While Hue continues to be my primary smart lighting solution, given its local control and rock-solid reliability, Cree Connected Max bulbs are what I started using to economically outfit the rest of my house. House. For example, I run a cry filament in our upstairs hallway light and just picked up an adjustable white bulb of 13,600 lumens (plus the color!) for my office floor lamp.
Now, thanks to the FCC, the Crees appear to be dramatically increasing their footprint by bringing a smart plug and a pair of smart switches to their ecosystem.
Cree remote control dimmer
The simplistic little wand (shown above) obviously allows you to control the power and the brightness… but also the shade of white. But, beyond its use as a portable remote, Cree will also include a magnetically attached toggle switch plate cover. It might look a bit bulky, but I bet its convenience will trump its looks for many.
Screaming scene controller
Reused from their commercial line, Cree makes available a ‘Connected Max’ branded scene controller that, uh, controls the scenes. Unlike the Connected Max drive, this requires a bit of electrical know-how… and a neutral wire. At the very least, you can chain five scenes together. However, if they implement a long press or a double press, the number could be higher.
Cree indoor smart plug
Pretty much sure, we all know what a smart plug looks like and what it’s used for – to control or bundle a traditional lamp (or a fan or heater, etc.). But I wonder if they call this an “indoor” model for safety… or because they also work on light bulbs and outdoor accessories?
It goes without saying that all of these are tied together in the Cree app, but for those who don’t know, the lighting company also provides Alexa and Google Assistant binding. Unfortunately, Apple HomeKit remains out of reach. For now anyway. No details on timing or pricing yet, but CES is around 6 weeks away and I expect them to remain inexpensive compared to Hue.