Cree, parent company of Ruud Lighting, 9201 Washington Ave., has introduced a new LED light. On Nov. 2, Cree and Best Buy jointly announced the new Insignia bulb, powered by a Cree element, and manufactured and exclusively sold by Best Buy.
Also, Cree has LED light bulbs for home use under the EcoSmart brand at other retailers.
Cree said the Insignia bulb offers “distinct advantages” over existing LED bulbs on the market today. Unlike some others, the Insignia looks much like a traditional incandescent bulb. Like a standard bulb, it also provides omnidirectional light.
“And because the Insignia is mercury- and gas-free, the Insignia avoids (compact fluorescent bulb) toxic hazards and disposal hassles,” Cree said.
Other LED lights available for residential use include recessed lights and undermount lighting, for mounting beneath cupboards and such, as well as night lights, floodlights, outdoor accent lights, pathway lights and flashlights.
“Flashlights are all going LED,” said Patrick Bannon, operations manager at Home Depot, 2429 S. Green Bay Road.
LED lighting makes up Christmas tree
Christmas tree light strands are a growing use of LED lighting. Downtown Racine Corp. has used them on a large scale for about four years on the huge holiday tree on Monument Square. And DRC Executive Director Devin Sutherland couldn’t be happier with them.
Previously, he said, DRC used about 7,000 to 8,000 non-LED lights on the holiday tree, “and we had circuits from all over Monument Square. … Now, everything runs through one 30-amp circuit.”
The LEDs are much more weather-resistant and trouble-free, Sutherland said. So DRC has increased the number of them on the tree to close to 17,000 this year.
“Now we have two to three times as many lights,” he said, “and we use about 10 percent of the power.”
LED lighting installs in structures
Thanks to a donation by Ruud Lighting, virtually 100 percent of the lighting at the $14.5 million Sealed Air Family YMCA, 8501 Campus Drive, is LED. The structure will likely earn Silver LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification, said YMCA Executive Director Jeff Collen.
LED lighting also helped earn the new addition at Fratt Elementary School, 3501 Kinzie Ave., Silver LEED certification.
Starting during the Great Recession, the city of Racine took advantage of federal stimulus money and other sources to upgrade to LED lighting. Through 2011, more than half of the city’s streetlights — 1,806 of the total 3,336 — had been converted to bright white LEDs, according to John Rooney, city engineer and assistant public works commissioner. And more are being installed this year in street construction zones.
All city parking structures have been converted to LED lighting or are in the process of being converted, said Racine Transit and Parking Manager Al Stanek.
Also, the Corinne Reid-Owens Transit Center. 1417 State St., has LED lighting, as well as the bus storage and bus maintenance facility, Stanek said.
The city is not the only one using the new technology, so are private businesses.In late December 2007, the new Better Day BP fuel station, store and car wash, 2100 Douglas Ave., installed LED lighting throughout.
Scott Manning, sales manager for Ruud Lighting division Beta/Kramer Lighting, said at the time it was the first gas station lit by LEDs in the country, “and probably the world.”
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