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Cree LED Street Lights Transform California City’s Streets, Cut Energy Use By 65 Percent

Inspired by the successful Los Angeles street lighting upgrade, where many of the city’s 140,000 high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights were converted to Cree ® LED luminaires, San Luis Obispo, Calif. selected Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) to help improve the city’s sustainability efforts. City officials collaborated with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to replace more than 2,000 outdated HPS street lights with Cree XSP Series LED street lights, delivering superior light quality while saving on maintenance costs and reducing the city’s annual energy consumption by more than 65 percent.

"This project represented a real win-win for the city and the environment. The decision to go with LED fixtures is helping the city save money, use less electricity, improve safety and decrease greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tom Lorish, senior customer relationship manager, PG&E. “Those are real benefits for all of us who live here, made possible by the city's leadership and our collaboration with Cree in finding new ways to become more energy efficient."

“Upgrading to Cree ® LED street lights was a natural evolution of our energy-saving and sustainability initiatives,” said Barbara Lynch, San Luis Obispo city engineer. “My maintenance staff was impressed with the ease of installation, and we’re expecting to cut maintenance and service expenses by 60 percent annually, which we can now allocate to other city initiatives.”

Featuring Cree’s NanoOptic ® Precision Delivery Grid optic technology, the Cree XSP Series LED street light delivers better optical control and more uniform, white light than incumbent lighting solutions, making it the ideal replacement for HPS street lights. The installed Cree XSP Series LED street lights are helping to save San Luis Obispo an anticipated usage of 750,000 kilowatt-hours per year and eliminate nearly 395,000 pounds of greenhouse gas annually. According to the city, the LED upgrade will reduce San Luis Obispo’s electricity bill by about two-thirds.

“The city’s upgrade to Cree ® LED street lights is proof that replacing outdated, inefficient technologies with innovative LED technology makes economic sense, saving municipalities from the moment they’re installed,” said Norbert Hiller, Cree executive vice president, lighting. “The XSP Series LED street lights are providing the city with better light quality while using significantly less energy with virtually no ongoing maintenance. We’re delivering a superior lighting solution.”

Visit to read the full case study and view photos of this installation.

About Cree

Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting and semiconductor products for power and radio-frequency (RF) applications.

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