Cree has launched a new line of LED streetlights that promises warmer lighting – lighting that a company executive says should pass muster with residents of Raleigh’s older neighborhoods.
“What we’ve got is a new streetlight that actually solves a handful of problems that residents are starting to experience with street lighting,” said Sean Harris, product manager for roadway lighting at the Durham-based LED lighting company.
Such problems recently bubbled up in Raleigh, where a subcommittee of the Historic Development Commission voted to block the city from installing new LED streetlights in historic areas such as Boylan Heights and Oakwood. Residents have complained that the LED streetlights the city proposed – which aren’t made by Cree – were too bright and the color too different from existing streetlights with sodium diode bulbs, and that the fixtures look too high-tech.
The new Cree RSW streetlight, which the company announced Thursday and which are now available, provide better-quality light with reduced glare, according to the company.
The new streetlight produces light at 3,000 Kelvin, “which is a very warm color temperature,” Harris said. Raleigh subcommittee members and residents of historic neighborhoods have talked of wanting a streetlight that is 3,000 Kelvin or less. The lower the number, the warmer the light.
“This product here does not give off the appearance of being too bright,” Harris said. “It’s the light color and light distribution that folks are used to seeing” in streetlights.
In addition, Cree’s RSW streetlight comes in what’s known as the “cobra head” style of fixture commonly used by non-LED streetlights.
“This actually replicates that look that folks are used to seeing,” Harris said.
Cree had to overcome some technical obstacles to produce what it touts are the first 3,000 Kelvin LED streetlights without sacrificing energy-efficiency.
That’s where the company’s WaveMax technology came through. That technology both boosts efficiency and creates a richer visual ambiance by way of a multi-faceted lens that enables precision-control of light to exactly where it's needed.
Cree’s new RSW streetlights are priced comparably to its older-generation LED streetlights, Harris said.