Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. — Durham will retrofit three parking garages with LED lights as it joins manufacturer ‘s (Nasdaq: CREE) initiative to get governments and businesses to switch to the high-efficiency lights.

Durham officials said they decided to install light-emitting diodes as part of its effort to reduce greenhouse emissions.

"Using LED lighting is not only going to save us in operating costs, but it’s also going to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from power generation, getting us closer to meeting our 50 percent reduction goal by 2030," the city’s general services director, Joel Reitzer, said in a statement.

Cree’s LED City program touts using LEDS in municipal infrastructure as an environmentally safe way to reduce energy and maintenance costs and improve lighting. Raleigh and Chapel Hill also participate in the program.

“Durham has been Cree’s home for more than 20 years, and we’re thrilled our hometown is joining municipalities around the world in achieving significant energy and maintenance cost savings through the use of energy-efficient LED lighting,” Cree President Neal Hunter said in a statement. “By being bullish on LEDs, Durham can conserve energy while saving its taxpayers money.”

LEDs will first be installed in the Corcocan parking garage, which is undergoing a scheduled renovation. The lights will cost approximately $160,000. The Centre and Church Street parking garages will next get LEDs.

The new lights will use one-fifth the energy used by the light fixtures being replacing, city officials said.

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