Some things look ordinary but have extraordinary abilities packed inside. This is exactly what the Cree Connected LED is. As a LED light with panache, the Cree delivers just about the same thing as Philips and Lifx, maybe even better if we factor in the price difference.
Cree sells at a surprisingly affordable price of $14.97 per bulb, compared to Philips Hue which sells for $60 per bulb. This fact makes it a comfortable house fitting option if you are planning to change your home lighting system. Matter-of-fact, if sophistication is anything to go by, experience with Cree shows that they deliver a close-cut competition stake with Hue.
At 815 lumens and 2,700 kelvins of brightness, it pitches a little higher in performance metrics compared to the costlier Hue (600 lumens and 2,000 kelvins). Add some 23 years expected life span compared to Philips’ 15 years and you will see that Cree bulbs are impressive and competent enough in performance yet pocket-friendly price-wise.
Features of Cree Connected Bulb
Just like many digital devices, the specs and features are important to knowing and understanding the strengths and capacity. Cree has a whole lot of features and function packed inside it. In this part of the Cree Connected review, I do an exposition of its features and attribute so that you as a potential buyer will get to know what it is before making a buying decision.
Wi-Fi and ZigBee Connection Mode
Cree Connected A 19 bulbs look much like your traditional incandescent bulbs, but they are packed with much more than you can imagine. Equipped with Wi-Fi connection capacity and adaptable to the ZigBee protocol, you can control your Cree light from anywhere at any time.
Unlike other LED bulbs that have Bluetooth technology, Cree has a wider range of connection. So you can take charge of managing the lights in your home from wherever you are at all times as long as you are connected to the Wi-Fi. This is a whole lot better than what Bluetooth connection bulbs offer.
Control means very little if you cannot perform some stunts and maneuvers. In this case, I am talking about the ability to dim your lights and control them to suit your preference.
The dimmable ability of the Cree is hinged on its possession of a dimmable switch. This can also be achieved through the Wink app. Although some folks think that it does not work well with dimming features, I believe that is a matter of relativity that is better judged by experience.
Color is essential to all LED lights. This is arguably the crux of purchasing a smart bulb. The fact that I can buy a bulb and have it dispense some 16 million spectra of colors for me will make me opt for the purchase over the ordinary incandescent lamp.
For Cree, there is a little setback. They are designed to emit only white lights. So, when you are purchasing the Cree LED lamps, there is a huge gap between what the popular brands deliver and what it brings to the table.
This regardless, its white light can be dimmed and brighten to meet your expectations. So, there isn’t much to worry about if your aim is to fit your home with some good white light.
Setting Up The Cree Connected Bulb
Just as simple as it appears, the Cree Connected lamp has an equally easy set-up and connection process. Matter-of-fact, it is as smooth and seamless as fitting the light and connecting the hub.
After this, plug the Wink Hub to a power socket and wait for it to start flashing a purple light. This indicates that the hub is ready to connect to your mobile device. To connect the hub to your mobile device, open the Wink app on your device and tap “Add a Product.” This will sync the hub to your device, and you are ready to manage your bulbs as you see fit.
Comparison of Cree Connected With Other Popular Bulb Brands
|Cree Connected LED||GE Link LED||Philips Hue Lux LED||Osram Lightify Tunable LED||Belkin WeMo LED|
|Lumens (measured / stated)||872 / 815||855 / 800||733 / 750||848 / 805||829 / 800|
|Efficiency (lumens per watt)||76||78||81||89||87|
|Color temperature (measured / stated)||2,696K / 2,700K||2,830K / 2,700K||2,640K / 2,700K||2,680K - 5,273K / 2,700K - 6,500K||3,058K / 3,000K|
|Additional color temperatures (price difference)||No||No||No||No||No|
|Color rendering score||80||90||79||78 - 83||88|
|Dimmable range||7.8 - 100%||10.2 - 100%||0.5 - 100%||5.4 - 100%||3.8 - 100%|
|Lifespan||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||25,000 hours||20,000 hours||25,000 hours|
|Weight||1.90 oz.||6.20 oz.||4.60 oz.||4.75 oz.||2.75 oz.|
|Third-party compatibility||Wink, Hue Bridge, SmartThings, Staples Connect||Wink, SmartThings, Hue Bridge, Staples Connect||SmartThings, Revolv, Staples Connect, IFTTT||WeMo Link||SmartThings|
|Remote (additional cost)||No||No||Yes ($60)||No||No|
|Warranty||3 years||2 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
|Starter kit price||N/A||$80||$100||$100||$100|
|Bulbs per kit||N/A||2||2||2||2|
|Price per bulb||$15||$15||$30||$30||$30|
After considering all the features and capabilities of Cree, it is only right to say that it is a great LED bulb in its regards. It may not have all the functionalities and features of other smart bulb brands, but it sure has what it takes to compete pound for pound with them. This, though, makes it an excellent recommendation for those who have the intention of taking their home lighting a notch higher and does not want to break the bank doing this.