Cree Announces Anticipated Connected Bulb

Jan 17, 2015 by

Note: In addition to Wink, the Cree Connected bulb is now also supported by SmartThings and (unofficially) by Staples Connect (when added manually as a ZigBee device).

Cree Connected Bulb Soft White On

Cree has finally released information about its anticipated connected bulb. The Connected Cree® LED Bulb with 4Flow™ Filament Design is built upon Cree outstanding 4Flow LED platform, which has some of the best characteristics of any “dumb” LED bulb out there—warm color; soft, even light distribution; smooth dimming; and rugged, lightweight design.

The new Connected bulb uses ZigBee, and it will work initially with the Wink hub. It’s also hitting that $15 price point that has made the GE Link bulbs so appealing to some and will be available at Home Depot stores (among others). Cree is suggesting that this bulb will work with other hubs that support ZigBee, including SmartThings and Staples Connect but at present that support hasn’t been added for those platforms yet.

When we previously compared connected bulbs, the TCP Connected bulb got our nod as the best product for its price. But Cree’s new offering changes things. At $15 and with the Cree 4Flow’s already great reputation, this new product may just top the charts upon its debut, expected at the end of January. CNET’s Ry Crist has given the new bulb an overall rating of 8.5.

This is a good step for consumers in a space where confusion currently reigns. Cree has been an LED lighting innovator for years, and many in the industry have been anticipating their entrée into the connected lighting space. They’re a solid name (even GE sources some of its LED diodes from Cree), and their compatibility with Wink and plans to work with other ZigBee systems is a great thing. Plus, we have reason to believe, from previously announced partnerships by Apple, that Cree’s connected products will be HomeKit compatible.

Read Cree’s full press release.

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