Cree shares were up more than 10 percent early Tuesday after the Durham company unveiled a new LED light bulb for the consumer market that retails for $10.
The company hopes the bulbs, which comes with a 10-year limited warranty and are available exclusively at Home Depot, will help LEDs capture a larger share of the consumer market.
“Over the last couple of years we recognized that the consumer is instrumental in the adoption of LED lighting, but we needed to give them a reason to switch," Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda said in a statement. "We believe this breakthrough LED bulb will, for the first time, give consumers a reason to upgrade the billions of energy-wasting light bulbs.”
Cree's new bulb costs $9.97 for a 40-watt replacement and $12.97 for a 60-watt replacement.
Cree produces its own indoor and outdoor light fixtures as well as components that other companies use in their lighting products. Its LEDs also are used for illuminating car dashboards, mobile phones, televisions and signs.
LED lights are a small part of the overall lighting market, but they're the fastest-growing segment of the market.
Although LED lights cost more than conventional lights, Cree maintains overall costs are cheaper when you account for their lower electric consumption and longer life span.
Cree says its latest bulb saves 84 percent of the energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.
Cree and its competitors have been chipping away at the gap in upfront costs with progressively lower prices achieved through advances in technology and greater volumes.