US-made LEDs make their way to China’s street lights
It’s refreshing to find products that are made in the US and sold into China since the reverse is more often the case. (The most recent figures show the US international trade deficit in goods and services was virtually unchanged at $45.6 billion in August.) One US company that’s bucking the trend is Cree, with its recent announcement that more than a million of its XLamp XP-G and XP-E high-efficiency white (HEW) LEDs went into China’s first major highway LED lighting project. The Shenzhen highway project includes nearly 75 miles of roadways, with LED fixtures installed along one tunnel and four highways. The LED street lighting installation is part of a sprucing up for the 2011 Summer Universidade, an international multi-sport event for university athletes to be hosted by Shenzhen in August.
The lights were designed by Kingsun Optoelectronic Co. which uses the LEDs in 270-watt and 300-watt luminaires. The 10,000+-light installation averages more than 20lux, China’s national standard for main road illumination. Kingsun claims a 60 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous high-pressure sodium fixtures; The energy savings will result in an payback period of four years.
I asked Cree where the LEDs were actually manufactured; They were all made in Durham, NC. The secret sauce of the high-efficiency LED process remains in the US.