Cree has always been hesitant to add smart bulbs to its hot LED lineup but with the advent of the $15 Cree Connected LED, the wait is over. It boasts of lighting specs reminiscent to the Cree 4Flow LED Bulbs. You can pair it with a smart control hub and handle automated changes too.
The Cree Connected LED bulbs works well on different platforms and with the appealing specs, there is the appealing price. At $15, it is one of the most inexpensive connected bulbs on the market.
Incredible Features – be enlightened!
Cree adapted its smart bulb design from 4Flow LED and includes a Zigbee radio and will be copying the silhouette of classic incandescents.
The new bulb also has a neat convection cooling trick using vents to circulate air. Hence the production costs go down without the heat sinks, thus remaining exceptionally light at 2 ounces.
It has a light output of 815 lumens with a very impressive 872 for the Connected LED. In terms of efficiency, it is tested at 11.5 watts on account of the Zigbee radio’s power draw. The color temperature is close to 2,700K which means it is close enough to the perfect yellow light.
The best part is that you can pair the Cree Connected LED with a control hub for remote controlled operation and automated lighting changes. The Cree Connected LED Bulbs trumpeted Wink support at launch but now includes support for SmartThings, Staples Connect, and the like.
You can turn it on or off remotely, dim it, or even manage other controls your system offers. Setting lights to a timed schedule is one option, and syncing them with motion sensors and IoT systems is another option.
Credibility in Dimmed Lighting
As a light bulb, the Cree Connected LED is great even without its control hub. The bulb’s dimming capabilities are astounding without a flicker or a buzz. Try and dim it with a dimmer switch and you might have some issues but the in-app dimming is smooth, simple and seamless.
Connecting Cree’s smart bulbs with the Wink app is easy for pairing and connects quickly without causing any frustration. Wink requires frequent updates for firmware though.
One can even turn off Cree’s lights provided the smartphone is connected. Basic control of the Cree is intuitive and automation of the lights is pretty painless. Depending conditions you set, you can turn on or off lights when arriving at home, or impact a motion sensor. You’ll also be able to save presets related to lighting shortcuts, and even schedule lighting changes based on your requirements.
The Verdict – Is it a winner?
Cree’s Connected LED has managed to leapfrog much of the competition and at $15 per bulb, it definitely is a steal. It’s TCP starter kits offer better value than Belkin’s WeMo LEDs and also boasts of better performance than the equally priced GE Link LED.
With several third party hubs available, Cree meshes well with many of them and costs only a few dollars than the non-connected ones. So all in all, it is definitely a winner, in my opinion.
Smart lighting is one of the clearest inroads to wider smart home adoption. By focusing on wide third-party compatibility, strong ease of use, and a low price point, Cree’s positioned its Connected LED to move the needle, just as the company did with LEDs at large back in 2013. Make no mistake — this is the smart bulb to beat.
WHAT YOU’LL PAY
LOW PRICE: $14.97
AVERAGE PRICE: $14.97
Home Depot Inc.: $14.97