Cree Lighting, the maker of our current Editors’ Choice for budget-priced smart bulbs, is expanding its Connected Max line into tunable white filament bulbs, while also adding a downlight, SmartThings support, and new lighting scenes and routines.
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Cree Lighting Connected Max Smart LED (Tunable White + Color Changing)
Available now online and in brick-and-mortar Lowe’s locations, the tunable white A19, Edison-style ST19, B11 candelabra, and globe-shaped G25 filament bulbs cost $12.99, while the six-inch color downlight goes for $19.99. These are full-spectrum lights, meaning they mimic they mimic the color temperature of natural daylight.
As with Cree’s other smart bulbs, including its top-notch color A19 bulb, the glass filament bulbs and the downlight can be configured via Bluetooth and connect directly to Wi-Fi networks, no hub required.
All of the new bulbs boast tunable white temperatures ranging from a very warm 2,200 Kelvin to a cool 6,500K, which is equivalent to daylight on a hazy day. The downlight, meanwhile, can glow in millions of colors.
The 800-lumen A19 and ST19 bulbs are fitted with standard E26 bases, as is the 350-lumen G25 bulb. The 350-lumen B11 candelabra bulb has a smaller E12 base.
Designed to fit into 5- to 6-inch recessed cans, the 850-lumen downlight comes with an interchangeable cord that offers E26 and direct-connect options, while integrated tension clips help to ensure a secure fit with the ceiling. The downlight isn’t compatible with GU24 or pin-based sockets, however.
You can control the bulbs with Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, and Cree has just announced that it’s also adding SmartThings support, meaning you can add the lights to the SmartThings Smart Home Hub. The bulbs still lack support for Apple’s HomeKit platform, which isn’t unusual for budget smart lights.
Cree is also rolling out a new version of its mobile app for iOS and Android devices, with the update slated to add new lighting scenes and routines.
Among the new app features is a vacation mode, which randomly turns your lights on and off to fool would-be intruders, while a “Dusk to Dawn” mode automatically sets your bulbs to turn on during the day and switch off at night.
Also new is a “Music Sync” mode that makes your Cree bulbs “move to the beat of your favorite music,” along with “Fandom” scenes that come in nine preset color combinations.
We’re expecting samples of Cree’s new filament bulbs and its downlight to arrive soon, so stay tuned for full reviews.