January 23, 2012

Asheville Boasts First Large-Scale LED Street Light Deployment in North Carolina

Cree LEDway® Luminaires to Replace More than 3,600 Antiquated Street Lights
ASHEVILLE, N.C. --

Taking steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce its overall carbon footprint, the City of Asheville has initiated North Carolina’s first large-scale deployment of LED street lights. There are 3,643 LEDway® street lights from Durham-based manufacturer Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) being installed, with projected savings of $260,000 annually.

In the initial phase of the project, completed in June 2011, 730 street lights in Asheville’s River District and Kenilworth neighborhoods were replaced with 67-watt to 195-watt LEDway luminaires, estimated to save the City $45,000 in annual energy costs. An additional 2,913 LEDway street lights are currently being installed, and the City anticipates saving 50 percent of current energy use and maintenance costs due to the LED upgrade.

“Upgrading to LED street lights allows us to decrease energy consumption, increase energy efficiency and contribute to the sustainability of our community,” said Maggie Ullman, energy coordinator for the Asheville Office of Sustainability. “This exciting initiative helps affirm Asheville’s role as a leader in carbon footprint reduction.”

Asheville’s city-wide street light upgrade project complies with the City Council’s 2008 lighting ordinance, designed to reduce glare and light pollution. In 2009, Asheville City Council unanimously approved using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to fund efficiency initiatives, including the first phase of the street light replacement. The revolving fund rolls energy savings back into the city’s green and efficiency initiatives.

Progress Energy, which serves the City of Asheville, provides N.C. Utilities Commission-approved rate tables to its customers that choose LED street lights. In addition to helping its customers understand the energy cost savings of LED technology, Progress Energy provides the option of renting or owning LED lighting fixtures.

“As more municipalities commit to replacing outdated, inefficient lighting with the support of their local utilities, LED adoption and consumer awareness continue to increase,” said Christopher Ruud, president of Ruud Lighting, a Cree Company. “We applaud the City of Asheville and Progress Energy for working together for the benefit of its citizens demonstrating the growing trend of cities and municipalities working together to join the LED lighting revolution.”

About Cree
Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and making energy-wasting traditional lighting technologies obsolete through the use of energy-efficient, mercury-free LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor products for power and radio-frequency (RF) 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 RF devices. Cree products are driving improvements in applications such as general illumination, electronic signs and signals, power supplies and solar inverters.

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 that actual savings will 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 26, 2011, and subsequent filings.

Cree and LEDway are trademarks registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.