From Green Right Now Reports

Who says it too expensive to change out the bulbs?

Cree LEDs are more energy efficient and cooler than the halogens they're replacing. (Photo: Cree.)

Not the Furniture Row Companies, a large family-owned retailer with 330 stores across the U.S., which is switching its showroom lighting to Cree Inc. LED lights

So far, Furniture Row has installed about 13,000 Cree LRP-38 LED spotlights, out of more than 80,000 planned, at its stores, which include the Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions® and Denver Mattress Company®.

Rod Schnurr, store planning coordinator, said the family wanted to be good “environmental stewards”, but also wanted to remain  “fiscally responsible.” Finally, the stores needed quality lights to properly showcase the woods and fabrics within the room vignettes.

While 11-watt Cree lights that are replacing 90-watt halogen bulbs do cost more upfront than some other options, but they provide superior lighting and long term energy savings. They produce less heat, which saves on air conditioning costs, according to Cree and Furniture Row.

The first Furniture Row Shopping Center to install Cree LED lights saved $4,200 on monthly energy costs compared to what the store paid using the previous  lighting, Schnurr said.

The Cree lights also are expected to last 50,000 hours, far more than the halogens they’re replacing, according to a Cree news release.

LEDs are popping on in other applications, and faring well when compared to other bulbs, including passing muster against compact fluorescents in recent Consumer Reports tests.