Former Cree employees launch LED lighting venture

Oct. 28, 2005
Several ex-employees of Cree, including former chairman Neal Hunter, have created a new company to develop LED lighting fixtures.

Neal Hunter, former Chairman of Cree, has joined with a group of former Cree scientists and engineers to form a company to develop LED-based lighting fixtures using chips and lamps supplied by Cree.

The company, temporarily named LED Lighting Fixtures Inc., plans to open an office in North Carolina and will have its manufacturing base in Hong Kong.

With initial funding from its founders – in addition to Hunter these are Gerry Negley, Antony van de Ven, and Tom Coleman - the company will seek additional funding from private investors when required.

"We believe the time for LED lighting for general use has arrived," said Hunter. "Our goal is to integrate Cree's chip and lamp products into finished fixture assemblies targeting high-volume consumer and industrial applications. Industry sources estimate the domestic market for lamps, lighting fixtures and lighting controls is about $12 billion annually and $40 billion globally."

Former Cree engineer Gerry Negley has expertise in LED chip and packaging technology, and has nine issued patents for Cree along with numerous other pending applications and filings.

Tony van de Ven left Cree to form Hong Kong-based Lighthouse Technologies Ltd., a leading LED display manufacturer, and has a wealth of expertise in color management and LED systems.

Tom Coleman, a co-founder of Cree, contributes with a creative background of equipment, systems and LED electronics.