April 26, 2011

It’s Payback Time—New Cree LED Troffers Revolutionize Commercial Lighting

New Cree CR Series Delivers Shorter Payback, Better Light Quality and Efficacy than Fluorescents
DURHAM, N.C. -- Antiquated, inferior commercial lighting gets a much-needed transformation with the revolutionary new series of LED troffers from Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE). The Cree CR family of architectural troffers, including the CR24™, CR14™ and CR22™, bring a superior combination of performance, aesthetics and affordability to a market traditionally lit by outdated, flickering fluorescent tubes.

The CR series is redefining commercial lighting by offering a no-compromise alternative when upgrading over fluorescent lighting. More affordable than comparable fluorescent options, CR series fixtures deliver higher-quality light, longer life and greater energy savings, with an estimated payback of less than a year in a typical office installation*.

“We chose the Cree CR troffers because the payback calculation was clear,” said Richard J. Michal PE, MBA, LEED-AP, facilities engineer planning design and construction, Butler University. “Seeing the CR troffers installed, they have an elegant aesthetic that produces an incredibly high-quality light. When you combine that with our predicted energy and maintenance savings, it was a no-brainer.”

“You never need to install fluorescent troffer lighting again,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “The traditional lighting experts keep telling us what LEDs can’t do, and we keep showing them that anything is possible. We think it is time to rid the world of the compromises inherent in choosing fluorescent lighting—the flickering, toxic mercury, poor color, ineffective dimming and disposal expense.”

“Our life cycle cost analysis using Cree LED lighting on our projects decreased the watts-per-square-foot by upwards of 60 percent,” said Nick Santore, PE, LEED-AP, Senior Electrical Engineer at O’Brien/Atkins Associates. “That decrease translated into measurable reductions in building HVAC equipment sizing requirements, delivering additional savings.”

According to Freedonia Group, the 2009 US indoor lighting fixture market is estimated at U.S. $6.4 billion. Lighting represents 27 percent of American commercial building energy consumption according to the U.S Department of Energy.

The Cree CR troffer family is powered by Cree TrueWhite® Technology to deliver an unprecedented combination of 90 CRI and up to 110 lumens per watt, far outperforming any other current lighting options.

An innovative thermal management system enables the LEDs to consistently run cooler, providing significant boosts to lifetime, efficacy and color consistency. All fixtures feature step or 0-10V dimming, are designed to last at least 50,000 hours and feature a five-year warranty.

The CR troffer family includes three models and multiple performance options: 1ft x 4 ft, 2ft x 4ft and 2ft x 2ft. For technical specifications, please visit CreeLEDlighting.com.

The Cree CR series is made in the United States, sold through Cree LED Lighting sales channels and is currently shipping in volume. For additional information about the Cree CR series of troffers, please visit CreeLEDlighting.com. The CR troffers will also be demonstrated at Cree’s booth #1925 at Lightfair International in Philadelphia, May 17-19.

*Payback calculations compare the Cree CR24 LED troffer with an architectural 2-tube T8 fluorescent fixture of comparable light output and features. The calculations also assume a typical office space of 200 units, 12-hour per day usage, $.10 kWh energy costs, lighting-related HVAC impact, and relamp maintenance. This results in a payback of less than one year when upgrading to more efficient CR series lighting from Cree.

About Cree
Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications.

Cree’s product families include LED fixtures and bulbs, blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs, lighting-class power LEDs, power-switching devices and radio-frequency/wireless devices. Cree solutions are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, backlighting, electronic signs and signals, variable-speed motors, and wireless communications.

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.cree.com. To learn more about the LED Lighting Revolution, please visit www.creeledrevolution.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, including the risk we may encounter delays or other difficulties in ramping up production of our new products; customer acceptance of LED products; the possibility that actual savings may vary from expectations; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render Cree’s products obsolete; and other factors discussed in Cree’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 27, 2010, and subsequent filings.

Cree and TrueWhite are registered trademarks and Cree TrueWhite, CR14, CR22 and CR 24 are trademarks of Cree, Inc.