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Thursday, August 7, 2008

LED street lights expand Ruud Lighting’s market

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Sturtevant - Energy-saving lighting that could help cities in Alaska to Australia save on the cost of electricity in street lights is creating global growth opportunities for Ruud Lighting Inc.

Ruud Lighting's LED street light fixtures use 50% less energy than a conventional street light, company President Alan Ruud says. The lights will be installed on some Racine streets.

Sue Ailes tests LED panels that make up new street light fixtures produced by Ruud Lighting of Racine. The city will install the lights along several streets. Other cities in the United States and around the world also have purchased the long-lasting, energy-saving fixtures.

AdvertisementRuud Lighting on Tuesday celebrated a new energy-saving street light fixture coming off the assembly line. The street light fixtures will soon be installed on several streets in Racine, Mayor Gary Becker said.

Ruud Lighting’s Beta Lighting division is seeing increased interest in LED technology because of demands to reduce costs through energy efficiency and to avoid the use of hazardous materials, such as mercury, in energy-efficient light fixtures, said Alan Ruud, company president.

The privately held company and its lighting partner, Cree Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., won a contract under which the City of Anchorage will replace all of its 16,000 light fixtures over the next four years. The first 4,000 fixtures were approved last week under a $2.2 million appropriation announced by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

In Racine, where the electric bill for street lighting is $2 million a year, Becker said the city already uses the Ruud BetaLED fixtures at the Racine Civic Center parking garage.

“Anything we can do to cut costs and help the environment and save energy is a plus,” Becker said. “And we know electricity prices are not going down. It’s just a matter of how quickly it’s going to go up.”

Ruud Lighting has patents to develop fixtures that incorporate technology from Cree, an LED lighting manufacturer.

The company employs about 550 people and has added about 12 since last year, said Christopher Ruud, executive vice president.

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