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Cree wins contract to light the Pentagon

Installation of energy-saving LED lights as part of Pentagon renovation plan will pay off after four years, company says.

LED manufacturer Cree has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to supply over 4,200 recessed LED lights for the Pentagon, the company announced Tuesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Testing commissioned by the U.S. government determined that Cree's LR24 recessed LED lights would offer a 22 percent energy reduction compared with fluorescent lights, and save the Pentagon 140 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The government also commissioned a cost analysis that showed the lights would yield a payback of less than four years once things like energy savings, maintenance, and the expense of properly disposing mercury-laden fluorescent bulbs were taken into account, according to Cree.

The new lighting will be installed in Wedge 5 of the Pentagon, coinciding with the major Pentagon renovation already under way in that area.

The purchase also happens to follow the advice of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan recently proposed by President-elect Barack Obama in his January 3 address.

As part of his plan to reduce reliance on foreign oil and create more jobs, President-elect Obama has suggested that the government will "renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient."

Analysts have predicted that LED lighting will replace incandescent bulbs, making LED lighting manufacturers a bright spot to watch for within the struggling tech industry.

Cree before
Before: A Pentagon room before Cree's LED lights were installed. Cree
Cree after
After: The same room at the Pentagon after Cree's LED lights were installed. Cree