The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Swirlie CFL bulbs are out as a symbol for energy saving lighting. At least that’s the opinion at Cree, a global leader in a competitor to the CFLs with its own growing LED lineup..

The company is energizing for the effort with an event Saturday in conjunction with The Noun Project, an online visual dictionary,where contributors can help the Durham company create symbols that will stand for light emitting didoes. Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) makes those – by the millions. And it is seeking to drive global conversion to LED-based bulbs and light fixtures.

Spearheading the effort is Ginny Skalski, a Cree employee who touts herself as a  ”social media butterfly who works in Cree’s marketing department, where her desk is lit by energy-efficient LED lights.” She writes the Cree LED Revolution blog.

Skalski wrote that the idea for an LED symbol came after she saw some new stamps. Let’s let her tell the story:

“The last straw was when I bought a book of ‘Go Green’ Forever stamps at the U.S. Post Office and noticed the ‘use efficient light bulbs’ stamp featured a hand holding a swirly CFL.

“For us LED lighting geeks, it’s painful to see the twisty CFL icon used as the symbol for energy-efficient lighting because it’s not as efficient as LED lighting and it contains mercury. So when I saw that postage stamp, I vowed to find a way to create a universal symbol for the energy-efficient LED light bulb.”

Skalski discovered The Noun Project and launched a conversation.

“The Noun Project co-founders agree that it’s time to create a new symbol for LED lighting, as well as symbols for other recent developments in energy-efficiency,” she wrote.

The result is what they are calling an “Iconathon,” which is set for Saturday.

(If you are interested in attending, RSVP here.)

“At the end of the workshop, we’ll have the basis of a new symbol for LED lighting and other important energy-saving technologies such as solar panels, weatherized homes and wind turbines,” Skalski promies. “The final symbols will be made available for public download on”

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