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Toronto joins LED City initiative

Wednesday, July 11th 2007 9:39:19am

Toronto joins LED City initiative with commitment to use energy efficient, LED lighting technology

Knowledge-sharing program to help Toronto reduce energy use, save money and cut greenhouse gas emissions

(Toronto, Canada, July 11, 2007)  The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), through its greenTbiz program, today reported that Toronto has been announced by Cree Inc. as the first Canadian city to join the LED City initiative, which works to share best practices about evaluating, promoting and deploying LED (light emitting diode) technology through municipal infrastructure.

LED lighting can use up to 90% less electricity and last many times longer than conventional lighting, resulting in significantly lower utility bills, lower maintenance costs and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.  These advantages make the technology ideally suited for a wide range of municipal applications, such as street, parking lot and pedestrian lighting.

LED City, launched in February 2007 in Raleigh, NC with the support of Cree, focuses on fostering and sharing information and experiences among participants.  By participating in the initiative, Toronto will be able to benefit from Raleigh’s knowledge, while sharing the vast knowledge it has accumulated through current projects in the city.  Future LED cities will also be able to benefit from this vast knowledge.

The most high profile applications of LED lighting currently in Toronto include the illumination of the CN Tower, lighting for portions of Exhibition Place, complete turnkey retail store installation at Grassroots, and, of course, the popular LED holiday lights.

“LED technology can help us cut our energy use for lighting by more than half,” said John Kiru of TABIA.  “The CN Tower is a great example.  Their change-out to LEDs will result in a 60% reduction in the amount of energy they use compared to 1990 consumption levels.  By converting street and other public lighting, Toronto will also be able to receive the benefits from this level of efficiency.”  

For the City of Toronto, switching to LEDs will result in millions of dollars in savings.  Just converting the city's 160,000 streetlights to LEDs will save approximately $6 million a year in electricity costs, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 18,000 tonnes.

Toronto Mayor David Miller said earlier today that, "Combating climate change is the issue of our time, possibly of all time, and Torontonians are demanding that this city lead by example.  Through the use of cutting-edge, energy efficient technologies, we can and will be a leader.  We expect that by deploying LEDs throughout Toronto, including on our most famous landmark, the CN Tower, we will be accomplishing the goal of reducing energy use, costs and green house gas emission."

Gregory Merritt, Cree Director of Corporate Marketing, brought greetings from Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, who was quoted as saying, “LED lighting enables cities such as Raleigh and Toronto to save energy, preserve the environment and save our taxpayers money.  LED suppliers like Cree provide a technology that gives us access to a new generation of energy-saving lighting options for our municipal infrastructure.”

Chuck Swoboda, Cree Chairman and CEO, said in a statement that, “Toronto and Raleigh understand how important it is to set the pace for a new generation of energy-conscious citizens and government leaders.  LED technology is clearly making progress toward widespread adoption for government, commercial and residential applications.  We are pleased to be part of the revolution in lighting, making an important positive impact on our world.”

Toronto Deputy Mayor Joe Patalone thanked Cree and Raleigh for their efforts, imagination and kind remarks.  He then reminded attendees that the new LED pedestrian lighting project would also be in his Ward.

Councilor Pantalone concluded by stating, “The CN Tower is a beacon for the future of LEDs.  We expect that deploying LED technology throughout Toronto will significantly reduce energy use--fighting climate change, cutting costs, and making our city safer.”


Media Contacts:

John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, jkiru@toronto-bia.com, (416) 889-4111

Deb Lovig, Marketing Communications, Cree Inc., deb_lovig@cree.com, (919) 287-7505


About Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (www.toronto-bia.com) & GreenTbiz (www.greenTbiz.org)

TABIA is a non-profit umbrella organization representing the City of Toronto's 60 Business Improvement Areas, who in turn represent more than 25,000 business and property owners. The organization’s objectives include exchanging information among BIAs, encouraging joint initiatives and mutually beneficial projects and assisting in pooling resources to achieve the maximum benefit feasible. For more information, please refer to www.toronto-bia.com.

TABIA has been instrumental in consumer education regarding LEDs through exchange programs where consumers brought in old incandescent holiday lights for recycling and were given new LED holiday lights, in partnership with the local electricity utility. TABIA participated in the development of the ENERGY STAR qualification for LED holiday lights.  Recently, greenTbiz, the energy conservation and environmental program of TABIA, completed the installation of MR16 LED retrofit product in a retail store, totally replacing their halogen MR16 track lighting.

Toronto’s use of LEDs is consistent with its participation in the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions and slow global warming.

About Cree, Inc. (www.cree.com)

North Carolina based Cree is a market-leading innovator and manufacturer of semiconductors and devices that enhance the value of solid-state lighting, power and communications products by significantly increasing their energy performance and efficiency.

Cree has world-class materials expertise in SiC and GaN for chips and packaged devices that can handle more power in a smaller space while producing less heat than other available technologies, materials and products. Cree drives its increased performance technology into multiple applications, including exciting alternatives in brighter and more tunable light for general illumination, backlighting for more vivid displays, optimized power management for high-current, switch-mode power supplies and variable-speed motors, and more effective wireless infrastructure for data and voice communications.

Cree customers range from innovative lighting fixture makers to defense-related federal agencies. Cree’s product families include blue and green LED chips, lighting LEDs, LED backlighting solutions, power-switching devices and radio-frequency/wireless devices. For product specifications, please refer to www.cree.com.

LED City  (www.ledcity.org)

Launched:  February 12, 2007 by the City of Raleigh, NC and Cree, Inc.

Purpose:  To create a community of cities committed to the evaluation, deployment and promotion of LED lighting in city infrastructure applications.  Each member city shares their experiences with LED lighting trials and deployment to foster the creation and adoption of best practices for LED lighting.  In turn, this collaboration is expected to increase awareness of LED lighting solutions and to accelerate the deployment of LED lighting.

Benefits:  Deployment of LED lighting in city infrastructure helps to protect the environment by reducing electricity consumption and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of fuel resources.  The long lifetimes of LED lighting virtually eliminates the need for ongoing lamp maintenance further reducing the impact on the environment by eliminating the waste associated with regular lamp replacements in traditional lighting.  The reduced electricity consumption and reduced maintenance requirements of LED lighting can also save taxpayer dollars.  Furthermore, LED lighting offers the potential for improved light quality and flexible lighting design, and LEDs do not contain mercury as do some traditional lamps.

What are LEDs?

• LEDs produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs; this is useful in battery powered or energy-saving devices.
• LEDs are ideal for use in applications that are subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that burn out more quickly when cycled frequently.
• LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock. Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs are easily broken if dropped on the ground.
• LEDs have an extremely long life span. One manufacturer has calculated the ETTF (Estimated Time to Failure) for their LEDs to be between 50,000 and 100,000 hours Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 hours, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000-2,000 hours.
• LEDs light up very quickly. A typical red indicator LED will achieve full brightness in microseconds.
• LEDs do not contain mercury as compact fluorescent lights do.
• LED Street Lighting will save energy and costs, including maintenance due to the longer life and less relamping required.  Because it is directional, it reduces light pollution and light trespass.