' will no doubt serve as a model for other cities seeking to improve energy consumption and reduce negative impacts on the environment."

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