Cree Inc. kicked off construction earlier this month on the first Habitat for Humanity house to use all LED lighting fixtures. The company, a leading LED manufacturer, has also agreed to provide LED fixtures for all Habitat homes built in the United States over the next three years.
Greg Merritt, Vice President of Marketing at Cree, says in addition to supplying the LED fixtures, the company is also sponsoring the construction and providing volunteers for the new house in the company’s hometown of Durham, NC.
“We want to get the word out that LED lighting is ready for use in homes, but we also want to build a Habitat home here in Durham that will save the owners a significant amount of money on their energy bills,” Merritt says.
The new home, which should be finished in October, will feature Cree’s newest LED downlight, the CR6, as well as other LED products. Using LEDs is estimated to save about $250 in electricity costs per year versus traditional incandescent lighting.
Miguel Rubiera, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Durham, says the Durham chapter of Habitat has been building energy-efficient houses for 10 years, so this was the next logical step in making the homes even more energy-efficient.
“The family moving into this house is beyond themselves because they’ve never seen anything like it,” Rubiera says. “They can’t believe the utility bill for their new three bedroom, two bathroom house is going to be half of what they’re paying now in their one bedroom apartment.”
This project is part of Cree’s three-year, $1.5 million pledge to provide up to four LED fixtures for every Habitat house built in the United States.
“In today’s environment, when we hear so much about corporate greed, it’s nice to hear about a company as big as Cree giving back to the community in this way,” Rubiera says. “It’s a beautiful thing.”