Light-Emitting Diodes in Raleigh

Last updated Feb. 04, 2016 - 2:43 pm
  • *Cree Shimmer Wall at the Raleigh Convention CenterCree Shimmer Wall at the Raleigh Convention Center
  • *Convention Center Underground Parking Facility LED LightingConvention Center Underground Parking Facility LED Lighting
  • *Davie Street LED Streetlight pilot projectDavie Street LED Streetlight pilot project
  • *Exterior LED lighting at Carolina Pines ParkExterior LED lighting at Carolina Pines Park
  • *Marsh Creek Landscape Yard Solar LED projectMarsh Creek Landscape Yard Solar LED project

Light-Emitting Diodes (also known as LEDs) represent an emerging solid-state technology that has revolutionized lighting. LEDs produce light more efficiently than standard incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lights, and other technologies such as high pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps commonly used in outdoor lighting.

Manufacturing LEDs creates no toxic waste products due to their long lifetime and ability to dramatically reduce energy consumption; LEDs are an emerging energy saving technology for the future. LEDs are also directional lights with full cutoff and very little light spillover.

The City of Raleigh has developed a partnership with Cree, Inc. of Research Triangle Park to test this new technology in municipal settings. Cree is an innovator in the field and has been responsible for many of the technological leaps that have made LED lighting viable for a variety of interior and exterior lighting applications.

In 2006, Raleigh agreed to become the first LED City, a program that Cree has expanded to municipalities across the world. The purpose of LED City is to encourage municipal governments to test this emerging technology in real world settings and share their experience with others.

Since 2006, Raleigh has installed over 40 separate LED projects across the City, including outdoor lighting for City parks, interior lighting, solar LED lighting, streetlights, and lighting in parking decks. These projects are estimated to be generating approximately $215,000 per year in energy and maintenance savings for the residents of Raleigh.

City Plaza is a showcase of LED lighting, with the four City of Oaks towers, the Art Screens at the southwest and northeast corners of the plaza, and the interactive fountain showing off decorative colored LED lighting, while the bollards and landscape lighting utilize white general lighting. Raleigh's and Cree's leadership in the LED field is dramatically illustrated by the iconic Cree Shimmer Wall adorning the west face of the Raleigh Convention Center.

Raleigh and the Research Triangle area represent a center for research into this emerging technology. The US Department of Energy is encouraging research into LED technology for use in general illumination.

LED Streetlight Pilot Project

The most recent LED pilot project involves street lighting in five Raleigh neighborhoods.

Learn more about LED Streetlight Pilot Project

Solar LED Lighting

Brentwood Solar LED

Solar LED Lighting is a simple energy-saving system using solar panels directly attached to the tops of light fixtures. These panels collect the sun's rays during the day and use it to power lights at night, removing them from the local electric utility grid.

This efficient use of lighting has become a cost-effective and resourceful use of solar technology.

The City of Raleigh was the first North Carolina municipality to install solar-powered LED street lights in these locations:

  • Marsh Creek Operations Center
  • Campbell University Parking
  • Raleigh Convention Center Amphitheater
  • Brentwood Road Operations Center
  • Wilkerson Park

Was this page helpful?

Town & Country Magazine named Raleigh

Raleigh Among the Best Places to Go in April

View our accolades >>