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In its continuing effort to reduce upfront costs for LED lighting, while providing a quicker return on investment for its customers, Cree has introduced its new XSPR LED Residential Street Light. For an initial cost of $99, the new streetlight, which uses 65 percent less energy than traditional high-pressure sodium fixtures, delivers a rapid payback for cities, sometimes in less than a year.

Making LEDs more affordable
In yet another instance of the rapidly declining cost of LED lights, the new XSPR now makes the option of switching to LED lights even more palatable for city managers across the country. With 25-watt and 42-watt options, as compared to traditional 100-watt high-pressure sodium bulbs, this low voltage LED lighting from Cree also offers significant long-term financial savings.

"With the low initial price of the XSPR street light and the dramatic energy savings, wholesale replacement of existing street lights becomes a simple choice," said Al Ruud, Cree vice-chairman, lighting. "Utilities and city managers can now improve the lighting in their neighborhoods, save energy and see payback in less than a year."

Cities turning to LEDs
Cities across the country are beginning to realize that LED lighting systems provide huge benefits to their public spaces and bottom lines. From Los Angeles, to Pueblo, Colo., to Raleigh, N.C., cities are turning to LEDs as their best option for energy efficient lighting. And with initial costs coming down for products like the new XSPR, municipalities that are desperately searching for any way to reduce their financial burdens now see that LEDs can make a major dent in their expenses.

"Street lighting is our city's largest single energy-related cost, and the XSPR street light appears to dramatically change the economics of LED relative to traditional lighting technologies," said Dan Howe, assistant city manager of Raleigh, N.C. "This breakthrough technology can change the total cost of ownership equation, encouraging municipalities to transition sooner to LED with less risk, and redirect resources to other important community needs."

When Detroit announced its intent to file for bankruptcy in July, the issue of long-term debt among the nation's cities took center stage. With unfunded pensions and other debts weighing heavily on municipalities all over the United States, finding innovative ways to put their financial houses in order has become paramount. And as Howe pointed out, street lighting represents a large portion of any city's costs. By turning to LEDs, many of those cities can take a significant bite out of their annual costs.