August 1, 2011

Cree Prototype Exceeds DOE’s 21st Century Lamp L PrizeSM Requirements

Continued Innovation Results in Lamp that Delivers More than 1,300 Lumens at 152 Lumens Per Watt
DURHAM, N.C. -- Demonstrating the future of lighting, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) today unveiled a concept LED light bulb from its lighting research and development team. Redefining what is possible with high-performance LED lighting, the lamp delivers more than 1,300 lumens at 152 lumens per watt (LPW) using Cree TrueWhite® Technology. Cree’s prototype LED light bulb exceeds the performance goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the 21st Century Lamp, the third category in its L PrizeSM competition.

“Cree’s concept lamp is a far cry from its 20th-century counterparts,” said Gerry Negley, Cree LED lighting chief technology officer and co-inventor of Cree TrueWhite Technology. “No one has fully envisioned what the lighting of the future will look like, which allows Cree to continue to innovate without constraint.”

Neal Hunter, Cree co-founder, added, “Not long ago, fixture efficacy of 100+ lumens per watt was impossible, but Cree is shipping fixtures at 110 LPW today. We calculate that if fully deployed, LED lighting at 150 LPW could bring a 16.5 percent reduction in the nation’s electric-energy consumption, returning it to 1987 levels. By pushing the limits of what is possible in LED lighting, Cree continues to design products that help reduce global demands for energy.”

LED lighting at this level of performance is only made possible by advancements across all elements of the LED lighting system – lighting-class LEDs, optical elements, drivers and power supplies. Optimizing each element was critical in achieving the performance reached by Cree’s prototype LED lamp. As an efficiency comparison, a traditional 75-watt incandescent light bulb produces 1,100 lumens at only 14.6 lumens per watt.

“Cree's innovation, technology breakthroughs and focus on energy-efficient lighting solutions continue to re-shape the LED lighting market,” said Dave Morton, Courtyard Program Director, Marriott International.

Third-party testing by independent lab OnSpeX confirmed that Cree’s lamp delivered more than 1,330 lumens and consumes only 8.7 watts. The lamp uses Cree TrueWhite Technology to deliver a high-quality, energy-efficient light with a CRI of 91 at a warm white color of 2800 K. This project benefits from technology developed under DOE-funded contracts, which are part of Cree’s ongoing collaboration with DOE to advance the successful adoption of energy-saving solid-state lighting.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 directed the DOE to establish the Bright Tomorrow L Prize competition. The 21st Century Lamp competition is the third category in the legislation, joining competitions to create replacements for some of the most widely used and most inefficient lighting technologies on the market today, 60-W incandescent lamps and PAR-38 halogen lamps. The preliminary specifications for the 21st Century Lamp include: >1200 lumens, >150 lumens per watt, >90 CRI and CCT between 2800-3000 K.

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 backlighting, 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, electronic signs and signals, variable-speed motors, and wireless communications.

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.CreeLEDLighting.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 be unable to develop and release commercial products with performance ratings comparable to the development results described above; the risk we may be unable to manufacture the products with sufficiently low cost to offer them at competitive prices or with acceptable margins; the potential lack of customer acceptance of the products; the risk that actual energy savings may vary from expectations; customer acceptance of LED products; 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.