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LED maker Cree buys Ruud Lighting

Cree buys Ruud Lighting to expand the use of efficient LEDs into more markets, including street lights and commercial indoor lighting.

The City of Los Angeles is planning to install 128,000 fixtures over four years using LED technology. Cree

In a sign of rapid change in the lighting industry, LED supplier Cree today said it is buying commercial lighting company Ruud Lighting for about $525 million.

The acquisition will bring LED lighting to more applications, including street lights and indoor commercial spaces, such as hospitals and retail spaces, according to Cree. Cree currently supplies the LED light sources to Ruud Lighting for some its fixtures. Ruud Lighting also sells lights with florescent and HID (high-intensity discharge) technology.

"Cree is taking another bold step in leading the LED lighting revolution, creating a company that has an unrivaled focus and commitment to driving LED lighting adoption," company CEO Chuck Swoboda said in a statement.

In addition to supplying LEDs to other companies, Cree has some of its own fixtures including an LED replacement for overhead florescent tubes, which it introduced earlier this year.

LEDs are more energy efficient than florescent lighting and are designed to last longer. In the consumer market, there are more LED bulbs now available for general lighting though the bulbs are much more expensive.

The commercial market for LED lighting is expected to grow more quickly because businesses pay more for lighting and can get a quick return on investment for efficiency upgrades.