Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) Chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda reported plenty of good news on Tuesday after the markets closed.

New LED light bulb sales contributed to a record $415.1 million in revenue in the quarter, a 20 percent increase compared to a year ago. And in a conference call with analysts Swoboda touted Cree’s manufacturing plant in Durham as being a key reason the company can help drive down future LED bulb costs.

He also stayed out of the continuing political dispute about LED vs. traditional bulbs.

“Consumers are already speaking,” he says.

Cree’s revenues beat Wall Street estimates of $412.46 million as reported by Thomson Reuters.

The fast growth of the still-expensive LED bulb sales ($10 and up) were a big driver, although Swoboda didn’t break out specifics. He did note that costs of bulbs and the availability of utility rebates were factors that will have an influence on sales going forward as Cree drives what it calls a revolution to change how Americans light their homes and businesses.

“So in terms of cost reductions, two things we are doing. We are doing what I will call incremental cost reductions. Some of those are finding way to get to the LED cost down, but also the rest of the building material for the products,” Swoboda said in call according to a transcript provided by financial website Seeking Alpha.

“So there are an ongoing effort to – how can we reoptimize parts of the design and qualify new components, try different things. And essentially not change the performance of the products, so the customers’ look and feel is really important to us. But on the inside of those things we can do.

“… But we are looking at some generational improvements where, hey, how will we deliver this value and maybe change a lot of the pieces at one time where we manufacture.

“We will continue to look at that given the amount of changes we continue to make, we don’t think the slight incremental cost difference of building in Durham actually hurts us in the long run because it allows us to go faster and total designs become more stable and run in same one over time. If we were to transfer that somewhere else, we would be adding 46 weeks just of inventory to move things around and it would slow us down.

“So I think, for us this is more about innovation, redesigning the product whether it would be incremental innovation or really relooking at the whole design is our key cost driver.”

Jeff Osborne of Stifel had asked about costs. He followed up seeking reaction from Swoboda to recent Congressional action about traditional bulbs.

“So on that one, we doubled the bulb sales last quarter and there was no bulb ban,” Swoboda replied. “And I think we did it because I think that was a very early stages but we were actually proving the people that the old bulbs are a bad deal. That you can buy an LED bulb that has no compromise, right. Your light quality is good or better what you had and it really does pay for itself and as we continue to make cost reductions I think that’s the key to driving the market.

“There clearly is political things both sides of this, honestly it’s a – I think it’s more political and consumers are already speaking in terms of what we are seeing in the growth and I think that tells us about more innovation to make that and even easier choice going forward.”

[CREE ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of Cree stories as reported in WRALTechWire.]