Duke Power will work with Durham-based Cree to study the potential of light emitting diodes for use in commercial applications.

Cree recently launched a project with the city of Raleigh, installing LEDs in parking garages.

Duke’s first step is to evaluate the 19 LED parking lot lights that Cree recently installed in its corporate headquarters parking lot. Energy efficiency, longevity and other characteristics will be studied. The LEDs replaced high-pressure sodium light fixtures.

Cree has also worked with municipalities in Japan on LED projects.

Duke said it could explore other applications, including parking deck lighting and indoor commercial lighting.

"We believe LED technology holds tremendous potential for reducing both energy consumption and equipment maintenance without compromising safety," said Duke’s Ted Schultz, vice president for energy efficiency. "We believe this collaboration with Cree will further demonstrate LEDs as a viable alternative to existing commercial lighting technology."

The project will be reviewed by the Advanced Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute as a third party, Duke said.