LED

A picture of a mercury vapor street lamp.
Famartin / Wikipedia

Duke Energy will begin replacing Raleigh's 30,000 conventional high pressure sodium and mercury vapor street lamps with more energy-efficient light-emitting diode—LED—streetlights this week.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Meredith Archie says several North Carolina cities are making the switch, including Wilmington, Henderson and Cary.

"LED lights are more energy efficient, so they reduce the carbon footprint. And as a result of that, they expend less energy so saving money and cost on energy bills," Archie says.

Light Emitting Diodes
Mike Deal / Flickr

Durham-based Cree, known for its LED lighting, is spinning off another company.

Cree is calling the new business group the Cree Power and Radio Frequency Division.

Sharon Belenzon is an Associate Professor of Strategy at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.  Belenzon says he was not surprised by the news.

“So this legal separation in many, many cases creates huge value when you have divisions which have high growth opportunities and divisions which have low growth opportunities," said Belenzon.

Cree's XSPR street light.
Cree

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
cree.com

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.

President Obama speaks at Cree Inc. in Durham
Brent Kitchen

President Barack Obama is searching for a real fix to the country’s jobs problem.  The White House is quick to say some two million private sector jobs have been created in the past 15 months.  But that’s hardly enough to put a dent in the country’s high unemployment rate.  So the president decided to visit a part of the country where he’s been before – a place that has steadily created jobs in the down economy. That place is Cree Incorporated in Durham.