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Talking Lighting Trends with CREE Lighting

December 7, 2023

CREE Lighting was invited by US Lighting Trends to share with us their take on the future of our industry, the new products, technologies and trends to watch. Our questions were answered by Rowan Lawson, CREE Lighting’s Chief of Staff.

Cree Lighting was recently sold to ADLT[1] which has been in the lighting industry for 28 years. How will this help the company in looking forward? 

Similar to Cree Lighting, ADLT has a long history in the lighting industry and is very familiar with what it takes to succeed. ADLT’s deep lighting industry knowledge will help Cree Lighting to drive towards delivering better lighting experiences for our customers. While our company ownership has changed, our goals and employees have not. All our team members, whether in manufacturing, in office, or in the field, are focused on making it easy to specify, order, and install Cree Lighting’s category leading solutions. 

Cree Lighting prided itself on having a significant percentage of their offering designed, engineered and assembled in the USA. Will this continue under ADLT? What percent of SKUs qualify for “Designed/Engineered/Assembled”? Percentage of sales? 

We continue to focus on proudly engineering and manufacturing solutions in our USA based Racine, Wisconsin factory. Our current percentage of Cree Lighting branded luminaires that are assembled in the USA is 73%. We recently launched the all new Guideway™ Series Street Light, OSQ Series C Area and Flood portfolio, KBL Series Version C High Bay/Low Bay luminaires, and OSQW™ Wall Mount series, all engineered and built in our Racine, Wisconsin facility, with most SKUs being Buy American Act (BAA) compliant. 

Cree Lighting’s name was built on innovation, especially being the primary driver of making LED lamps mainstream. It’s product, and marketing, was “ground-breaking.” What are some of the other innovative products that Cree Lighting has more recently brought to market? 

We are always looking to deliver better light, and believe our new NanoComfort™ Technology carries on this promise. NanoComfort™ Technology delivers noticeably better visual comfort with reduced glare and maximum performance. Three portfolios introduced this year utilize this new technology: our Guideway street lights, OSQ Series C area and floods, and just this week the new OSQW Wall Mount series. Our Guideway street lights with NanoComfort™ Technology are a roadway solution which brings previously out of reach levels of performance, comfort, and control, while providing our largest array of CCT options ever offered, resulting in exceptional performance with low glare. We are not only focused on making solutions that last, but on redefining what’s possible. 

To a distributor, what is Cree Lighting’s “sweet spot”? How can you most effectively help them with business? 

For the distributor, it’s our experience that counts. Great lighting is often defined by who you’re working with, and we offer the knowledge, solutions, and service to deliver on our promise of better light. With a combination of recent partnerships and system improvements, we are continuing to focus on making it easier to place, process and track orders, helping distributors streamline their processes and increase their efficiency. 

To a lighting designer / specifier, when, and why, should they be specifying Cree Lighting? What types of end-user markets and applications within those can Cree Lighting best help them meet their customers’ needs? 

We offer a large range of configurable products across many indoor and outdoor applications to meet a wide range of projects. Providing DeltaGuard® finishes, NanoComfort™ Technology and countless optical and lumen choices, a specifier can easily provide all the solutions needed within a project utilizing Cree Lighting products. Our solutions for petroleum, roadway, retail, industrial, and auto dealerships deliver visual comfort from an appealing fixture aesthetic while delivering proven quality and reliability. 

And lastly, what does Cree Lighting see as major trends in lighting that either will continue or create new opportunities in 2024? … could be product, features (i.e. CCT, Power Factor, etc), controls, circadian, something else or could be end-user markets. 

We expect to see a continued and lasting trend around reducing light pollution in the outdoor space. This includes the need for reducing things like glare, as well as greater adoption of lighting controls that lower light levels when appropriate after dark. We also see a real demand for LED-to-LED lighting conversions. Many of the early LED applications that may be a decade old or older are likely no longer meeting their lighting goals. The good news is today’s products can provide much better illumination performance compared to earlier generation solutions while delivering big energy savings and therefore solid economic value. 

[1] IDEAL INDUSTRIES, Inc. Has Sold Cree Lighting to CLNA Holdings, LLC, a Member of the ADLT Family of Lighting Companies – US Lighting Trends 

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