News Article

Cree Lands Milestone European Lighting Deal

Accelerating the GaN chip ramp for LED luminaires, Zumtobel and Cree's collaboration is looking to quickly expand on its 50,000 annual sales target for downlights.

Leading lighting firm Zumtobel has raised the prestige of Cree s LR6 fixtures, by signing a long-term strategic deal as their European distributor.

Zumtobel, which was voted Austria s most valuable brand for 2007, should account for sales of at least 50,000 LR6 luminaires in the deal s first year.

With twelve XLamp LEDs in each LR6, this marks an early acceleration of Cree's chip production for general illumination.

The supply agreement announced on October 8 become effective immediately according to Ty Mitchell, head of Cree s chips and materials division, meaning the production ramp is now in motion.

“Although it has a relatively small impact, given our overall chip volume, this deal demonstrates the growing adoption of solid-state lighting," Mitchell told compoundsemiconductor.net.

Cree expects the exclusive agreement to distribute its recessed downlights in over 40 countries to expand into 2009.

Architects around Europe collaborate with Zumtobel on lighting installations and “concepts", including a prestigious ongoing collaboration on a new terminal at Vienna airport.

The fixtures that Zumtobel makes already include some LEDs-based designs, like its Tempura spotlight range that uses Lexel modules from Philips Solid State Lighting. As far back as 2005, Japanese LED maker Toyoda Gosei and then Zumtobel subsidiary TridonicAtco formed a €2.6 million ($3.5 million) joint venture to develop white LEDs.

In April 2008 Cree formed a partnership with the Austrian firm, irrespective of these prior relationships, to pave the way for adoption of its GaN-on-SiC LEDs in Zumtobel s luminaires.

A spokesperson for Zumtobel told compoundsemiconductor.net that it is in the process of introducing a design that combines an LED downlight with a more conventional uplight. He could not yet confirm whether the LR6 is the downlight in this product.

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