Cree plans to donate $1.5 million worth of energy efficient LED lights for kitchens of homes built by Habitat for Humanity.
The three-year partnership was announced today by Chuck Swoboda, CEO of the Durham company, during his keynote speech at the N.C. CEO Forum in downtown Raleigh.
The company's lights are designed to reduce electricity use and energy costs. But the Habitat partnership also will further Cree's efforts to encourage awareness of its LED lights, especially for residential use.
"I love things that are good for the environment, but they've also got to be good business," Swoboda said. "This is good for our business."
Cree's LED lights are more expensive up front, but save money in the end because they require less power and last much longer than traditional light bulbs.
The Cree lights that Habitat will use in new homes are designed to last more than two decades and use 55 percent less energy than compact fluorescent bulbs.
Cree's LEDs are increasingly being adopted for commercial use, including in street lights from Raleigh to China, in more than 650 Walmart stores and more. The company employs more than 2,000 people in the Triangle and continues to hire locally.