Cree's XSPR street light.

Durham-based lighting company Cree recently unveiled its latest LED creation: a low-cost, energy-saving residential street light they claim can save cities millions on their electric bills. While LED street lights have been around for years, most are created specifically for roads and interstates, not neighborhoods. Cree’s new light—the XSPR street light— is designed with residential areas in mind, and it also wears a lower price tag.

Cree's LED streetlights on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill

Durham-based LED light maker Cree is acquiring one of its competitors. The company announced it's buying Wisconsin-based Ruud Lighting for around $525 million. Commercial industries have been moving towards L-E-D lighting because it uses less energy and is less costly to maintain. Cree spokeswoman Michelle Murray says Ruud's experience selling outdoor lighting will complement Cree's lineup of indoor lighting fixtures.