Cree touts LED bulbs for consumers as incandescent replacements

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 06:33 PM

Cree Inc. officials hope that the prices of new LED light bulbs designed and manufactured by the Durham-based company will help drive consumers to switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs.

The company, which also has manufacturing operations in Wisconsin and in China, has focused its business on LED, or light-emitting diode, lighting for commercial and industrial, rather than consumer, markets.

Chuck Swoboda, the chairman and CEO of the company, said in a news release that company officials realized that the consumer is “instrumental” in the adoption of LED lighting, and said the company needed to give them a reason to switch.

“We believe this breakthrough LED bulb will, for the first time, give consumers a reason to upgrade the billions of energy-wasting light bulbs,” Swoboda said in a statement in a news release about new LED light bulbs.

The company announced that Cree Inc. LED bulbs are selling at The Home Depot that are designed to replace traditional incandescent bulbs. The cost of Cree’s warm white replacement for a 40-watt incandescent light bulb is $9.97. The bulb consumes 6 watts of energy and produces 450 lumens of light.

The company’s warm white LED replacement for a 60-watt traditional incandescent bulb costs $12.97. It consumes 9.5 watts and produces 800 lumens of light. The cost is $13.97 for a daylight LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

The LED bulbs have a 10-year, limited warranty, according to a news release. They new bulbs are designed to last 25,000 hours, according to Cree, or 25 times longer than a typical incandescent light bulb.

They are Cree’s first LED bulbs for consumers designed to replace traditional incandescent bulbs that are designed, and manufactured by Cree, sold at The Home Depot, according to an email from a spokeswoman for the company.

Cree’s LED technology was incorporated into another LED replacement for an incandescent bulb, the Insignia LED bulb, sold at Best Buy as a replacement for incandescent bulbs. Insignia is a brand of electronics sold exclusively by publicly traded Best Buy.

Although those lights used Cree LED technology, they were not Cree products. The bulbs announced Tuesday are the first LED replacements for incandescent designed and manufactured by Durham-based Cree.

Cree also has sold another consumer product at The Home Depot stores: an LED down light.

Cree Inc. shares were up 14.66 percent to $51.28 after the market’s close on Tuesday.