First came the $10 bulb, now meet the $99 streetlight

Cree has announced the launch of a new streetlighting product in the US priced at just $99 (€74). The product and aggressive pricing strategy are designed to help local authorities to achieve a payback on a switch to LED in less than a year.

The new XSPR product is targeted at residential roads, which in many regions account for up to 80 per cent of all streetlighting installed. It comes backed by a 10-year warranty.

Lux Review’s Gordon Routledge said: ‘Cree has clearly realised that the huge existing installed base of streetlights in residential applications represents an enormous business potential for LED. But it will only happen when the value proposition becomes compelling enough to enable proactive adoption. Pricing a unit at $99 is an aggressive strategy, which will certainly shake up the existing industry players.’

However, Eddie Henry, operations manager for the London Borough of Southwark in the UK, isn’t as convinced by the low price tag. He said: ‘For $99 they’d have to go a long way to show me it was the quality I need. Straight away you have to ask if it’s sealed right, built with maintenance in mind, or if it’s just a cheap bit of scrap.’

Henry is wary of cheap products, saying that manufacturers often try to sell him low-cost items with the promise of a quality that isn't there on closer inspection. To convince streetlighting engineers, Cree will have to let them get their hands on a sample to prove it does the job, says Henry, adding: ‘Cree make lamps. Having a great engine in a crappy car still makes it a crappy car.’

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